Thursday, September 30, 2010

BC-Notre Dame preview

I would like to thank Frank Spaziani for giving us the Chase Rettig storyline this week. Instead of the usual BC-ND narrative or the Brian Kelly returning home stuff, we get a potentially big BC moment as the focus on Saturday night. I've heard people lament that if Chase struggles, this is the type of game that could ruin his confidence and in turn ruin his BC career. Nonsense. The good ones always bounce back. Matt Ryan lost the 2004 Syracuse game in his first start. He seemed to put it behind him. I've also heard people say we might be wasting the season by playing Rettig. I also say "nonsense" to that. I was very high on the potential of this team. But after three games it was clear Dave Shinskie was not going to lead us on a 10-2 season. So if we are not winning the division with Shinskie we may as well try to win it with someone else. We still have the defense good enough to win it. If anything Spaz gets his bar somewhat lowered by rolling with a Freshman. We should be able to go at least 3-1 against Duke, UVA, Syracuse and Maryland. Then we would only need to go 1-4 against NC State, Wake, FSU, Notre Dame and Clemson. That is all we need to be bowl eligible. If Rettig can't do that and Spaz can't do that, then we have bigger problems than who redshirted and who did not.


Overlooked storyline for the game: the battle for Cincinnati recruits
Cincinnati was once a Notre Dame feeder area and the Irish still get key players from southwest Ohio (like Kyle Rudolph). It became a huge recruiting territory for us once TOB and a few other Ohio born staffers came to BC. Spaz has kept up good connections there and we've brought in some great players from Cincy (like Kuechly) but Kelly has stated he plans to hit the area hard. I imagine the winner of this game will use it as a selling point when battling the other school for a kid from Cincinnati.


Three Simple Keys

1. BC's second-level blocking.
Notre Dame's defensive line is not very good. Their LBs are pretty good. To successfully run the ball on them we are obviously going to need good blocking up front but also need our guys to reach the second level of defenders. If Montel is not getting touched by Teo, BC will have a big day on the ground.
2. Stop the big pass play.
The biggest problem the BC defense had against VT was a few broken plays that led to big passes. Notre Dame is dangerous in that respect because Crist has a big arm and a few deep threats. To stop this, the safeties need to be smart and disciplined and the front four need to get to Crist.
3. Do not dumb down the playcalling. My fear is that Spaz/Tranq will only give Rettig a handful of plays so he doesn't make mistakes. That's not going to do him nor the team any good. I think they need to run the offense with balance and not be afraid to pass the ball. If BC is going to win, Rettig needs to pass at least 20 times.


Gambling Notes

-- Kelly is 4-12 against non-conference BCS teams.
-- BC has not lost two consecutive home games since 1998.
-- BC has not lost two in a row to Notre Dame since 1998.
The current line is BC+3



Factoid

We've had fun against the Irish, but none of the games have been masterpieces. Did you know neither team has scored more than 30 points in a BC-ND game since 1999?


Scoreboard Watching
I am not going to use this area just to follow TOB all year, but most BC fans should pay attention to the NC State-Virginia Tech game. The Pack are for real and are our next opponent. If they win in Blacksburg, BC will be a big underdog going into next week.


I hope to see...

BC run the ball effectively. Harris has been doing most of the running on his own. I think for BC to win we need the Oline to have a big day and open up holes for Montel and the back ups. I would also like to see McCluskey get a carry or two as a change of pace. And we need to let Rettig run a bit too.


BC is in trouble if...

Mike Marscovetra sees the field. This is nothing against Marsco, but if the players split snaps or if Spaz gives Rettig a short hook, I think this game will be lost and this season could go down the tubes.


Bottom Line
I don't feel great about this game. I liked the Rettig move and I like how we match up with Notre Dame on paper. What concerns me is all effort going into hiding who our QB will be. You are coming off a shutout. Your team is lacking confidence. What is the big secret? I want our coach to have confidence and conviction is his decisions. Right or wrong but never in doubt. But my homerism and love for BC still has me thinking that Rettig looks great and we win.
Final Score: BC 31, Notre Dame 20

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Eagles take flight" (literally)

Last spring at the Matt Ryan cocktail party here in Atlanta, Gene held a Q&A with alumni. Inspired by Auburn's pregame ritual, fellow Eagle, Ted Hodan made a great suggestion to have a live eagle circle Alumni Stadium before games. Ted felt that a stunning tradition, like Auburn's, might motivate tailgaters to get to their seats on time. At the time, Gene casually brushed off the suggestion as silly [Eds note: Ted said "he acted like it was a terrible idea"]. Well Gene must of had a change of heart since BC has enlisted Challenger the Bald Eagle to perform his pregame flight prior to the Notre Dame game.


Challenger is a regular at NFL and MLB games throughout the year. Hopefully his flight is as cool as it sounds. If the response is positive and people get to their seats, I think we should get our own live eagle for every game.

Labels: , ,

Guest Blogger: The Return of Blue-Gray Sky

Blue-Gray Sky was an innovative blog that served as a template for many you see today. The crew there did a great job of mixing analysis, humor, and the passion of being a fan into a daily read. Sadly they hung it up earlier this year. Fortunately one of their founders, Jay, agreed to answer a few questions regarding this year's Notre Dame team. My questions and his answer below.


ATLEeagle: I've been very surprised by how much Kelly is passing. To me it seems like he is putting a lot on Crist's shoulders. Do you think there will be more emphasis on the run game this week or will Crist chuck it 40+ times again?


Blue-Gray Sky: Much of that is predicated on talent at hand. We have a novice, but capable quarterback in Crist, a very good tight end in Rudolph, a potential All-American wide receiver in Floyd. Add in a couple of exciting younger receivers in Theo Riddick and T.J. Jones, and it's natural to play to our strengths. Also, we're transitioning from a pro passing attack into a pass-first spread, so I think the continuation of passing is somewhat expected, no matter what Kelly might have claimed in the preseason.


