Sunday, March 14, 2010

Big Dance Indifference

My freshmen year at BC was 1994-1995. BC wasn't even close to making the tournament yet when the Big Dance rolled around, I was as excited as everyone else. Things are different now. We are not in it, so I care a bit less. Sure I will watch most of the games. I'll fill out a bracket. I'll probably watch during lunch on Thursday and Friday. I'll stay up too late. But it is not the same without BC. I think that makes me a bit spoiled.

This post is not designed to restart the Skinner debate. It is not supposed to be a pity party about the struggles of a poor BC fan. It's more about how things have evolved. We (or at least I) can now live BC sports 365 days a year and BC has been involved in the tournament for most of this past decade. When we are not involved in something, getting emotionally worked up is a bit harder. Am I the only one who feels this way?

I'll probably get sucked in with one angle or another as the tourney develops. When all else fails, I'll get on the BC Guy bandwagon.


Erik said...

We're not alone, ATL. Only one college from New England is represented: UVM (without Coppenrath or Sorrentine)

No UConn, Providence, UMass, URI, Brown, Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Fairfield, Hartford, Holy Cross, BU, Northeastern, UNH, Maine, Central Connecticut, Bryant, or anyone else.
Kinda pathetic, but most New England'ers are in our same boat.

ORDEagle said...

Agreed. I can't think of a college basketball season that I have paid less attention to than this one. God forbid if you don't pick Kansas to win it all. Every other team has serious flaws.

mod34b said...

I confess to major apathy too.

When we were in the Big East, even if BC was not in the dance or got bounced early, I still had an interest in how the rest of the Big Est was doing and rooted for other BE teams . . . . Syr, UConn, SJU, etc. (never G'town!)

Now (at least for hoops), I really could care less how Clemson, Wake, G'Tech, Maryland, Duke, and FSU fare in the NCAA tourney. I, like many other, I am sure, just feel no connection to the rest of the ACC hoop teams.

In contrast, with ACC football there does seems to be a growing connection with other teams, I guess in part b/c the games have been so competitive and fun since BC joined the ACC(except for a few horrible games, of course)

Bravesbill said...

Go SDSU! Beat Bruce!

modest34b said...

I read the post about the NCAA tourney, and while i see your point, you know . . . . z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z.

bad attempt at humor!!

but the NCAA tourney this year seems to be really boring. Only game I have a mild interest is Cornell v Temple... Go Big Red!

Anonymous said...

Mod 34B nails it when he said, "I, like many other, I am sure, just feel no connection to the rest of the ACC hoop teams."

I was at the Big East tournament last Friday. Brother at Gtown, Sisters at Nova, friends at Providence, St John, Syracuse, UConn....

We are a Big East basketball team playing against strangers.

And while I will accept some arguments that ACC Football is better, who did we bring back onto the football schedule??? Our old rival Syracuse from the Big East.

downtown_resident said...

I think we all enjoyed the Big East of old, but this is 2010, you guys. These days the Big East is on the brink of extinction.

Anonymous said...

and people wonder why a lot of the other ACC teams hate BC and wish they were not in the conference. Root for the ACC Teams. Why wouldn't you care about the Duke's, Wake's, Clemson's of the world? Just because BC is not in it? Why the BC only attitudes? Elitists? Who cares about the Big East anymore? 5 years later and people still can't root for the ACC? This year's tournament should be great for a change, because there is not an elite team in the field (with maybe the exception of Kansas). but even the Midwest Bracket is pretty tough, with Ohio State (hottest team going?), Georgetown (hitting stride at the right time), and a few others. Stinks that there is only 1 New England team, but pick another team and root for them, wherever they are from. Especially some of the underdogs. Root for Kansas State, who plays hard every night and a team that I think will make the Final Four. Or pick a sleeper in Richmond, who runs a modified Princeton offense and has wins versus 6 different teams in the tournament field. This is the best time of the year, even with BC out of the tournament (as a BC fan, i'm sad to see BC out, but come's March Madness)

mod34b said...

sportscompound -- do you really connect on a personal or emotional level with basketball programs at FSU? G'Tech? Maryland? Duke? It's hardly an elitist sentiment as many of the ACC schools are more elite than BC.

I think it comes down in part to the fact that no one -- from my high school, from my home town, from places i have worked over the years -- went to FSU, G'TEch, Clemson . I know a few doookies and terps, and maybe a tar heel now and again, But not much connection with ACC schools.

