Have you ever watched 1984 Boston College-West Virginia game on ESPN Classic? Whenever its on, I find myself sucked in. I'll watch until the end as BC goes down on downs. I know how the game ends. I know BC lost. Yet all logic and rationale in my brain is turned off as a wait for Doug Flutie to change history. "I know they lost," I tell myself, "but it looks like Doug is going to do it..." Special quarterbacks will make you believe weird things.
Some schools get by on gimmick or a system. Some overwhelm you with waves of speed and talent. Neither has been BC's M.O. Our high points tend to be based on a group of kids coming together at the right time around the right Quarterback. That history is why I still have hope for the Spaz era. If we are going to rise again in the next season or two, I think it will be because of Chase Rettig and in spite of our coaching.
But I am probably pinning too much hope on Rettig. But the alternative is no hope. No upside. Prolonged boredom and despair brought on by Shinskie and Marscovetra. Sorry, I am a Catholic and a BC fan, not a nihilist. I need to believe. If Rettig isn't the answer, I am sure I will rationalize the upside of the next guy just to stave off the pain. "Maybe the time on the bench has changed Shinskie..." "I hear good things about Suntrup..."
Let me segue from feeling to a few facts that will hopefully inspire some positivity surrounding our quarterback situation. 1. This is the most experience we bring into a season without a senior starter in more than a decade. We are the only ACC team that has two quarterbacks with more than nine starts apiece. 2. Rettig attempted and completed more passes as a freshman than either Hasselbeck, St. Pierre, Porter or Ryan. 3. His completion percentage was within fractions of Shinskie's mark as a freshman. 4. Rettig was 5-4 as a starter.
The biggest unknown in all this is how Rettig or any of the other QBs progress under Kevin Rogers. How he works with our QBs and what he asks them to do could easily derail my "next big thing" narrative.
Although I welcome metrics and measurement in sports, one of the things I love about college football is that the development curve is so steep, severe and sudden, that a kid can blossom overnight. Who would have predicted that Flutie or Foley or Ryan would become what they each became based on their appearances. All you need is potential, opportunity and a spark.
Finally let me share a frustrating play from a frustrating and draining season.
Do you know why this play gives me hope? Because it all fell apart and Rettig kept fighting...just like Flutie did against West Virginia. The special ones always believe in themselves more than we believe in them.