Since you asked...
Over the years readers have asked me a lot of questions related to following and enjoying BC football. The post is a rundown of all the products and services I use myself. I am not paid by any of the following. If any of the companies represented below would like to make my endorsement more formal, just email me.
I use a Lenovo G555 notebook for my blogging. I find Lenovo are very affordable and very reliable and can be customized with whatever you need. I bought it via newegg.com.
I watch most of my BC sports on a Panasonic HD TV. It is LCD. We bought it in 2006 and have had great picture quality throughout.
I subscribe to DirecTV HD. We have had DirecTV since 2002 and have moved once in that time. Moving the service was as easy as the commercial. I initially made the switch because I was exasperated with my cable company’s awful service and refusal to sell ESPN Gameplan. I haven’t looked back since. DirecTV has great customer service and to my untrained eye, a better HD picture than most of my friends and family have with cable. (Let me know if you want to do the refer a friend program with DirecTV.)
We get the DirecTV Sport Pack. This allows us to view most of the second tier sports channels and gave me access to ESPNU from the early days. Atlanta is considered an ACC market so I no longer need to get ESPN Gameplan to watch the syndicated BC games.
We also have DirecTV’s DVR, which I use to rewatch all the BC games. When my TIVO died, I thought nothing would ever be the same, yet I’ve really enjoyed DirecTV’s DVR. I find it easy to use and I can get through the second viewings more efficiently than with TIVO…which at times had a slow pause button.
We have SiriusXM radio. It is in our Honda so it was the legacy XM receiver. It is great to have BC games in the car. However, my complaint is that when two ACC teams are playing one another, SiriusXM usually only has one feed of the game. I don’t want to listen to another school’s announce team. (I need my Meter!)
I have Gameday on as background most college Saturdays but rarely focus on the whole program. I find it has too much fluff and with the little kids around, I can’t always hear or pay attention. I usually watch College Footbal Final live and DVR the 6 AM version to see anything I might have missed or slept through. I know many hate Hotlz and May, but I think College Football Final does any excellent job of giving you highlights and news from around the country.
I buy all my football tickets through the BC ticket office. Depending on schedules, I usually only go to a game or two a year, but I want to make sure that BC gets the benefit of my purchase. I have never used any online ticket resellers for any BC stuff.
I give to the BC Fund every year (good times and bad). In the whole scheme of things, my gifts are a drop in the bucket, but I feel the effort and symbolism of the gift is as important as the size. Alumni gifts are what made the school I love, so I need to do my part to make sure the school is better than ever for the next generation.
I don’t give to the Flynn Fund. I did once in 2008 after they agreed to an interview on the blog. But that wasn’t a quid pro quo. I felt that I needed to support the sports product. Now – with time – I’ve reverted to my old stance of giving directly to the University. In my opinion, the BC Fund should get my money and best decide what to do with it.
I got my both my khaki and maroon BC stadium pants from Pennigton & Bailes. I also have a BC polo from Pennington & Bailes. As you can guess, BC gear is the fallback when family wants to get me a gift, so I also have a BC Vineyard Vines polo and a BC Vineyard Vines belt. I have a BC Under Armour sweatshirt and a BC Under Armour fleece. I love Under Armour products and will probably buy more BC UA stuff in the near future.
When I travel to Boston, I don’t necessarily stay in one hotel. My preference is to go to the Back Bay where T and taxi access to BC is readily available. I’ve stayed in the Copley Marriott, the Copley Westin, The Taj (when it was the Ritz), Fairmont Copley Plaza, the Boston Park Plaza, the Hyatt Downtown Crossing, the Cambridge Marriott, and the Newton Marriott. I have a good friend who works at the Logan Hyatt and the Hilton Boston has a BC rate. All of the above are fine hotels. In my non-blogging life I am in the hospitality and travel industry so I sort of have to play Switzerland here. If you are looking for the best rate/location combination and are not brand loyal or brand conscious, I strongly recommend bidding very low on high rated properties on Priceline. Don’t overshop on hotels. Parity agreements are so tight that you are most likely going to find the same price on Expedia, Orbitz or a brand’s website. In general, the only way to get “deal” is via Priceline, Hotwire or have some sort of negotiated rate with the hotel directly.
I am in Atlanta, so when I fly up to BC, it is usually on Delta or Airtran. Most of you are familiar with Delta. That is where most of my frequent flyer miles are so all things being equal, I will pick them. Althogh Airtran is a very good airline. Most of their planes are newish and I’ve never had a real service problem with them. If you haven’t flown Airtran and a good rate comes up, give it a try. In fact, there was a whole BC crew that flew down and back to Tampa in 2008 on Airtran.
I’ve eaten in many restaurants in Boston, but I am not there enough to keep up with the restaurant scene. My wife and I had a great meal at Zocalo Cocina Mexicana the last time we were in town.
For those coming to ACC country for the first time and have been curious about Chick-fil-A, I highly recommend it. It is fast food and not a life changing event, but it is great for what it is. If you are looking for a quick fast food run on a road trip, get the classic chicken sandwich.
If there are any other products or topics I missed, send me an email or ask a question in the comments. As I said, no one above has paid me for my two cents. These are products I use and enjoy.