Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Keep BC out of the Boston backlash

"Who is Kevin Garnett?"

BC’s perfect start is getting lumped in with wave of attention Boston sports are currently getting. With that comes the inevitable backlash. Let me clarify to sports fans who might not know intricacies of the Boston sports scene. BC fans are not exclusively Boston fans and many of the Hub locals have ignored BC for years. There is no BC nation. We are the Palestinians of New England sports. Sure there are plenty of BC fans and students from New England who do live and die with the Red Sox or the Pats, but they are the minority. The majority of BC students and alumni are not from New England. In fact I remember just as many Yankee fans when I was a student.

Belichick doesn't root for the Sox. Why do people assume all BC fans do?

For years the Boston sports fan’s DNA included a fear and pessimism after years of coming up short in painful ways. One World Series and three Super Bowls have mutated that gene into the chest puffing braggarts everyone loathes. BC fans are not part of that…we have come up short over and over. We're No. 2 in the country and still an underdog heading into Virginia Tech.

I bet most of these kids will never see a game at Fenway.

Even the poster boy of the obnoxious Boston fan – Bill Simmons – hates BC. He’s a Holy Cross grad and works in BC digs into his writing almost as often as he drops Jimmy Kimmel’s name. If you are looking for an online example that of BC fans being separate from Boston, look no further than the 700 Level. Enrico runs the premier Philly sports blog and is a BC grad. Even this blogger named YankeeDave supports BC.

Jessica Biel dated a Yankee, goes to Packer games with Timberlake, but is a BC fan at heart.

So if you’re already sick of Boston try not to wish any ill will on BC. We’re not part of the Evil Empire. We’re just a Catholic school trying to make good in the mess that is college football.

Tim Russert is a huge BC fan, loves the Bills and hates the Pats.


America said...

Tonight is the type of night that comes around once every few years if not more! Tonight is a night that means more than we can possibly imagine right now. Sure you say oh the Sox are in the World Series that's the big story tonight. Well I say no the big story is BC!! We have a chance to do something special tonight something none of us really thought was possible. IN FACT RIGHT NOW AS I WATCH THE SOX GAME THEY ARE PLAYING OUR SONG AS THEY SHOW THE REPLAYS!!! If we win, if we beat VTECH, we will control our destiny. We will be in position to bring our EAGLES to the next level. ;
Yes its only one game, yes there are many more tough games ahead, but this is the hardest. This has the potential to make BC a house hold name, a national name, and more importantly a long lasting power house. In five years when we are consistently a top 10 team this will be the game we point to that we can say was our National Coming out party, Seriously this is our time to shine! This is our moment!! A win tonight and you can all buy your tickets to New Orleans and Matt Ryan can book his trip to New York! So lets get behind our Eagles, lets bring home a win! LETS GO!!!
For today, WE ARE ..... BC!!!!

For all of you in the Boston area please come to THE PLACE. We will be at THE PLACE!!! They will have both games on and the BC sound! SO LETS GO EAGLES!!!!!!!!

See you tomorrow!!!


Ed said...

I love this blog, but this is one of your worst efforts to date.

You obviously don't root for Boston teams, which is fine. But to project your feelings onto the majority of BC students/fans is simply somewhere between ignorance and wishful thinking.

Even if the BC student body is currently majority non-local (a fact which I would doubt), the alumni who make up the majority of the non-existent "BC Nation" are overwhelmingly local. BC, for most of its history, has catered primarily to Boston-area catholic students. That is no longer the case, but that doesn't change the fact that the overwhelming majority of BC alumni are also Boston sports fans.

Yet all of this misses the point. If people from other sports markets are lashing out against Boston sports teams out of jealousy and envy, BC is necessarily going to be included in that backlash. BC is located in metropolitan Boston, has the word "Boston" in its name, and is unavoidably a Boston sports team.

Just let it go and enjoy the hate. They don't hate you when you're irrelevant. They don't hate you when you're a loser. They hate you when you beat them.

That's where Boston sports teams are now. Don't try to distance BC from it. Revel in it.

LAEagle said...

a lot of the hate towards bc fans is definitely grounded in an assumption that we also make up the red sox/patriots fan bases as well...good points, but you definitely just preaching to the choir here...

Bravesbill said...

There is only one group of people that I hate and that is the Boston sports fan. Thank God BC fans are not as ignorant or obnoxious as those myopic, bandwagoning fools. Go Rockies! I hope Brady tears an ACL.

matthew2 said...

I think I (completely) agree with bravesbill for the first time in history.

Let this be the start of a good day to come.

BCDisco said...

Bill, love the post. I am definitely one of those alumni who is not from New England and has never liked the Pats or the BoSox (although I have to admire the recent string of success of both of those teams recently). I will support BC until I die.