I think the biggest issue right now in achieving balance is the precarious backup quarterback situation. We have no credible replacement for Crist, and after he got hurt against Michigan the backups promptly started throwing interceptions. I don't think Kelly wants to expose himself like that again, so he's erring on the side of caution in not running with Crist. The read option/quarterback keeper is an important cog in his offense, so the lack of a credible running threat at QB is definitely putting the kibosh on the running game.


ATLeagle: The Irish seem to have real problems stopping the run. Is it the new scheme or is it a talent issue? How do you think they will adjust this weekend?


Blue-Gray Sky: I know we're not doing a good job statistically, but keep in mind that Michigan, Michigan State, and Stanford are all top 20 rushing teams this year (especially Michigan), and in each game we held them to lower than their rushing average. Cold comfort, I know.

But I actually think we are improved -- or, improving. On runs up the middle, I think we look very stout, with hard-nosed sophomores Carlo Calabrese and Manti Teo cleaning things up. (Teo, by the way, had 21 tackles against Stanford. He's everywhere.) It's with the outside runs that we're having the most problems: we don't get to the edge fast enough, we take poor angles, and we don't get off our blocks well.


ATLEagle: You are only four games into the Brian Kelly era. How are you feeling about things? Are there any signs of what the future holds?


Blue-Gray Sky: I farmed this question out to some ND friends. Here are some selected quotes.



"I think it's way to early to make too formulate any feelings. We aren't that far away from 3-1, in fact we probably should be but can't say that I would feel much different. I am a little concerned that Kelly wasn't able to put MSU or Michigan away but that happens. I think how the team responds will tell us more about how Kelly's tenure turns out than the first 4 games."

"I don't think anyone can watch the last four games and come off with positive feelings about where our program is right now. Given that we're in a different offense, I hesitate to make comparisons on that side of the ball - although I think Dayne Crist looks good for a first year starter - but defensively, I think tackling is much improved from previous years. You don't see a lot of "throw the shoulder into the guy" type tackles anymore - the players wrap up and take them to the ground. That bodes well."

"Personally I think its far too early to make long term judgments on Kelly at ND at this point. History shows that even elite coaches need a year or two for their systems to take root. Saban lost to Louisiana-Monroe at home with a Crimson Tide roster that had their opponent outmanned at every position. Afterwards, he lamented, "I can't play my defense". It takes time. Carroll went 6-6 and had USC fans screaming for his head as well as Garrett's in 2001 for another failed hire."

"What comforts me is that unlike previous ND coaches, Kelly has done this before. He's not a rookie learning how to be a coach. He's a guy who has 20 years of experience at the CFB level. He knows the pitfalls, he knows what he wants to do, and he's been successful everywhere he's been. All we can do is sit, watch, and hope that his plan of action works."



ATLEagle: What is your prediction for the game?


Blue-Gray Sky: After hanging up my BGS jersey, and having been a front row witness to the last five years of Irish football, the only thing I can predict is that the game probably will not go according to any predefined script I have rattling around in my head. On paper, you'd have to think Boston College is the weaker squad coming in. I think ND should win the game, but as always in this series, it's best to chuck any expectations out the window.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rettig to start

As I said on Twitter last night, Rettig will start this weekend. The coaching staff is remaining coy for a variety of reasons, but I've heard confirmation from some pretty good sources. I don't know if or when Spaz will make the official announcement but barring some unforeseen issue or injury, Chase Rettig will make his BC debut as a Boston College starter this Saturday night.


[Eds note: I don't like "breaking news" like this because of the flack and blowback I get if wrong, but I think this is pretty solid.]

Labels: , , ,

Hockey No. 1 and other links

Expectations are high for the defending National Champion Hockey team. They were voted No. 1 in the preseason USA Today poll.


Here is a nice feature on Steve Donahue. My gripe though with the oncoming narrative is how the cupboard is bare and we are setting expectations low. I don't think we have a Final Four team, but we shouldn't be in the bottom of the ACC this season. We will see how things play out.


For those who missed it, our game against NC State will be a noon kickoff on Raycom. With the way we are playing and with Duke, Maryland, Syracuse and Virginia ahead, we could be looking at a lot of ESPN3.com games this season.


While we look to our QB of the future, former Eagle Justin Tuggle committed to Kansas State. Best of luck to him.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 27, 2010

Revisiting QB controversies of the past

I really hate any time BC has a quarterback controversy. It really means one of two things:
1. The talent level is much worse than we ever imagined
2. The coaching staff is lacking perspective and leadership

Neither of those alternatives are good. In this case I think the staff mishandled the QBs. We will find out shortly. Regardless, a change usually provides a breath of fresh air and helps the team progress. Here is a look back on the QB controversies since the Henning era. In most cases, making the change paid off for BC.

1995: Mark Hartsell vs Matt Hasselbeck

The situation: Hartsell was the big armed incumbent. But his problem was never his arm, it was his decision making (sound familiar). He looked lost at times. Hasselbeck was an afterthought. He was the backup while the QB of the future Scott Mutryn redshirted.
What happened: Hartsell was giving games away -- most blatantly against Michigan State -- and Hasselbeck showed promise in a few mop up series. Hartsell missed a start against Army and Hasselbeck got his chance. BC got killed by the Black Knights that day and Hasselbeck didn't look like the QB he would become. Hartsell would take back over, continue to play bad football and BC would have a losing season.
Verdict:
Hasselbeck should have played more. As we would soon find out, Matt was a very good QB. He didn't have the pedigree or the biggest arm, so the coaches didn't want him, yet he showed that QB is also about pressure and in game decisions.


