Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blauds writes worst BC article in history

The line-by-line takedown of a mainstream article by a blogger is a trope at this point. Yet after reading Mark Blaudschun's feature on Spaz, I felt there was no other choice. I hope Blaudschun didn't spend much time on it since he could have just asked Coach Flip to write the article himself. Prepared to be pissed...

When you are the coach of a team that went 4-8, as the Eagles did this season, you get a lot of questions. When you coach at BC, where the underground chatter overwhelms the public utterances, you can easily be swept away.

This season, some of the feedback was downright vicious, coming from all areas, including the student paper, whose sports editor wrote a sermon-on-the-mount column telling Spaziani and the local media what was wrong with the way things were being run at BC.

“I view it as my duty, therefore, to keep the administration honest, especially when The Globe and The Herald refuse to do so,’’ wrote the editor.

“With the football team struggling through its worst season in over a decade, the two most prominent papers in Boston have accepted the excuses of head coach Frank Spaziani and athletic director Gene DeFilippo at face value. They have chalked up the team’s record this year to injuries, youth, and bad luck. Neither The Globe nor The Herald has criticized the decisions from the sideline.’’

Blauds and BC have no idea what real scrutiny is like. "underground chatter" vs "public utterances" is part of every sports fanbase in the country. In fact in most places the "chatter" is not underground. It is in your face every day. Do you think the Patriots would be worried about "underground chatter" after losing 2/3rds of their games? How about the Red Sox? Or what about the teams of the SEC or Big Ten? One of the reasons the Spaz hire and Gene's actions get so little notice is because in general our fanbase is loyal, has relatively low expectations and doesn't like to air laundry publicly. Gene and in turn Spaz have taken that relationship for granted and blatantly insulted any logical fan with some of their self-serving comments.

Thank God for The Heights Sports Editor Paul Sulzer for using his platform to state the obvious and give voice to the ignored. Blauds is just upset that a Senior in college out worked him and called him out for his hack efforts.

Other criticism comes in Internet chat rooms, where it is easy to throw grenades without attaching a name to them.

I love the Internet chat room cliche. Does anyone at the Globe read what Blauds is writing? Look at any article on BC and you will see tons of comments attached by readers to those articles. It is not chat rooms that are harboring these BC fans. It is on blogs, message boards, Twitter, Facebook and other media. And for every anonymous grenade thrower, there are hundreds with their names and BC affiliations attached who aren't afraid to share their opinion. If Blauds every actually paid attention to Twitter he would see dozens of Spaz's former players mocking him and criticizing him openly!

It has been a tough year for the AD, whose public utterances have created a firestorm in some quarters. Much of it has come from DeFilippo simply telling the truth.

It could be a dreary winter at BC, with both the men’s and women’s basketball teams looking like bottom-feeders in the ACC. Even the men’s hockey team, which has national championship trophies on display, has hit some speed bumps.

But BC does one thing as well as anyone. It brings in good kids who become better adults. For the most part, it turns out poster boys for everything a parent wants in a child, people such as Matt Ryan, Luke Kuechly, and this year’s Scanlan Award winner, Ryan Quigley.

I could go on and on with Gene's firestorm comments but one thing he is not doing is telling the truth. Anyone with rudimentary math skills can tell you that. Basketball and hockey are unrelated to Spaz and the problems with the football team. You can certainly question some of Gene's decisions regarding those sports, but no one is calling for his head because of that.

I am glad Blauds recognizes that BC produces good kids, but that is part of the culture that preceded Coach Flip or Spaz ever setting foot on campus. Coach Flip is quick to take credit for it, but there are thousands of BC athletes in all sports who come in as good kids and leave as good adults that never say more than two words to their AD. And most become good adults because of who they are, the values their families had, the environment in which they matured at college, the education they received and often because of the coaches and assistant coaches they had while at BC. This has little to do with Gene or Spaz. They didn't create this culture. They are just care takers. BC will be producing great student athletes long after these two excuse makers are gone.

I'll skip over the talent and record issues Blauds gets to next. It is just more fluff that no critics are really concerned with. I want to get to the most egregious stuff Blauds spewed.

Were mistakes made? Of course.

Dubious coaching moves during games caused some inner turmoil. The issue of fan treatment is ongoing. But BC fans are different than their brethren. The core base is loyal beyond belief and needs to be treated with extra tenderness and consideration.

The student body can be indifferent to the point of distraction. Let’s face it, BC athletics is not the only game in town, unlike many other college outposts. Not even close.

But the bottom line for BC is that Spaziani is the man in charge, and he sees a big picture that many outsiders - and even insiders - do not.

Mistakes? There are too many to recount. But that is what all the Spaz apologists fail to address. Forget talent. Forget Jags. Forget injuries. Spaz is not a good in-game decision maker. He is cowardly in his approach and a fool when it comes to use of timeouts or scoring. This is costing BC games. There is no one to blame.

Dubious coaching moves didn't just cause inner turmoil. They created a meltdown at halftime of the Central Florida game that led to Kevin Rogers' firing. God forbid Blauds ever dig deeper on that. I get in trouble for passing on gossip, but given the statements last week in the Globe regarding Spaz possibly taking over the defensive reigns regardless if McGovern got the UMass job and the weird statements he's made regarding the Offense, do we just want to call it inner turmoil? People reading between the lines would say Spaz doesn't have a ton of goodwill on the staff.

