Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eagles Erin Go Bragh

Tuesday, Notre Dame and Navy confirmed they will play their 2012 game in Dublin. The two schools last played in Ireland in 1996. Given all the ties between BC and Ireland, the Navy-ND game raises the question: is it time for BC football to go back to Ireland? Yes, "go back." Some younger fans probably don't know or remember that BC played Army in the first Emerald Isle Classic.

For a program constantly trying to generate excitement and interest, I think a game in Ireland would be a no brainer. I think you could legitimately draw 5,000 plus BC fans to travel from the States, sell another 1,000 tickets to BC friends and family living in Europe, and sell the rest of the team's allotment locally to bandwagon Dubliners who want to cheer on the Jesuit kids from Boston. And if BC could play Notre Dame in the game, it would lend that much more credibility and excitement to the occasion. But we could have this game even without Notre Dame. I think Michigan, Ohio State, or Penn State are all examples of name programs with big followings that could pull off a successful trip to Ireland.

One of the consistent rumors floating during the BC-Notre Dame scheduling talks was that the schools would play one game in Dublin. It obviously didn't happen, but I think that we should try. I am sure economic concerns and our failure to travel well to American bowl games, scares off the decision makers in Chestnut Hill. But a game overseas, especially in Ireland, might be the sort of event that people actually rally behind. With a little planning and marketing, I think it could be a big success.


DL said...

I would drop pretty much everything to go to Dublin for a BC game.

The Emerald Isle Classic occurred during my toddler years, so obviously, I have little recollection of how cool that must have been. One of my favorite research projects of all time involved flipping through old editions of the Heights on assignment once and uncovering some of those stories from 1986. It sounded like an outstanding experience.

Erik said...

I had the Emerald Isle Classic BC vs Army on a VHS tape in my parents' basement. I wonder if it's still kicking around anywhere.

ORDEagle said...

Let's just make sure we schedule it early enought in the season so we can still play golf in reasonable weather while we are over there!

A33Jim said...

I felt a jolt of excitement when I skimmed the first line because I thought the announcement was that BC and ND were playing in Ireland, only to be let down when I re-read.

It would be great. Especially if it happens in the next 5 years while I still have a pal going to med school there.

Matt said...

good HD link -

bc1900 said...

If you look at the demographics of BC compared to 1986, the number of those with Irish backgrounds has decreased dramatically. In fact I remember a member of the admissions staff telling me this and she had been there for over 30 years. It would not get the same draw as it would have in the 80's. I bet alot of older alumni would go though. Not to mention the Irish don't care about american football. They don't even care about soccer as much as Gaelic Games. Anyone that tells you soccer is king there has no idea what they are talking about. i believe Croke Park finally gave in to allow soccer to be played in the stadium for a go at hosting the European Championships. Most people did not want any other sport to be played there though. BC has obvioulsy big Irish Catholic roots, but you just don't see as many Irish last names as you used to. Anyone in admissions will tell you this.

Ry said...

Students of Irish lineage definitely aren't as significant a percentage as they once were, but there are still plenty to be found.

The student body demographics don't really matter for a game like this's all about alumni.

It'd be an awesome meet-up for folks studying abroad in the fall as well.

That said, I'm not holding my breath for this to happen.

CHI_Eagle said...

There isn't a high percentage of mexicans at BC, but it seemed like half of the school was in Cancun when we used to go down there for spring break. The demographics of BC's current student body has nothing to do with how well the students/alumni would travel for a Dublin game. As critical as I am of our travel rep, the Dublin game would be a success. It's about the same flight to get from Boston to Dublin as it is to get to the USC game.

You have to wonder it Gene D. might look at it as his shot to make another big statement as the AD.

Unknown said...

I'm 0% Irish, yet there is a 99.99% chance that I would book a flight to Ireland if BC were to schedule a game in Dublin.

CT said...

I see Maryland signed a two-year deal to play Texas in '17 and '18. Good for them going out on a limb.

Big Jack Krack said...

The Naval Academy has announced that their 2012 football game against Notre Dame will be played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland on September 1.
Aviva Stadium opened in May and seats 51,700. The stadium is home to the Irish rugby union team and the Republic of Ireland national football team. (Gaelic Football - BJK)

Their 2010 contest will be played on October 23 at Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Navy and Notre Dame last played in Dublin, Ireland on November 2, 1996. The Fighting Irish won that game 54-27

Our upcoming OOC Schedule is okay in some regards, but Gene has to step it up for credibility. Instead of Stoney Brook (if that's really on the schedule), why not go out on a limb and get an attractive game? Once we start playing teams like USC, we'll shut people up - especially if we win.

Don't know if this is accurate, but it looks as though we might have some openings:

2011 Northwestern, at UCF, Massachusetts and ?
2012 at Northwestern, Army (Maine, Notre Dame?)
2013 at Army, Syracuse, Stoney Brook (is this serious?) at USC
2014 Army (at Bronx), at Syracuse, URI, USC.

Go BC - beat Virginia Tech

Seamus Folan said...

I don't understand why so many folks seem to be so upset over the 1-AA game. It is standard practice for most of the 1-A schools to play a 1-A game. This is a fact of life. There is no way we are going to give up a game against Maine, UMASS, Weber, etc. for a game against Texas, Alabama, etc. That will not happen. There will (for the foreseeable future)always be a 1-AA game on our schedule. Almost all our peers and the major football powers play a 1-AA school.

Add in ND and Syracuse most years that means we have 1 extra game.

modest34b said...

Yes, BJK, now that Hofstra football is defunct, we will be playing that other powerhouse from Long Island, the Sea Wolves of SUNY Stony Brook.

Why we would play these guys is beyond me. Seems to be pointless.

But GDF loves a patsy, that's for sure. He has stones the size of raisins.

John said...

In other news, Alumni will be packed for the VT game this weekened:

Big Jack Krack said...

Hello Jim:

I'm okay with UMass, and UNH, as they are generally quite respectable in 1AA - wow, look at UMass at Michigan this year. You never know about Maine or URI and I don't think we've ever played Vermont. We can "sell" a game against nearby, New England Schools.

I don't like those type games otherwise, and the perception is that BC likes to play bums - fair or unfair.

Why this doesn't apply to the other big teams is beyond me.

CT said...

Re: John's link...Think of the possibilities for Conte during bball season. We could seat all 43 students who go to games behind the basket and fill the rafters with vinyl and piped-in crowd noise. Finally have a homecourt advantage.

That story is hilarious. Attendance is flat. Funny.

Seamus Folan said...

"I don't like those type games otherwise, and the perception is that BC likes to play bums - fair or unfair."

Florida, Alabama, Penn State, Michigan, Nebraska, LSU and the entire ACC all play teams in the Championship Subdivision (1AA).

Seamus Folan said...

Dustbowl -

There is very simple reason most 1A teams play a 1AA.

1.) Guarantees the 1A an extra home game on the schedule. These games are not home-and-home, they are almost always played at the field of the 1A

2.)These wins count towards bowl eligibility.

Do the ADS of Florida, Alabama, Penn State, Michigan, Nebraska, LSU and the entire ACC also have no stones? Do they all love playing patsies?