1996: Matt Hasselbeck vs Scott Mutryn

The situation: Mutryn was the chosen one and Hasselbeck was the guy who "wasn't as good as Hartsell."
What happened: After a competitive summer camp, Mutryn was named the starter for BC's opener in Hawaii. He struggled and Hasselbeck came off the bench in relief. He led BC to a last minute win and won the job.
Verdict:
BC has a terrible year but it wasn't Matt Hasselbeck's fault. He played well and kept us in a few games. In the whole scheme of things Mutryn was a pretty good QB, just not as good as Matt.


2003: Quinton Porter vs Paul Peterson

The situation: Porter was the groomed product of the TOB system. Peterson was a undersized JUCO transfer.
What happened: Porter was the starter, while Peterson got a series or two in the second quarter to get him game experience. To many fans, Peterson looked good in his limited time but he never did anything to set himself apart. Porter injured his hand against WVU and Peterson nearly helped BC steal the game in a comeback. He started the next week and ended up being one of BC's most effective starters.
Verdict: In a way I think this situation is closest to what we have now. The coaching staff had a lot invested in Porter and wanted him to succeed for many reasons. Peterson was new on campus and "not ready" or whatever rationalization they told themselves at the time. Ultimately Peterson's ability to come in and win despite being smaller and not having the arm, show how you can't always measure a QB based on practice.


2005: Matt Ryan vs Quinton Porter

The situation: Porter was the fifth year SR ready for his time. Ryan was just a goofy kid who looked overwhelmed in the Syracuse game the year before.
What happened: Porter looked terrible and got injured against Florida State. Ryan came off the bench and looked good. He also played well in his start against Clemson. Once Porter got healthy, the job was his again. He had a terrible game against Wake Forest. Ryan came off the bench and led a miracle comeback. Porter blew the UNC game the following week. Ryan was named the starter and had a great close to the season.
Verdict: This will always be the biggest mistake of TOB's tenure. If we had won the UNC game we would have gone to the ACC Championship Game. After the Wake game it was clear to the whole world that Ryan was special and better. Yet the staff stuck to their guns. I will give Spaz credit for not making this mistake. It didn't take him two losses to admit Shinskie was not the guy.


2008: Chris Crane vs Dominique Davis
The situation: Crane was the physically talented guy who had waited his turn behind Ryan. Dominique Davis was a flyer recruit that had moved up a very shallow depth chart.
What happened: Crane was pretty bad from the start. When BC lost to Georgia Tech, the staff struggled with every option and elected to roll with Crane. Fans, including this blogger, felt they should have given Davis a chance. Just as Crane was improving he got hurt and Davis took over.
Verdict: Although Davis did enough to get BC into the Championship Game once he played most fans realized the staff was right to stick with Crane.


I wish Spaz had handled this process differently, but I think playing Rettig Saturday will benefit everyone now and in the future. I just hope he plays well enough that we look back on this and say, "we found the right guy."

Labels: , , , ,

Blogpoll Ballot

If Oregon played Alabama this week, I think the Ducks would win. So they got my No. 1 spot. Most of the ballots falls in line. The highest debut came from NC State. I am a TOB doubter, but I love Russell Wilson and think this team might be good enough to win the ACC. I have a series of questionable slottings but the one that is hardest to justify is leaving off Southern Cal. I just don't think they are as good as their record.

Games I watched

BC-VT 100% (twice)
Pitt-Miami 50%
ND-Stanford 20%
LSU-West Virginia 50%
Boise State-Oregon State 20%
Auburn-South Carolina 20%



SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

Eagle in Atlanta Ballot - Week 5

Rank Team Delta
1 Oregon Ducks Arrow_up 1
2 Alabama Crimson Tide Arrow_down -1
3 Nebraska Cornhuskers --
4 Stanford Cardinal Arrow_up 7
5 Ohio St. Buckeyes Arrow_down -1
6 Oklahoma Sooners Arrow_down -1
7 Michigan Wolverines Arrow_up 5
8 Auburn Tigers Arrow_up 8
9 N.C. State Wolfpack --
10 TCU Horned Frogs Arrow_down -2
11 LSU Tigers Arrow_down -2
12 Boise St. Broncos Arrow_up 2
13 Wisconsin Badgers --
14 Michigan St. Spartans Arrow_up 1
15 Arizona Wildcats --
16 Utah Utes Arrow_up 1
17 Florida Gators Arrow_up 1
18 Missouri Tigers Arrow_up 5
19 Nevada Wolf Pack Arrow_up 3
20 Oklahoma St. Cowboys --
21 South Carolina Gamecocks Arrow_down -11
22 Arkansas Razorbacks Arrow_down -16
23 Miami Hurricanes --
24 Penn St. Nittany Lions --
25 Clemson Tigers --
Dropouts: Texas Longhorns, West Virginia Mountaineers, USC Trojans, Boston College Eagles, Temple Owls, Northwestern Wildcats

SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »

Labels:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Second viewing thoughts and grade report: Virginia Tech

This was a bad one to watch back. Hopefully it will all be worth it at the end of the season.

Offense: F


When I watched the game live, my first impression was that Shinskie started off okay and then got worse as the line started falling apart. That wasn't the case. He was pretty bad from the start. He forced passes, missed some reads and obviously made some bad decisions and bad throws. It wasn't all his fault, but another QB might have been able to salvage a score or two. I feel for Shinskie. Maybe we will see him again, but at this point we've seen enough. He's gotten more than his fair share of starts. Despite the criticism of Marscovetra, I don't think he was terrible. His throws were on the mark. He checked down a bit too given the circumstances. The biggest problem was his ability to feel pressure. He needs to be more aware of the pocket and get rid of the ball a bit quicker. As I said in an earlier post, I think Rettig should get the starter, but Marscovetra might still be a serviceable option.


