Thursday, May 16, 2013

BC fans are not teaching our children well

I've read "My Dad Loves Boston College Football" hundreds of times. Any time my son brings it over, I am helpless to resist. Yet today was the first time I realized what a dangerous book it was and how it captures all that is wrong with BC fandom. This cute little children's book is proof that BC's fan issues are "nurture" not nature. Don't believe me? It is right there on the pages. Take a look:

For those who can see the text, it reads: "Before the game starts we set up the tailgate. When I'm cooking with Daddy everything is just great." Harmless, right? Now look closer. If you look at the Upper Deck in the background, you will see that the Alumni is full (or nearly full). And this dad is still out at his tailgate throwing the football around and eating. He doesn't care if he is in the stadium at kickoff and he is teaching his son the same thing.

Now if you think I am overthinking this, check out the next page:

This time the text reads: "We look for our seats with the rest of the crowd. Inside Alumni Stadium it gets really loud." Once again look at the picture. Does it look like most of the crowd is looking for their seats? No, the stadium is full and this Father of the Year is just getting inside. Plus, look at the food and drinks he picked up. That easily delayed him getting to his seats. I am betting it is the Second Quarter by the time he finally sits down. And little Junior is going to think this is how BC fans support their team.

I've been preaching that if we are ever going to change the fan culture around BC it will start with the young SuperFans. Now I've lost hope. If this is what we are reading to them now, I don't know if they will ever learn.


JBQ said...

Is this a "fairy tale" or what? Tailgating is all about a family atmosphere. Does it really matter what time "the bell tolls"? It still tolls for thee. Just where do you tailgate? I guess that you could put a flotilla out on the reservoir or even put up a block party on the Green Line. The tailgating is done in the garage. There is no space to tailgate on campus. You don't want to use the sacrosanct area next to the "locked tight Church". Just where? I have been to a game at ND (against Indiana) and tailgating is done in a "field of dreams". At BC, it is done amidst the car exhaust. "Methinks, thou dost protest too much".

C. Scanz said...

Billy...I'm all for the "Get there for kickoff (if the team is worth watching)", but definitely over-analyzing here. The only issue with the pages you showed is that it appears Spazoo is tailgating in the first picture. Spazoo should never be allowed near Alumni least not until the team becomes respectable again.

ATL_eagle said...


I never noticed Spaz there before. See there are so many levels to this book. Now if you'll excuse me i have to get back to my bunker and my tinfoil hats.

Big Jack Krack said...

I would like to see most of us in our seats in time to greet the band and the team.

It can make for a more exciting experience than squeezing in late - 5 or 10 minutes after kickoff.

I know that I seem dated - but it's true.

This problem has been going on for some time. I remember when Tennessee came to town in 1987 - they brought the whole band - "The Best Band in the Southland". Unfortunately there were only about 500 of us to watch them perform before kickoff.

We should somehow encourage people to get to their seats. Improving parking opportunities and providing pre-game tents, etc. is a small start. Providing good prizes randomly for early arriving fans might help. How about a chance to get free seats at a later game?

eagleboston said...

The atmosphere was shit even when we had Matt Ryan and Jags. ATL is right. The game day experience at BC is pathetic and we have no one to blame but ourselves. College football is just plain not a big deal in Boston and probably never will be. I attend 2-3 Big 10 and Big 12 games each year and the tailgating is 100 x better than BC and the fans are in their seats and fired up for kick-off. I think I have been to 1 game at Alumni in the past 12 years where the crowd was pumped at game time (to be fair, the crowd is usually fired up by the end of the 1st). We have it within our power to change the culture. I just think it is a momentous task and will take a very serious, concerted effort.

OB68 said...