Having said that, you risk alienating the very type of fan that BC desperately needs: the local/New England fan who supports Boston sports but not BC. These are the type of people we need to get onto the BC bandwagon and never fall off. These are the kinds of people who can come to every home game and cheer until they lose their voices. I envy these people because if I lived closer I would definitely buy season tickets and make every effort to go to all the games.

Mike said...

Thank you.

CatabEagle said...

As a regular reader of your column, this is the first post I significantly have to disagree with. I believe the "boston fans" you speak of are the Sullys, Fitzs, and Murphys that, while at times lacking in social graces, at one point were the fathers or grandfathers of many of us more recent alumni. Furthermore, it was these guys that were looked down upon similarly by Harvard that built that school that you so love today. While I don't believe every BC fan must be a Boston fan, I believe the connection between the BC fan and the love of major urban Eastern sports teams(Yankees, Phils, Jets, etc..) is what is important, and what makes BC so attractive to not only students, but athletes as well. As someone who has lived in Philly, NYC, DC, and Boston, I would definitely say that the story of the BC grad from NY, Philly, or Boston is a similar one of immigration, hard work, and a dream to go to a school like BC. The love for pro sports, regardless of the team, is one that is appreciated universally by this community. As such, I believe it is vitally important that we take our place as prominent member of the Boston sports community, something no college program from any other East Coast city has been able to do since WWII. BC is the last standing great urban Catholic sports program. Its something that BC grads, and Boston, should be proud of. Go BC, beat Tech!

ATL_eagle said...

Ed, I appreciate the feedback. No hard feelings. But how can I "revel in it" when I don't like the Red Sox and I am sick of the Patriots?

ClassO10 said...

I am a Sox, Pats, and diehard BC fan who has lived the majority of my life in Maryland. Now while I understand that being linked as a New England fan could see some "backlash," I would much rather have us be linked to the professional Boston sports teams because of the great national exposure that BC gets from this linkage.

Andrew S. said...

I wish my old ruined hard drive didn't contain the pictures I took of BC's campus in 2004 when the Sox won the WS. Granted, there were certainly lots and lots of bandwagon fans watching the Sox after the drama of the ALCS, but I think there are more genuine Sox fans on campus than you are estimating. I was just remembering how some professors were bending their assignments or class schedule for the greater enjoyment of playoff baseball in 04.

As for the Patriots, they seem to have less universal appeal than the Sox do to people from outside of New England. I know quite a few people who root for the Sox over their local team (unless they're Yankee fans, of course) and would love nothing more than to see the Patriots lose football games. I'd say this has lots to do with the state of the NFL's popularity versus that of MLB, but that's a whole other debate.

I understand your reasoning for posting, but I also think there are lots of students at BC who fall under the "Boston sports fan" label, in fact I would argue that the Sox are one of the main things that help connect the BC experience to the city itself.

Duff Cooper said...

There are no right or wrong opinions here. In fact I live and work in Quincy, couldn't care less about BC, the Red Sox, or the Patriots. In my experience I have enjoyed the Boston Sports teams non the less. The Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics have always had tradition, and the Patriots have certainly carved their own piece of history into the record books. Yet Boston College has mostly gone unnoticed, like Stanford, Northwestern, Vanderbuilt, Rice, and a few other schools in typical pro towns. I have always been impressed with BC's ability to have strong programs in nearly all their athleltic teams. They have improved admission standards and traditionally have had a huge alumni base in New England. I would argue that this changed in '84 with one man winning a Heisman, and Boston College establishing itself on the national scene. As far as fair weather fans, not many people respect them, and eventually they will be exposed for the toolbag, dishonest scumbags that they are. Right now "Red Sox Nation" is full of tool bags. Same with the Patriots, and god forbid if the Celts tie one on, there will be more people wearing green in this area then there needs to be. However given the history of all these organizations we should know that everything goes in cycles and the Pats, Sox, and anyone else will eventually come back down to earth, and some Boston fans will be as miserable as they were pre 2001, and '04. I would like to add this as well seeing how BC is in Chestnut Hill. Being a very middle class person, with a middle class upbringing, it kills me to see these "toolbag" fans from Newton, Wellesley, Duxbury, Chelmsford, Canton; who a few years ago couldn't give a shit about any of their local teams getting world series seats that they probably don't deserve. But, if you are true at heart, and loyal to any team, you will soak up a sweet victory more so than any phony who is on the 50 yard line, or on the 3rd base side of fenway. Thank you and Goodnight!!!

P.S. if you can't find room in the place try the Black Rhino across the street!

oh and i graduated from Umaine, which is another reason to atleast respect B.C.