Montel Harris was the only offensive player who could hold his head high. He did his usual job of fighting for extra yards and finding holes. He also did a better job in pass protection, especially as our line started to get overwhelmed. Phifer was fine in limited use.


The wide receivers weren't blameless in this debacle. Amidon tripped over his feet on what should have been a TD. Momah dropped one of Marsco's passes. Lee couldn't stay in bounds when he had a wide open field after catching one of Shinskie's passes. Lee had a drop. Anderson was okay. Pantale didn't get thrown to.


I don't know what to make of the offensive line. As usual the tackles had trouble with the VT speed. Lapham's man stripped Shinskie on one fumble and Castonzo never took control of his matchups. Claiborne didn't start but looked good when he played. Richman was ok as was Cleary but we are not winning enough battles at the line of scrimmage.


I really don't understand our offense or our stubbornness. Even without Shinskie's decisions, we've shown that we don't have good redzone plays. Our line looks good on one play and terrible the next. We bring in Marscovetra and yet go conservative down 16 points. I know I've harped on this but I think part of the problem dating back to last season with the QBs and the oline has been the varied styles and approaches. To have success at this level, you need a certain degree of simplicity in your offense. The best offenses learn to execute certain plays, and their counters well. Yet we don't know what we do well and vear from one to another. Take for example, Marsco's first possession. The first play is the basic zone option stretch run to the left. The line executes and gets the smaller, faster, VT defense moving off the ball. Harris can run this play in his sleep, so he finds his hole and bursts down the field for 20 yards. The next play is another run. This time it is another delayed draw. In this case Cleary pulls to his right to try to kick something open and the other guys fill gaps to the left. VT is loading the box and ready for this that they all start crashing and we gain nothing. We then are forced into a passing down, they send the house, we get a penalty and the drive becomes a mess. Why can't our very experienced offensive coodinator find a basic package that we can execute? Why when VT started loading the box did we not do more short, quick outs? The offense has no identity and I think any Qb we have will suffer from it. I also keep hearing excuses and finger pointing regarding the offensive line. I don't know who is at fault but this is shaping up to be the worst BC line in 30 years. Someone needs to fix it soon.


Defense: B+


The defensive line did a very good job with Taylor. We got good penetration from Ramsey, Scafe and Gallik. Newman did a good job on contain. Albright had another very good day and is showing good speed and awareness. Altough he is not loading up the stat sheet, I think Edebali is looking good. Holloway made a few nice plays.


KPL had a very good day. I was surprised by his speed and I think he does a good job on his angles. Kuechly excellence is becoming so predictable, I have to remind myself that he is only a sophomore. Herzy is getting better with each game. I know there were a few plays were it seemed like he was a step slow, but I still don't know if he would have caught Wilson or Evans from behind two years ago. I think Mark will have a huge day against Notre Dame. Devitto got his first extended playing time. He made a few plays, but looked a little off in pass coverage. I would like to see more guys get on the field, but right now we have an embarassment of riches at LB.


Gause and Fletcher both played well. LeGrande made some nice plays in run support but lost his man on Taylor's big scramble pass. Davis was okay but not near the action much.


We kept the defense as basic as I've seen it in a long time and were very effective. W barely blitzed. We barely dropped 8 into coverage. It was the classic BC 4-3 for almost every snap. I thought all the units played well and we slowed them down for the most part. My fear going forward is that that D will start pressing thinking they have to score points to win games.


Special Teams: B-

Quigley punted well.


Fox looks good on the kick returns. I don't know if he will break one, but he seems pretty fearless.


Gause allowed one punt to roll but was okay. I was also glad to see Swigert take a risk on his one attempt.


Overall: D


I will try not to allow my feelings about Spaz or how he mishandled the QBs this offseason influence this grade. Regardless of how well the defense played and how many mistakes Shinskie made, I still felt Spaz mismanaged the game. On the final drive before the half, we burned TOs and we too methodical. I also think we should have been more aggresive when we brought in Marscovetra. But my biggest gripe was that we didn't use a hurry up when down 16 in the second half. Instead we kept huddleing wasting valuable time. I know comeback is against the odds, but Spaz didn't help the cause by taking his sweet time. The challenge was the same way. Someone must have told Spaz it was a dropped pass, but he still challenged anyway, which burned another timeout. Did we need that timeout? No. But Spaz didn't know that at the time. Finally and this might be silly but the punt at the end of the final BC drive drove me nuts. Why not at least let the kid rip it on 4th down?


Spaz had two weeks to prepare for this game and laid an egg. He had two years to find a functional QB and hasn't. He mishandled the QB situation form the start of spring ball and now is paying the price. Now he has a week to get things right.

Labels: , ,

The right move is to start Rettig

I tweeted the Rettig news this morning as soon as I heard it. BCMike asked if Chase would started and I replied that I couldn't confirm. Come to find out, Spaz is leaving the job open for Marscovetra or Rettig. This opens up a whole (welcome) can of worms that we will discuss and digest all week. Although he is getting thrown under the bus by some fans too, I have not given up on Marscovetra yet. But I think the move this week should be to start Rettig. Here is why: it's Notre Dame. This game means everything and it means nothing.

Everything.
Rettig will be under the most intense spotlight you can imagine. He will make his first college start in primetime in a game that means more to BC fans than any other. He will be taking on college football's most revered program. If he can handle the pressure and succeed, you have the foundation for a great career. Conversely there is so little downside.

Nothing.
Notre Dame is bad this year and has a porous defense. The game means nothing in the ACC standings. If he has a rough day you can always bring in Marscovetra in the second half.


