Erin Go Bragh
Tuesday, Notre Dame and Navy confirmed they will play their 2012 game in Dublin. The two schools last played in Ireland in 1996. Given all the ties between BC and Ireland, the Navy-ND game raises the question: is it time for BC football to go back to Ireland? Yes, "go back." Some younger fans probably don't know or remember that BC played Army in the first Emerald Isle Classic.
For a program constantly trying to generate excitement and interest, I think a game in Ireland would be a no brainer. I think you could legitimately draw 5,000 plus BC fans to travel from the States, sell another 1,000 tickets to BC friends and family living in Europe, and sell the rest of the team's allotment locally to bandwagon Dubliners who want to cheer on the Jesuit kids from Boston. And if BC could play Notre Dame in the game, it would lend that much more credibility and excitement to the occasion. But we could have this game even without Notre Dame. I think Michigan, Ohio State, or Penn State are all examples of name programs with big followings that could pull off a successful trip to Ireland.
One of the consistent rumors floating during the BC-Notre Dame scheduling talks was that the schools would play one game in Dublin. It obviously didn't happen, but I think that we should try. I am sure economic concerns and our failure to travel well to American bowl games, scares off the decision makers in Chestnut Hill. But a game overseas, especially in Ireland, might be the sort of event that people actually rally behind. With a little planning and marketing, I think it could be a big success.