Monday, March 16, 2015

Why the Spring Game will always be a problem

BC cancelled their annual Spring Game. While they buried it in the announcement of their open scrimmage, the traditional Jay McGillis Spring Game will not take place in 2015. This is the second time in three years the game has been called off (the 2013 game was cancelled in the wake of Marathon bombing). At this point I don't know if it ever will or should held again.

Ideally the Spring Game is a capstone to spring practices and a fun day for fans and recruits. For a variety of reasons the BC Spring Game never draws a crowd and never generates much excitement with recruits. For a school like BC it makes sense to have a smaller, more intimate event -- like the open practice -- that allows Addazio to show off his team to the constitutes that matter and not explain away an empty stadium.

As much as I want the Spring Game to become a real event, I don't know if it ever can at BC. We have a few inherent challenges that will always create problems.

-- The University Schedule
BC has an early Spring Break and an extended long weekend at Easter. On some years Easter is quickly followed by Patriots' Day. Those breaks disrupt the flow of practices. Programs are only allowed a certain number of practices. With two long breaks annually (and a third thrown in most years), coaches have to decide to start practice early or late. If you start early the Spring Game is cold. If you start late, you get better weather for the Spring Game but kill practice momentum due to breaks at Easter and Patriots' Day.

-- The Weather
We've had some nice spring game days in the past few years, but the weather remains a crap shoot. BC can never really plan on a great spring day and the fans are always going to wait to see the weather before they turn out in droves.

-- The roster limitations
We are always going to lack an army of walk-ons who fill out spring games across the country. Throw in the inevitable injuries and each spring BC doesn't have enough players to field two 'teams'. That leads to convoluted offense vs defense formats that the fans cannot really understand.

BC is not the first school to cancel their Spring Game. I don't know if this will be permanent. If no one misses it and recruits like the new concept, then I have no problem trading out the Spring Game for an annual open practice. Sometimes new traditions are better than old ones.


CT said...

I've read all the excuses here and on BCI as well as the buried press release and all the reasons come across as small-time and reinforcing of the narrative that most know to be true.

Was this mentioned at the latest town hall? Guessing not.

Sadly, this is hardly surprising, though I do wonder if this is a permanent thing or more temporary?

Yeah. College football is wasted on that city. Too bad.

Unknown said...

Too much coincidence. Recently retired, I was just thinking about the spring game, figuring it would be a good reason for a long weekend in Boston. Might have been the first step in becoming a better fan, having thrown in the towel on my season's tickets a while ago.

ATL_eagle said...


They've tried different things to mixed results (at best). It might seem small time, but maybe it is better than continuing to bang our head against a wall. As a fan, I've seen five coaches and three ADs try different things with regards to the Spring Game. None of it took. Let's try something new.

mod10aeagle said...

BC struggles to get a quorum of "fans" to meaningful games, and that's not just football and basketball, where they've been scuffling for a few years. They rarely fill Conte for men's hockey games, even when the team is a perennial national championship contender/defender. The attempts to make a big deal out of the spring game have been loopy, at best. It's about time the staff accepted it as just a scrimmage that's open to the public.