As important as the starter is the attitude and plan of the coaching staff. Shinskie and many parts of the offense were not good on Saturday, but I think we didn't do anyone any favors with our game plan. I understand that execution is part of it, but so are adjustments and finding some basic concepts and plays that work. BC didn't do enough of that on Saturday.


I can't speak to Spaz's motivation or why he mishandled the QB spot so far. But I can say that this season is still very manageable and still has the recipe to be special. We have a very good defense and a very forgivable schedule. I understand that Rettig might be a disaster. That is the chance you take and that is the responsibility Spaz took on when he made the move from DC to head coach.


But this is BC. Strange things can happen. If we are going to have one of those special, "how did this happen," runs, it starts this Saturday and it starts with Chase Rettig.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Why do I seem more upset than our Head Coach?

I know there is much more to being a head coach than emotion and outward appearances. I know that coaches handle things differently and Spaz tends towards the "handle our business behind closed doors" but why is he not more upset after a second consecutive embarrassment game against the Hokies? Last year we had issues at QB and the emotional drain of the Herzy illness. This year there are no built in excuses. This team has potential. Is it good enough to win the division? Maybe not, but we certainly shouldn't be smirking after another shutout. Am I overreacting here?

Labels: , ,

What a waste

We wasted a great defensive effort today. Especially from Albright, KPL and Herzy. We also wasted a whole half. Shinskie was melting down, but if you are going to bring in Marsco why handcuff him with play calling designed to kill clock not spark a comeback? We also wasted the first two games, because we clearly have a QB issue and we never gave Marscovetra (or Rettig) serious snaps to get them ready for ACC play.


This game and situation reminded me a lot of the 2008 loss to Georgia Tech. In that game we outplayed the Jackets but our QB cost us. We rebounded and road a great defense to the ACC Championship Game. Our D is very good, I just don't know if our coaching staff can "smoke and mirror" enough out of our offense to win games.


Second viewing thoughts and grades will come out late Sunday night.

Labels: , , ,

In-game comments post: Virginia Tech

Some of the best and worst moments of this blog have come during Virginia Tech games. I hope today's game adds to the best memories! You can commemorate this game with brilliant in-game comments below!


My colleague Dan Silver will be chatting live from the BC press box during the game from the Eagle Insider Chat Room (you enter from the Eagle Insider message boards). He'll have updates on injuries and tell us if he sees any NFL scouts or BC recruits. Dan is still having some issues from his knee surgery, so he will be online but not from the press box.


You can also join discussions on the Eagle Insider Message Boards.


I will be tweeting periodically through the game.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, September 24, 2010

No "b-tch" chant and other links

As WZBC first reported via Twitter, the Band will be silent after first downs Saturday. Hopefully that will end the stupid "bitch" chant.


The classics never go out of style, so I give you a crappy photoshop of Spaz as Mario.


Recruiting target Isaiah Jones could be our first Western Mass impact player in a few seasons.


Here is my Friday Focus on Eagle Insider.


BC is talking to 2012 PA OT Chris Muller.

Labels: ,

Game Watches: Virginia Tech

This game is on Raycom so many of you will have to go to a sports bar to watch. If you do, might as well watch with other Eagles. If I missed any location, please post it in the comments. Also note, many chapters are raising the bar with turnout and special events. See San Francisco's note below for young alums and open bar...which is impressive when you consider the games start for them at 9 AM. (Do you see why I think the Bay Area crew deserve a BC game at San Jose State?)


Also, please note that I get more emails related to the controversy regarding New York City game watches than any other location. The "official" watch is at Vertigo, but there are many other BC friendly bars, including Thunder Jackson's and Pat O'Briens. I am not picking favorites just relaying information. And if the game watch experience in Manhattan is so awful, how about jumping on a train or bus to Boston? You might have more fun.


Atlanta Game Watch
Central City Tavern
1801 Howell Mill Road, #400
Atlanta, GA


Charlotte Game Watch
The Flying Saucer
9605 N. Tryon St., Suite A
Charlotte, NC 28262



Chicago Game Watch

Trinity
2721 North Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614-1413



Dallas Game Watch

Christie's Sports Bar
2811 McKinney Avenue
Dallas, TX 75204-8567


Denver Game Watch
Big Game Restaurant & Lounge
1631 Wazee St
Denver, CO 80202



Kansas City Game Watch

Jack Gage's American Tavern
5031 Main St (just south of the Plaza)



Las Vegas Game Watch

Steiner's Nevada-Style Pub
8410 W Cheyenne Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89129


New York City Game Watches
Vertigo
354 Third Avenue at 26th Street


Thunder Jackson's
Bleecker and Sullivan



Orange County, CA Game Watch

Mutt Lynch's
2300 West Oceanfront
Newport Beach, CA



Palm Beach Game Watch

Brus Room Sports Grille
5460 W. Hillsboro Blvd.
Coconut Creek, Fl

Philadelphia Game Watch
Fox and Hound
1501 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102


Phoenix Game Watch

Gallagher's Sports Bar and Grill
7575 N. 16th Street, Phoenix


San Diego Game Watch

La Jolla Brew House
7536 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037
**The owner of the La Jolla Brewhouse has offered BC fans some great specials for the game including:
$1 off craft pints (Exclusive to BC Alumni)
$15 Buckets of Miller Light bottles (5 included)
$3 Coors Light Drafts
$4 Bloody Marys and Mimosas
$5 Wings and Sliders



San Francisco Game Watch

Shanghai Kelly's
2064 Polk Street
(between Broadway St & Pacific Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94109
***The NorCal Chapter will be hosting a young alumni event to welcome the class of 2010. All alumni are invited to come out, watch the game, welcome some new graduates to the area and have a few on us. That’s right – the NorCal Chapter will be helping to pick up the tab. From 10:00-11:00am we will be hosting open bar.