Frankly, in this tourney, I'd rather root for UVM, Cornell, Sienna and Syracuse than any ACC team. Go Seminoles????? NOT (can you really ever root for Duke . . . yuk!)

but the ACC as presently constituted, is a bit of a mis-fit. I think the schools sees that too, hence getitng Syracuse back on our schedule.

matthew2 said...

how can anyone ever root for syracuse??? That I will never understand.

BCDoubleEagle said...

do you really connect on a personal or emotional level with basketball programs at South Florida? Cincinnati? Louisville?

mod34b said...

BC Double -- u r right. but i am talking about old BE...i do have connections with Providence, SJU, Syracuse, UConn, Seton Hall, G'Town

matty2 -- lots of good folks go to Syracuse and it has great sports tradition there. a very worthy rival for BC.

CT said...

Growing up in Atlanta, I was a huge Ga. Tech fan. Had season tix for the '90 Nat'l Champ. football season. Kenny Anderson is (was) my favorite bball player. I'll always root for Tech if BC isn't playing.

Sadly, Tech is saddled with Paul Hewitt and his inability to get a lot of talent to play well for 40 mins. Consistently. At least BC doesn't have a world of talent...Tech has loads. And they'll probably lose early. But I'm used to that. BC has taught me well.

With the ACC down the last few yrs, gotta get on the bandwagon and hope the conference shows well. The Big East days are gone. Get on with it.

The problem with any lack of connection seems to be that most of you grew up in the Northeast. For those of us from the South, the connection is very real indeed.

mod34b said...

CT -- you may one of the only BC alum who actually gives a rat's bleep about G'tech. Personally, I find G'Tech to be the least interesting ACC team/school. But if I grew up down south, i would feel differently.

You are right about most alum being from the North East, (and proud of it too!). Long term, the ACC move will be good for BC and there will be fan acceptance all around the ACC one day. But, still, that acceptance/approval/interest will take time, and there are many BC alums who are pre-ACC who just don't have much interest in ACC hoops outside of BC.

eagleboston said...

Would Bruce Pearl ever consider coming back to the Heights? I realize it would be a major step down and a greater challenge to reach the Final Four, but he did graduate from BC so you have to think he loves the Eagles.

Iowa just fired their coach and everyone thinks Pearl may actually consider the job. He was an asst under former BC coach Tom Davis when Davis was at Iowa.

This is all hypothetical as I realize Skinner is the coach, but 4 or 5 years down the road, would Pearl even take a gander?

mmason said...

Go CT--you nailed it. What is with all this Big East nostalgia? We're ACC and those Big Least days are G.O.N.E. like a cool breeze. Hell, yes, I hope GT and Duke and Clemson (especially) roll on some of these pompous, uppity folk! Do y'all forget about how Calhoun and his Big Least punks dissed BC for abandoning their little friggen' planet and sued us? There went some bitchen' scholarship money we could have handed to good BC kids while we paid those dudes for all their hatred of Our People. Move On, yes, and Cut the Cord with the BE, you better, cuz that stanza is in the wind.

ATL--Let's root for the underdog warriors like St. Mary's and Xavier and even Marquette, who need some love and respect.(I share your "doldrums" but I'm hoping some big upsets rock the boat and make this a truly Mad March! Cheer up, BC! We shall return...and Eagle football is just 'round that corner down the way, and the Hockey Eagles are in the mix. It is all good.

Anonymous said...


Do i need to have friends that went to ACC schools to follow the other teams in MY TEAM'S league? Your connection with the other ACC schools is just that, they are in YOUR TEAM'S league now. If you follow basketball close enough, you should be over the "I love the Big East still" attitude. Plenty of close games, both win and lose, and spirited play has brought some rivalries a little closer to happening. In the last 5 years, do you know what ACC team has defeated UNC the most? Boston College (4-4 record....Duke's win in March vs. UNC brought them to 4-6 in the same time period) How is the ACC as currently put together a mis-fit? BC was only a little engine that could stuck in a regionalized conference like the Big East. Now, BC is part of making a traditionally Southern Conference into more of a National conference. And to think of all the accomplishments from ALL SPORTS since the move to the ACC, including improved play from Baseball, Men's and Women's Soccer, Field Hockey.....which will only get better and better with this move. Embrase the ACC, and the fact that BC is the outlier, the only ACC school in the Northeast, and hopefully soon enough, BC will reap the benefit of being just that.

Harry Collins said...

BC is not the only outsider. Most schools outside of the geographic and symbolic heart of the conference (Duke-UNC-NC State) consider themselves outsiders as well (just ask Gary Williams), and Miami is 100 miles further away from Tobacco Road than BC is believe it or not according to Mapquest.