OK, so I have read and listened to the many complaints about the tailgate (or lack thereof) at BC. I also have attended games at ND where the fields open on Thursday evening to accommodate the RVs for the Sat game. I have not however attended a tailgate at a school located on an urban campus like BC. Are there similarly located schools that do a significantly better job, and what/how do they do it? What is the tailgate like at Syracuse or Pitt? Do they have parking lots at the stadium that they use, or athletic fields or do they use the campus neighborhood? What are your experiences with other schools? Are we prisoners of our physical plant and therefore never to have a "true tailgate experience"?

shoule92 said...

Bill-Very glad to hear you are sharing your BC passion with your son as it was the birth of my son that inspired me to write "My Daddy Loves Boston College Football" in the first place. Your blog has had a great reputation for a long time now and has kept a lot of BC fans connected so I appreciate your keen eye to the details of the illustrations. I never noticed that myself either, but hopefully with our new AD and coaching staff, the program will start moving in the right direction and full stands will become a consistent reality. With Father's Day coming up and the start of the season a few months later, what a great gift the book would be for Dads, grandfathers, uncles,etc. all across BC nation.

As a season ticket holder since back when I was a student, I can count on one hand the number of games I have attended where, win or lose, I was not still at my seat for the singing of the Alma Mater at the end of the game. My Dad raised me to take my hat off during the National Anthem and wait until it is over before I start clapping. I am an "all-weather" fan, there to support our team in good times and bad, which is why I drive up from Queens each Saturday to watch the Eagles play (growing up a Mets fan was pretty good preparation for the last few football seasons - haha). These are the same values I plan on instilling in my children and I have shared your vision for many years now about trying to improve the fan culture. We can all do our part. Keep up the good work Bill and GO BC!

:) said...

Shoul92 - You were very eloquent in your response to AtlEagle's blog on your book...I will not be.

"BC fans are not teaching our children well" is the title of this post. My children will be taught to value their country, their family and their friends. Not the start of a game (in which they or a loved one are not participating). My children will be taught to respect elders, their teachers and others. Not the start of a game.

I was brought up with those values and hence I know where in life sports and being a fall. BCers are evolved and intelligent and hence value more than a game or a start of a game.

BC wants more people in the stands, the solution is simple. Significantly expand tailgating hours, do not close off Shea, stop with the unnecessary rules and the nazi tactics to get people to abide by the ridiculous rules.

Unless it's a big game, I'm one of the ones who stays with my family and friends until I am forced in. Does that make me a "bad" fan..not when I am driving as far as I do several times per sport season. Not when my family is season tix holders for two sports, pays for a tailgating spot and also supports an athletic scholarship. But when I come to BC I want to spend time with my family and friends. Give me more time to do so and I will be inclined to get into the game earlier.

I love your blog and visit it daily. But today you pissed me off. This author wrote a book about his love for BC for his children and you state that he is not teaching his children well?!?

ATL_eagle said...


The author of the book got the joke. I don't think you did. Sorry I pissed you off.

McDeere's Bombardier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McDeere's Bombardier said...

Love this book. Each time I read it to my daughter, I'm careful to point out how the football program went up in smoke with Spaz at the, grill. The illustrator must be an EO poster.

:) said...

Atl - glad to hear it.

Mike_S said...

Shoul92: Thanks so much for writing the book!! Both my daughter and son have read it with me a zillion times. They are now both looking forward to the ride down from SF (where we live) to LA for the USC game this year, while even at their ages they fully understand how much of an upset the road win would be!! :-)

My favorite part of the book is at the end where both the Dad and the son just got home from the game and are already dreaming about next week. I know I was that way with my Dad with all Red Sox/BC/other sporting events we attended, and I know my son is like that already with Giants/Stanford/other events we can attend out here.

Atl: Great job with the column!!

Dan McKeon said...

Folks: this is satire.

Ease up.

I, for one, found it hilarious

bcchuck said...

Anyone here ever take a young kid to a game? The key is too keep them entertained so they will want to go to another game. Yes, you might miss a few minutes of the first quarter to get them that pretzel and soda they want, but it is well worth it when they ask you when the next game will be!
Keep reading My Daddy Loves BC Football and keep bringing your kids to BC games!