Sarasota Game Watch

Gecko's Grill & Pub
5585 Palmer Crossing Cir.
Sarasota, FL



Tampa Game Watch

Champp's at International Plaza


Washington, D.C. Game Watch NEW LOCATION**
The Rookery
2519 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

BC-Virginia Tech preview

Here we go again. Another season, another fork in the road when we come up against Virginia Tech. When we were slotted as cross division rivals, I don't think anyone anticipated what a litmus test the Hokies would become for us. They even served dual purposes for BC in 2007 and 2008. Proving first in the regular season that we were legitimate threats to win the conference. And then showing that we weren't ready to break through with two defeats in ACC Championship Games. Now it is the Hokies who are looking for validation. They enter 1-2 and don't know how good or bad they might be. If they beat BC, it will signal that they are still the favorite to win the ACC. If they lose to us, their whole season might unravel.


[NEW FEATURE] Overlooked storyline for the game: Both team's ACC schedules
Both teams clearly need a win, but this game might not be as important as it might seem. As BC fans know, our cross division games this year are Duke and Virginia. We should be favored in both and those two wins should provide a nice boost in our ACC standings. The Hokies have Wake Forest and NC State. While NC State looks improved, they still missed a bowl game last year and TOB has a horrid record against Beamer.


Three Simple Keys
1. Get to Taylor. Last year on Virginia Tech's first TD pass, Taylor scrambled all around before launching a bullet. Morrissey just missed getting the sack, and although the game was never close, I felt that type of play was a back breaker. Now -- with our healthy front four and stacked LB corp -- I think we can contain and pressure Taylor. If he is rushed and flustered, VT's offense will struggle.
2. Aggressive offensive play calling. I felt we sort of played into Virginia Tech's hands last year with the play calling. Instead of protecting Shinskie and establishing the run, I think we need to pass out of the gate. I would also like to see some shots downfield early.
3. Mistake free offensive line play. Virginia Tech saw what Kent State did. Why wouldn't they stunt and blitz too? I imagine they will also come after Spinney. So BC's OL needs to be very disciplined with assignments and avoid mental errors.


Gambling Notes

-- Virginia Tech has not won at Alumni since 2002
-- Virginia Tech is 16-1 in their past 17 road openers
-- BC is 2-3 in ACC openers
The current line is BC+4


Factoid

Tyrod Taylor has played BC four times (he missed the 2007 regular season game). In those four games he has only amassed 524 yards of total offense.


Scoreboard Watching

The most telling game will be NC State vs Georgia Tech. Can TOB's guys go on the road and stop the Yellow Jackets' triple option? If they win, then their start is legitimate and they have to be considered a threat to win the division.


I hope to see...

Dave Shinskie light them up. I really think this might be our most talented group of receivers since the 1980s. Virginia Tech will play plenty of man defense and give these guys chances to make plays. We just need Shinskie to get them the ball.


BC is in trouble if…

The offensive line struggles. If they are overwhelmed by VT's speed and aggressiveness upfront, I think the offense will struggle all day.


Bottom Line

I am still unsure of both teams. I still think this can be a very, very good BC team. I don't like what I've seen from Virginia Tech, but trust Beamer and staff to get things turned around. For this game, I see BC getting up early and holding off a VT comeback in the second half.
Final Score: BC 24, Virginia Tech 17

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eagles 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.

Labels: , ,

Guest Blogger: VirginiaTechFan.com

Now that we are playing teams with significant followings, I can roll out the guest bloggers again. This week I asked Glenn from VirginiaTechFan.com to answer a few questions regarding this year's Hokie team and their rough start. My questions and his answers are below.




ATLEagle: Ryan Williams looks like he is not going to play. Does that change Virginia Tech's game plan at all?

VirginiaTechFan.com: It shouldn’t. If there is any position that Virginia Tech has depth, it is running back. Ryan Williams was clearly the best back going into the season, but frankly hasn’t looked great so far this year (not all his fault), and the backups Darren Evans and David Wilson are starters on most teams. Wilson especially is a talent that has shown some real flashes, but hasn’t gotten enough carries yet, so if anything VT fans are looking forward to seeing what he can do as a more featured back.


The biggest problem the Hokies have with the running game isn’t Williams hamstring, it’s the performance of the offensive line.


ATLeagle: Against East Carolina, the team found itself down again but this time they came back and won handily. Do you think that was a turning point or are the problems from the first two games still an issue?

VirginiaTechFan.com: Well they did play an excellent 2nd half to win handily but I’m not sold. The defense was horrid in the first half, and credit Foster for doing what he does best in making the proper adjustments. But they are very, very green on defense and especially thin on the defensive line. Boston College will exploit that for sure. As far as the offense, they looked very good but so has everyone against East Carolina this year.


For the Hokies, I expect it to be a year where every game is a major hurdle. It’s just the way this team looks.

ATLeagle: There are a lot of new faces on the defensive side of the ball. Has that changed Foster's style or scheme?

VirginiaTechFan.com: Fundamentally no, but in the last game against ECU he played a nickel defense virtually the whole game, which was quite unusual. Some of that is due to ECU’s Texas Tech-type spread offense, but some of that you can definitely attribute to the personnel his got. Being thin on d-line and linebacker, Foster went with more DBs where VT actually has more talent so he could play to his strengths.


Foster said on the call-in show this week that this nickel-type defense is something he’d been studying and working on in the off-season as a package to add the VT defensive mix, mainly to give opponents something else to prepare for. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of it.


ATLEagle: What is your prediction for the game?


VirginiaTechFan.com: Well who knows with this Virginia Tech team. They are not good in where its most important – offensive line and defensive line. Given the struggles the Hokies have had in Chestnut Hill historically (with much better teams), I don’t feel too optimistic. I think Virginia Tech will score some points, I just think BC’s physical offense will be able to push the VT defensive around. How about BC 27 21 VT.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BC Marketing makes bold move with ICE JAM

Why have a ho hum old Midnight Madness when you can have a four team, two sport smorgasbord christened "ICE JAM"?