Jakmut said...

I always enjoy reading your blog but this post does not sit well. BC has only been a national school for a short period of its history. If you remember why BC was created by the Jesuits it was so working class, (LOCAL) Catholics could get a college education. BC was originally a commuter school in downtown Boston. Harvad would not admit Catholics. BC was a place where a working class schmo got a chance to make a better life for himself and his family.
I strongly disagree with you comment that the majority of Alums are not from the Boston area. The majority of the students are from out of state, but Alums?? Those old dudes that were sitting in the prime seats until this year are old school Boston.
BC will forever be linked to Boston and Boston sports teams. I am from Boston and 5 out of 7 of my brothers and sisters graduated from BC. My brother went to Northeastern and roots for BC, my sister went to UMaine and roots for BC. Several of the people in my office went to other local schools without an established sports program but they root for the locals. We also root for the Sox, Patriots, Celtics and any other local that tries to make good.
I think you make a huge mistake when you try to alientate the Boston sports fan from your BC family. The reason why the LSU's, Clemson's, Auburn's and Nebraska's are great is because they invite the locals to have a stake in their team. The 100,000 screaming fans in The Swamp or at The Big House are not all Alums.
If you show humility about your team and are not a braggart that is the difference maker. There are bad fans rooting for every sports team. Don't be one.

ATL_eagle said...

Jakmut, I am not trying to alienate anyone. I am just pointing out to the rest of the world that BC's fans are made up of all sorts and not exclusively boston fans.

Eagle in Brighton said...

@ jakmut:

I appreciate your candor, but I don't think Bill was trying to condescend the blue-collar Boston sportsfan/ older BC alum as much as he was trying to differentiate between the support Boston shows for its pro teams v. that reserved for the college ranks.

I wish tremendously that BC drew more of the casual Boston sports fan- I think that cache is growing, but it will need to increase precipitously if we aspire to be an elite program annually (v. a solid program annually).

To perhaps perfect Bill’s point, BC’s more current alumni base is becoming increasingly more national, and thus the lazy grouping of a national (or at least northeast/midatlantic) University with very provincial professional sports teams is factually incorrect.

Eagle in Brighton said...

Personally? I love the press, and the fact that there in fact may be backlash v. the Eagles success just speaks to the "heights" the program has risen to, though our play tonight will determine if this is where we'll stay.

bresnake said...

I read this blog daily, and think you do a really great job. However, I totally disagree with this post. As many people above me have pointed out, it is factually inaccurate, and it only serves to alienate local fans who have not yet fully embraced BC, but whom (I would hope you agree) we would like to have on board supporting BC.
Secondly, it also alienates a very large segment of BC fans (probably the majority) who ARE fans of Boston sports teams. Everything I read in the blogosphere lately reminds me how much of an overbearing lout I am for rooting for New England sports teams. Then I come here to get my daily BC fix leading up to the biggest game of the season, and I just get dumped on again. Your comments make me think that this was not your intention, but the column comes off as putting down local fans to gain favor with neutrals. "Look, many of us hate Boston too!!"

Moreover, I think BC as an institution would LOVE to be associated with and thought of together with organizations such as the Red Sox and Patriots. We BC fans are always complaining that we don't get enough attention in the local media. I just don't get why you would go to great lengths to distance the school from the rest of a great sports town.

Not your best work, Bill, but everything else on here is great. Sorry it took a negative post to get me to register for comments.

ATL_eagle said...

I wasn't trying to piss any Boston fans off. Just attempting to take a light hearted look at BC fans and our place in the Boston sports scene.

Bravesbill said...

#1, most BC students are not Boston sports fans. Granted, MA as a state has a plurality of students at BC (almost 1500). But only about a 100 students or so behind is the great state of CA. Most students from CA absolutely loathe Boston sports teams. And, as a BC alumn, I do not want BC to be connected in any way, shape, or form to most of the arrogantly obnoxious Boston sports fans. There's a reason why the rest of the country hates Boston sports, and no it is not because its teams are successful. It is because of the fan base. Where were all these die-hard fans before the Pats started their dynasty in 2001 and before the Red Sox won the ALCS in 2004? They were non-existent. The majority of Boston fans jumped on the bandwagon during the successful era of their sports teams and now constantly remind the rest of America how great they truly are. It is precisely this type of fan that BC does not need to be associated with. Granted, there are many truely good Boston fans, but why would BC want to alienate the rest of America by choosing to associate itself with those who aren't? BC fans for the most part are great, loyal fans who are not the typical prototype of Boston fan. I would like to keep it that way.

Unknown said...

Nice post! Can’t wait for the next one. Keep stuff like this coming.

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