Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Do BC fans care about Notre Dame any more?

Notre Dame visited Alumni Stadium for the first time during the fall of my freshmen year (1994). This was less than a year after BC knocked off the then undefeated Irish in South Bend. I don't think there was a bigger game or more campus excitement in my whole time as a student. Notre Dame was still elite and we were still riding the excitement of the Coughlin years. Coughlin successfully leveraged Notre Dame as part of his rebuild. The Catholic aspect and the chance to take down Goliath were easy sells to a fanbase enjoying a post-Flutie football renaissance. Painting Notre Dame as the most important game on the schedule worked so well with fans, recruits and media that BC kept doing it long after Coughlin went to Jacksonville. Now all these years later, I get a sense that BC fans don't care about the game or the rivalry all that much any more.

I don't want to say that the lack of interest is based strictly on BC's current downturn. People cared when we were bad in other years. BC fans still took over the Notre Dame campus in 1997 when TOB's first team was terrible. They still cared when TOB's second team (also a losing one) got stopped on the goal line in the final seconds of the BC-ND game. Even when during Spaz's time, some of the Irish games were intense (remember Gunnell getting in Jimmy Clausen's face?). Yet now I think BC fans have moved on. The Clemson game has become the celebrated road trip to make. Even the causal fan realizes that ACC games are really a better measuring stick for BC's success.

Another reason the game might not mean is much is the lack of frequency. Notre Dame's deal with the ACC actually hurt BC's scheduling. Now instead of playing the Irish annually we will play them about six times every ten years. That keeps Addazio or any future BC coach from using the Irish as a rallying point.

The final reason why BC fans might not care is due to Notre Dame's diminishing brand. I am not trying to be one of those Notre Dame haters. My point is that for years the Irish had a cast of coaches and players that the casual BC fan could identify...and hate. Names like Holtz, Powlus, Jarious Jackson, Davie, Willingham, Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, Charlie Weis, Jimmy Clausen and Manti Te'o. Kelly is pretty unlikable, but who else is well-known or stands out? Now with so many games accessible, the NBC deal doesn't bring the same level of notoriety. So until the Irish start either winning again at a high rate, losing in epic fashion or see their players do stupid things, they are just a bunch of gold helmets to most BC fans.

I always hated the BC-obsession with Notre Dame. I felt TOB and the Administration used it as a crutch to excuse other failures. Now I would love to see both teams "return to glory", just so there would be some excitement about the game.


chicagofire1871 said...

I still think BC being bad to mediocre for the better part of 10 years has more to do with the overall malaise than anything specific with Notre Dame.

That being said, the importance of conference games versus non-conference games is dramatically higher than it was when this series started. In theory, BC could go 0-4 in non-conference games and it would have ZERO impact on their ability to win the ACC and earn a trophy.

TheFive said...

Chicagofire is right: it's not that BC fans no longer care about ND, it's that they no longer care about BC. Beating ND would be as sweet as ever. But BC can't even sell out Alumni for it because most casual fans don't think we have a prayer.

eagletix said...

Dislike of Notre Dame, whether you are BC or not, Catholic or not, has more to do with ND fans expressions of entitlement, and the fact that ND gets sports media attention typically beyond their compettitiveness or relevence to, for instance, championship or playooff contention.

eagletix said...

Dislike of Notre Dame, whether you are BC or not, Catholic or not, has more to do with ND fans expressions of entitlement, and the fact that ND gets sports media attention typically beyond their compettitiveness or relevence to, for instance, championship or playooff contention.

JBQ said...

This morning's headlines from the Boston Globe has an article by D. Shaughnessy. Basically, he says that this is a pro sports town and that Notre Dame will pass through unnoticed.

Unknown said...

The lack of interest is because BC has been pretty bad or mediocre for almost 10 years now. There's just a lack of interest in BC football.

TheFive said...