The first ever event of its kind will include a half a basketball court and a half a rink. Celebrity parent and really nice guy Bob Costas will host the event on October 26. It's free so I hope students show up in force for the contests and displays.


For years people have whined about not having Midnight Madness. While confusing and potentially awkward, this show/pep rally/event is a nice new step by BC. I am glad Steve Donahue is on board, because in addition to the Xs and Os, we need him to sell BC basketball.


I don't know if this will work, but BC deserves credit for trying.

Labels: , , , ,

Donahue closes on a couple of Californians

Although we would love to have a team filled with Boston kids, BC coaches have to search far and wide for talent, and Steve Donahue has found some in California. He recieved commitments from two California prospects in Ryan Anderson and Lonnie Jackson. The two are on the same AAU team and visited BC together this past weekend.

Anderson is skinny power forward who is more shooter than a banger. He fits in with Donahue's "everyone can shoot from any space on the floor" philosophy.


Jackson is a good student who was also considering programs like Stanford and Arizona State. He's another shooter, but you hope he can also play a little point guard when needed.


We now have five recruits for the 2011 class and have a good mix of size and shooting. Of course there is still room for Alex Murphy, but the pressure on Donahue to get bodies is now eased a bit. What will be interesting is watching a BC team where everyone likes to shoot. I hope someone is willing to rebound a bit!

Labels: ,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Depth Chart shuffle and other links

The Depth Chart came out and surprised some people with the new look at RG. Mark Spinney will start over Thomas Claiborne. I asked BC for an official explanation and did not get one. The consistent rumor I did hear was that this was not performance based, rather an internal "team rules" sort of thing and that Claiborne will probably play Saturday.


Isaac Johnson is heading to Cincinnati. Best of luck to him, but the whole thing seems weird. What is going to happen in Cincy that he couldn't have accomplished here?


Catch up with former Eagle Markell Blount.

Labels: ,

Golf and ND tickets available as part of Kevin Eidt fundraiser

I didn't know Kevin Eidt, but I was a BC student when he died suddenly in 1997. That sort of tragic loss can often be catalysts for friends and family, and Kevin's family did just that. They established a scholarship fund (details of the Fund background, awards, and commitments can be found at www.kevinsfund.org) and hold a variety of events to support the fund.


One of their annual events is a golf tournament on a football weekend. This year the 12th annual Kevin Eidt Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament is Sunday October 3rd at Wayland Country Club (Wayland, MA). This year in addition to the regular golf registration, the charity also has a set of 4 BC/ND tickets for the weekend of the golf tournament. The seats are in section FF and are available along with a 4-some package for Sunday’s tournament for $1,000. $440 of this package is tax deductible.


This opportunity is first come first serve. If you are interested contact Kevin's brother Christian by email (cjeidt@optonline.net).


For more on the golf outing go to http://www.kevinsfund.org/golf/kmegolf.htm

Labels:

Primetime for BC-Notre Dame

As I first said on Twitter, BC-Notre Dame will be a night game. The ESPN/ABC channel is still to be determined.

Labels:

Rettig: redshirt or ready?

In his the notes section of his latest column, Conroy mentioned the true freshmen who may still see playing time this year:
Spaziani spent the week getting longer looks at some true freshmen that will see some action.

Spaziani didn’t mention any numbers, but linebacker Steele DeVitto has been on the bubble. The staff also wanted to give a long look to wide receivers Shakim Phillips and Alex Amidon, both of whom missed most of training camp with hamstring injuries.

“Because of our situation, depth-wise and where we are in the program, we’re going to have to play some of these guys on special teams and put them in backup roles,” said Spaziani. “We know we’re going to need them down the road and we don’t have the luxury of (redshirting).” . . .


Not mentioned is true freshman quarterback Chase Rettig. Surprisingly the idea of whether they should redshirt Rettig is still being kicked around the Yawkey offices. But the staff knows they are reaching the point of no return. Using him with say only six games left is a waste. You either use him now and let him take his lumps or groom him as planned and let him play next year.


This decision would be much easier if Shinskie showed a bit more consistency. Rettig's continued improvement also muddles the situation.


Virginia Tech will be the test. Shinskie got better against Kent State, but we still don't know if he can be that good every game. If he can hold up against the Hokies and execute the offense, Rettig will redshirt. If the offense sputters again, this debate will go into overdrive next week.

Labels: , , , ,

Blogpoll ballot Week 3

I have only undefeated teams ranked this week. This not some sort of grand design or strict adherence to resume ranking. It is more a result of looking at all that teams that have lost so far and not thinking much of any of them. In fact I think the best team with a loss might be Georgia -- which has two losses. But both losses were to quality opponents. I moved BC up a bit just based on the teams that moved around us. The only team I feel slightly guilty about is NC State. I actually think they've looked good. It is just that my TOB bias is making me doubt how long they will sustain this momentum.

Games I watched

NC State-Cincinnati 50%
Georgia Tech-North Carolina 50%
Georia-Arkansas 10%
Michigan State-Notre Dame 50%
Clemson-Auburn 50%
Temple-UConn 10%
Cal-Nevada 20%
Stanford-Wake Forest 50%



Labels:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Still no love in the polls and other links

I didn't think we would be ranked after a bye week, but I am surprised BC is not gaining more traction in the polls. We are still in the bottom half of the other team's receiving votes list.


With Mike Dantonio suffering a heart attack Saturday nightl, former BC assistant Don Treadwell is now acting head coach of Michigan State. Treadwell is just the latest assistant from TOB's first year to become a head coach. Treadwell also interviewed with Gene after Jags was fired.