The move to the ACC was not perfect, everyone misses the local basketball rivalries, but it was absolutely necessary. The Big East (formerly and presently constituted) was and is extremely flawed. It will definitely fall apart as the basketball only schools continue to fight with the football schools over revenue shares. The ACC is a much better athletic and academic fit, and is far more balanced with all schools playing both revenue sports. Yes, there are geographic challenges, but it was the right move. Plus it is a huge step up in football, which drives the revenue sports anyway. The only thing wrong with ACC football is that 2 of the three marquee teams (FL State and Miami) have been down since BC joined the league. But once they right their ships, the league will be along side the SEC as the best conference in the country. No doubt.

ORDEagle said...

The only move Bruce Pearl is interested in is to Dickie V's seat at ESPN when he either retires or dies. Don't think Iowa would pay anywhere near what UT pays either.

Unknown said...

I like the big east because I like watching the best collection of elite college basketball teams in any conference in the country. I like the big east because it plays the absolute best conference tournament in New York City at the most significant arena in the country. But as a college basketball fan, I like the ACC too, for its tradition and for its excellent teams. And I love BC because I'm an alum, from Boston and there are few things than rooting for your school to have a great season. Why should interest in the Big East and the ACC be mutually exclusive?

mod34b said...

SportsC --

I am not suggesting BC go back to the BE (certainly not in the shape the BE is in now).

It kinda of like this: You live in a town in Massachusetts and have friends there; for economic reasons, you uproot your family and move to Charlotte NC; takes a while to make new connections; you still miss the old connections, but know you can't go back and know the move was the right thing to do from a longer term future-oriented perspective, especially for your kids.

So, I think we are both saying more or less the same thing except I don't see the need to have to embrace the ACC now (it would be a fake hug now; a nice hello and firm hand shake are sufficient for now). As years go by the warmth should happen naturally.

Although, I must say, I do know friends who have moved from the North East to the South (or to Cali/West for that matter) and they never got used to the people or the place (but did like the weather!) Their kids assimilated quite nicely though. That may be case with BC in the ACC (i.e., old guys don't warm to it so quickly, but students -- lifeblood of college -- do). Hope so anyway.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Well said Mod; couldn't agree more with that take.

Lenny Sienko said...

The BC Women's basketball team did not get an NCAA invite?

I can't find them anywhere on the bracket.

CT said...

That makes sense, Mod. But if you've spent any time down here, you'd know that it's precisely b/c of all the NE transplants that southern cities, esp. Atlanta, are not good pro sports towns. Too many divided loyalties. And that's b/c all of you Northerners come down here and stay. There's a reason or two for that. Blah.

Anyway, I'd admit rather easily that the BE has been a better bball conference since our switch. They also have 43 teams. Although the best program resides in the ACC. Still, the conference thing is cyclical. It'll come back around the ACC's way. We're used to it.

I'd disagree that even with FSU and Miami on course that the ACC will ever rival the SEC in football. No way, no chance. You have to be a Southerner to understand just what the SEC means to people in this part of the country. It's akin to the Red Sox, Yankees, Cowboys, Celtics, Lakers, and Pope love all rolled into one. The schools in the ACC are too small and private. The SEC's TV contract alone rivals a small country's GDP. There's simply no passion like an LSU or Alabama fan, for example. It's a disease. It's almost unexplainable unless you live it 365.

Ark. Pine Bluff all the way...

Opinionater said...

After spending the weekend in Greensboro at the ACC tournament (spending all that $$ and passion only to be exposed to the most excruciatingly poor performance by our Eagles--except maybe the Maine loss), there is a sense of relief that BC is not in the Big Dance! They obviously didn't deserve to be there, or at the NIT, nor the CIT! It actually makes the Big Dance a "cleansing", pressure-free, basketball purist experience---if that makes any sense.

I am finally spared the roller coaster of emotions (mostly negative) by watching the Eagles continually self-destruct, noting individual player's skills regressing, pathetic transistional defense, poor execution of inbounds plays, press-breaking, not using TO's to stop extensive runs by the opponent, poor recruitment of talent, lame excuses (Al may be the ONLY one who "sees the potential" and is glad to have everyone back next year---OUCH!

The Big Dance gives me the opportunity to watch good basketball, actual T-E-A-M-S giving maximum effort, and to appreciate what BC used to have--and hopefully will return to, without the "pressure" of worrying whether or not BC will come to play. If you don't have enthusiasm for March Madness, independent of your team's status, I would suggest basketball is not your game?

P.S. Big East, Big Shmeast, get over it--it is what it is! An objective, knowledgeable BC Athletic Administrator needs to evaluate the situation with this current team and coaching staff, make the hard decisions, map out an "improvement plan" and move on!