Shank writing a column dumping on BC sports is a twice yearly fact of life. The only influence BC has is to make his regular columns inaccurate. But, in Fr. Leahy's view of the world, there is no on field embarrassment that would justify a meaningful investment in major college athletics. So, he's right. Nobody in Boston cares about BC football, up to and including the president of the university.

NEDofSavinHill said...

Last Saturday night 15 million Americans watched college football on tv. When the Red Sox are on national tv they draw one million. The Globe is owned by the Red Sox so the whores who work there have to shill for the boss and minimize the appeal of college sports and promote an unwatchable product in MLB. The Globe is losing money in a rapidly contracting industry. Their days are numbered. The most unnoticed thing in New England is the Globe.

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knucklehead said...
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knucklehead said...
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knucklehead said...

Getting used to a new cell phone.

Nobody gives a shit about Notre Dame. That says more about where Notre Dame is(or where they aren't) than it says about Boston College.

Moving the game to 3:30 is going to put the new beer sales idea to the test.

knucklehead said...

Spread is 13.5. Notre Dame will cover.

BaldEagle90 said...

BC has been terrible and uninspiring for a decade. Fr. Leahy continues his passive aggressive assault on big sports at BC. Nothing changes until Leahy goes. Don't waste your breath.

Dan Cronin said...

The reason isn't Notre Dame's diminishing brand its BCs diminished brand. Notre Dame went to the National championship this decade while BC has destroyed their program this decade. For years BC was Notre Dames foil and now we are a punchline. When the team gets good again the fans will be excited and they will be especially excited about the Notre Dame game. I'm excited for the game but it's hard to get too excited when there is little chance BC is going to win.

MUD said...

I only care about BC ND, watching ND lose is like a win for me when BC isn't playing well. Same for Duke basketball. I'm not usually a negative person, but something about those two fandoms bothers my soul.

Unknown said...

If there is such a thing as a one game season beating the fake Irish is it. The one to
Father Leahy as destroyed BC foot ball by hiring Di Floppo and Bates who are responsible
for SPAZ-DAZIO and Christian. DIFLOPPO is also responsible for firing Cathy Inglese who
under Chet Gladchuk had made BC women's basketball into a most formidable opponent.
Even beating Gino very occasionally. Floppo also sacked Al Skinner
A good measure of how bad things are is USA TODAY rated the top ten disappointments for
the 2017 season thus far and we didn't even make the top ten.

Unknown said...

It'll be interesting to see how Addazio reacts Post game after his team gets bitch slapped up and down the field next Saturday.

notfadeaway said...

people used to care because most games we played we had some reasonable chance of at least giving the other team a game. now we are overmatched and outcoached before we even step onto the field on Saturdays. can't believe daz is still at the helm. heads should be rolling for this mess.

modest34b said...

ND does draw a crowd

Unlike $6 tickets for Wake, the low tickets now are about $60 on StubHub.

In highly desirable Section D, tickets are up to $363. Section D is the best BC has to offer and vert appealing for well-heeled ND fans.

I despise ND football. The only time i ever want ND to win is vs USC.

But BC is coming to this contest with a limp bizket. Hard to get excited about the game.

modest34b said...

ps. Most guys I know from ND are great guys and nothing like to usual crazy ND fans. I've come to realize that most (or a lot) of the obnoxious ND fans are current students or wannabes, not actual ND grads.

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D Train said...

I've been a season ticket holder since I stepped on campus in 1988. The time change means the game now conflicts with my son's hockey game. I'm seriously considering not going. I would rather watch high school hockey than see another Daz-aster. Depressing to think it has come to this.

working rich said...

i went to BC games in South Bend and ND games at Alumni stadium.always thought BC had a chance.

Now it is how much will they lose by ?
will they look crappy?

I jut want them to look decent.

dtrain1234 said...

The ND game is our last chance to enjoy football this season. If the expected beat down occurs, no one will care if we beat Central Michigan while getting pummeled by former peers Clemson, WF, Louisville and and VaTech. Students will stop coming, casual fans will ave no interest. Last weeks embarrassment took the wind out of my sail. Can't see us winning more than 7 games for many years.