Here's Kevin Armstrong's excellent piece on Kiwi.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

VT kickoff time and other links

The Virginia Tech game will kickoff at noon. It will be syndicated on the Raycom/ACC Network. Good news for the Parent's Weekend crowd. Now Parents can take kids to dinner Saturday night. Not great news for those BC fans outside of ACC markets who will either go to a sports bar, buy ESPN Gameplan or watch on ESPN3.com.


Although talk seems to focus on Duke and Florida, BC remains a player for basketball recruit Alex Murphy. Some of Murphy's teammates are also gaining attention.


John Loughery is considered one of the best QBs in the Philly area. He has interest in BC but doesn't have an offer.


Does Marc Colombo have one more comeback left in him?

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Some recruiting news and other links

It looks like it will come down to BC and Pitt for Pennsylvania prospect Brandon Clemons.


He committed a few days ago, but here is a story on future Eagle Victor Nelson.


Here is a breakdown of Castonzo's play. While they show a few rough moments against UNC from last year, I still think he holds up as a Top 10 pick.


Men's soccer beat BU Friday night.

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Where is the Wildcat?

As BC struggled to establish the run on Sunday, I kept wondering why didn't we use the "Bazooka" (Tranq's version of the Wildcat). Last year it was a relatively effective tool and created big plays against NC State. I can only think of two reasons:

1. We are 'saving it' for bigger/ACC games. I can sort of understand this reasoning. The games against Weber State and Kent State were never really in doubt. Putting one of our key plays on tape for future opponents wouldn't have been worth the potential big play we would have against our first two opponents. While I understand this argument, I don't agree with it. I think it would have been better to practice it in live situations. I also think the beauty of any play is to use it, put it on tape and then add a counter or variation against future opponents.


2. We don't have the personnel for it.
Montel was the key, but Rich Gunnell and Jeff Smith were also part of the formations. We did use Clyde Lee in motion on the play but never gave him the ball. He was always a decoy. I know we have practiced it this summer. Let's hope that it is not buried because they don't like the player options. Lee, Flutie (as a passer), Finch and Swigert could all compliment Montel in using the Bazooka this year.

Labels: , ,

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.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hoops, movies, Meter and other links

With the basketball season just a few weeks away, I am starting the hoops coverage over at Eagle Insider. Considering it is a transition year, I don't expect us to make the tournament. Neither does this blogger.


Here is BC's video of the Kent State game day experience.


If you are on Facebook, you should certainly fan the BC page and check out the hockey team's visit to Washington while you are there.


There are some agent rumors surrounding basketball transfer Matt Humphrey. I am not concerned about any of it. Clearly we didn't get the Matt or his friends as part of a package.


Jon Meterparel has been prepping for his current job for a long time.


It is nice to see Alex Albright finally healthy.


BC guy Jay Sartori is now Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. Congrats to him.


Ben Aflleck's new movie was based on a novel written by a BC grad Chuck Hogan.

Labels: , , ,

More credit to The Heights and to Shinskie

Commentor mod34b pointed this out and I felt it was worth mentioning to a wider audience. Based on how it looked, I assumed Shinskie's TD to Swigert was a little lucky. It was behind Swigert and in between three Kent State defenders. Swigert made a great adjustment for his first touchdown. As it turns out it wasn't luck. From the Heights:
“They were playing man to man, and the defender wasn’t really looking, and I saw Bobby put his hand up,” Shinskie said. “I underthrew it because the guy had his back turned, and Bobby made an easy comeback to the ball.

“It was a great catch by Bobby, his first touchdown, I feel good for him.”


Hats off to the Heights writer Gregg Joyce for getting the quote and explanation. And hats off to Shinskie and Swigert for making the sorts of adjustments you wouldn't expect from two relatively inexperienced guys.

Now being a blogger who is watching on tv thousands of miles away, my opinions are often wrong since I don't have the benefit of asking the players and coaches what happened. I am glad the Heights included these quotes. They are the type of wonky stuff I love that the Boston papers seem to overlook or ignore.

Labels: , ,

Miss Manners: You cheer for and attend BC, not West Virginia


Dear Miss Manners:

I was wondering what your thoughts were about this “First Down...Bitch” chant that has apparently been going around Alumni? As a grad in the class of ’08, we didn’t have stuff like this. It’s not even the profanity, it’s just stupid. The chant is not imaginative. It’s not creative. And it’s dumb. You know at some point BC is going to be losing a game, they’re going to get a first down, and the chant is going to come out. At that point, who cares? Look, I applaud the underclassmen and new Eagles for taking initiative and trying to start some new traditions. And it’s not that I’m offended by the language. I’m offended by stupidity and a lack of creativity, both of which this dumb cheer reeks of.

-- Matt '08


Matt:

You captured the problem with this cheer succinctly. It is neither clever nor creative. What ever points the BC students get for originality is negated by the stupidity of the chant. While you may not be offended by the language, there are sure to be plenty of fans who are. Anyone attending a college football game can expect to hear a few offcolor remarks, but a coordinated and consistent chant -- after every first down no less -- is too much. Boston College has an image and an environment that it protects and projects fiercely. Six thousand Superfans yelling "bitch" is not consistent with that image.


The SuperFan movement was organic and came from passionate students. BC grabbed a hold of it and helped turn a few yellow shirts into a tradition. The "First Down...bitch" is as organic. I expect BC to mute it with the same efficiency they helped the original SuperFans.


I am sure some of the "bitch" yellers will view BC and older fans as humorless or grumpy. What they don't realize is that the thousands of people annoyed by their cheer were once sitting in those same student seats. With time, perspective and a little class, they will realize that the "bitch" cheer doesn't belong at Alumni.

Labels: ,