Big Jack Krack said...

There have been some special games in this series, including 2004 at South Bend when we won in the last minute (Peterson to Gonzalez) 24 to 23. Never saw a stadium clear out faster and I was giving them the business as they filed out - since the "Who's your Daddy" chants were prominent when the Irish were up 20 to 7.

But this old guy remembers the very first - our first game of the season 1975 - big time opponent - and our first time on national tv - night game in Foxborough.

All the ingredients, including the largest crowd ever in Schaeffer (spell?) Stadium.

We lost 17 to 3, but were far from humiliated - and this was the time that marked our rise towards playing bigger teams.

In thinking back, we had our finesse QB, Mike Kruczek (drafted 2nd round), Keith Barnette, FB (drafted early); Glen Capriola, RB/FB (drafted early), kicker Fred Steinfort (drafted mid-round) and OL Don Macek (drafted mid-round). Dave Zumback was our very good WR and we had a lot of other guys. It was a very exciting time.

No Wonder we held our own. HC Joe Yukica was much too conservative.

We also had outstanding Offensive Linemen around that time 1974-76 who were drafted and enjoyed good pro careers - Tom Condon, Al Krevis, Tom Marinelli, Jack Magee, Don Macek, Steve Schindler, Pete Cronin and Tom Lynch.

Is it any wonder why we get so exasperated now watching our OL suffer bad coaching? Maybe they are just no where near as good as the guys in the mid 70's - we have had many great OLs come through here. But our current guys look bewildered out there at times, and that's on the coaches.

We have had many close games with ND and I'm hoping this Saturday is another one (that we pull out for the victory).

Let's go, BC - play with wild abandon and play for your teammates from Florida, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and coastal South Carolina and North Carolina - whose families most probably suffered much devastation during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

This is college football and you're allowed to get excited and play, play, play!!!

Don't worry about all the negative BS - Believe in yourselves!!!

Take the "Fight" to the Irish - it's a brand new day and a brand new opportunity.

As for we fans, we have to regroup at some point and simply get behind you players.

modest34b said...

Jack, have you been boozing? Reality awaits your return trip

John said...

Jack quit drinking November 1990. 🙂

knucklehead said...

Spread is down to 13. Section D must have sold his tickets to a well heeled ND'er.

Lenny Sienko said...


I, too, was in the stands for that historic game in 1975. I was so unhappy when we pulled a DAZ-type move and gave up without going for broke to win the game. We settled for having played well; but still lost.

BC went conservative (small "c") and ran the ball, instead of trying for the miraculous comeback.

We had to wait until 1984 for "Hail Flutie" for that.

I wish the youngsters the best of luck; but still hope that we have a new coach very soon. To be consistent, I opposed DAZ's hiring, agreeing with the reported recommendation of the advisory panel that DAZ not be hired. I have decried his offensive sluggishness and lack of game management skills. I have always thought that his prominently featured attendance at Daily Mass did more to influence Fr. Leahy than his (lack of) offensive philosophy.

I had hoped we would see about hiring someone like Mike Leach. Five years later, Leach has turned Washington State into a Top 20 team, featuring his "Air Raid" offense, with solid o-line play and good defense. I enjoyed watching his Cougars win over Boise State in triple overtime last Saturday....such a contrast with our loss to Wake Forest.

CT said...

That scoreboard turned out to be the beginning of the end for ND football relevance. The aberration of 2012 (19 yrs later!) was just that. A lesson in big-boy football.

And storming the field after the '94 game. Definitely the highlight of my time there. Rick Mirer and Holtz can suck it. Like I said, the end.

ND fans want Kelley gone yesterday. AD, too.

The Tall One said...

So you crapped on TOB for a "crutch" of the ND Game - while he routinely had us in the top 25 ranked.

And yet you have blindly supported Addazio who has never even sniffed at top 25 ranking. And barely had us over .500.

Dude - you really need to take a look at your surroundings right now.

Unknown said...

If you want fans to care, JUST WIN!