The biggest part of the problem is that Spaz is not the man in charge. Coach Flip is. If Spaz was the man in charge he would have 100% say in his own staff.

“In this world, as you go forward, success is important,’’ said Spaziani, who in three full seasons at BC has compiled a 19-19 record. “It is the barometer that everybody measures you with.

“Success is subjective. It is someone else’s measuring stick for what you did. That’s the way the world works. We have to function in it.

I don't think Spaz gets it. One of the beauties of sports is that success is not subjective. If you are an artist or a teacher or a lawyer or a business person, success has a degree of subjectivity. Your measuring stick might not be the same as your competition or your peers. In sports, someone wins and someone loses. It is objective. 4-8 is not the same as 8-4.

There will be issues, of course. Internal staff changes could be coming.

But Spaziani says he sees a clearer picture than anyone else. He sees a foundation being laid for not only next season but the year after that and beyond.

“To the guys coming back,’’ said Spaziani, “you’ve seen the edge. Why did we get better? You kept working and you started to get an edge. You need to keep that edge.

“Step back, nonbelievers. There is a foundation here.

“In four years, we won’t be talking about 4-8. We won’t be talking about who is in the Orange Bowl. We will be talking about what we did.’’

If we don't turn the corner, there won't be a "year after that and beyond." Spaz is on the clock and so is Gene. The anger you read and hear now will only grow as these two continue to insult their critics with nonsense.

Spaz is talking about four years from now. I am not trying to be an ageist, but Spaz will be 65 next season. In four years he will be eligible for Social Security. People are questioning his desire and motivation now. Are we to expect him to have a burning desire in four more years?

In an era when coaches are fired after two years, when critics call for their heads after only one season, BC is different. Give DeFilippo credit for having patience under fire - heavy fire in some quarters.

Changing head coaches would mean more turmoil. Four coaches in seven years is not the way to build a program.

Frank Spaziani knows that. And while there are no guarantees that things will improve dramatically next season, there is nothing to say they won’t.

BC is not different from other schools and Gene DeFilippo is not patient. He fired Jags after two years and showed no patience. Do you think he is going to show any patience with Sylvia Crawley? Would a patient program be on their fourth offensive coordinator of the Spaz era?

I could list dozen of programs that have had frequent coaching changes over a short period of time. Turnover doesn't matter when you make the right hires. When you have the right coach the progression is obvious. Just like the decline is obvious now.

But if four coaches in seven years is even a consideration, why isn't that Coach Flip's fault? How does he escape blame from Blauds? Coach Flip let the winningest coach in BC football walk. He fired Jags after two seasons. He made the decision to promote Spaz, even though he himself didn't give the job to Spaz two years earlier.

Blauds is right that there are no guarantees things will get better. But what is guaranteed is that Spaz's approach will cost us wins and both Spaz and Gene will continue to make excuses for their losses and take credit for things that are about BC and not about them.


Nick said...

I agree with literally everything in this article - fantastic job taking Blauds and Spaz to task.

I don't know what the Globe sports editors are thinking letting stuff like this into their paper. Blauds needs to be fired or at least put off the BC beat.

- Nick from Around the Res

mod34b said...

Good one ATL.

GDF also held a press conference of sorts with students yesterday. As reported by Commaveguy on Eagle Outsider, the following Was stated
It started out with him schmoozing everyone, asking about who we are, where were from...I swear the guy is an INCREDIBLE schmoozer. It then was a little about life, how sports can be a learning experience, and then shockingly he opened the floor for questions (like 45 minutes worth) the way feel free to ask "did he talk about this..." because I'm sure I'll forget a thing or two. BTW fwiw I thought he did a fantastic job, anybody could literally ask anything and he'd take it.

Relevant things:

He was taking clear shots at Jags, talking about how trust is a huge thing for him and once it's been broken, I can't work with someone.

He used the phrase "things are never as good nor as bad as they seem" (I swear), when describing the football program. Used the injuries, kicking off the players, and youth experience to explain the poor record. Said its never on a specific person (coach or player) when you lose BUT had freeze made that kick (notice how he then directly blames an individual) and had we played Buffalo instead of ND we'd have been 6-6.

The question was asked "what are your expectations for next year" and he went on a long winded when I got here we sucked etc etc that he says all the time but ultimately stated that he expects that we get back to the 7-8 wins that we've been accustomed to. He stated we aren't an Oklahoma, Texas, etc. and we spoiled the fans by winning so many games."

mod34b said...

So on Friday Spaz says we will get to the BCS in Four years! Are you kidding Spazooooo.

And on Friday, GDF dampens all enthusiasm and says we should be happy with a 7-5 season - which we will get back to in a few years!


These two clowns are all thumbs in their approach to the media and totally contrived

So why this press offensive to lower expectation and offer excuses. They could stay quiet. Why are they chirping like birds?

My theory is that they continue to care nOt about the fans, the alumni. But maybe the BOT is waking up and asking questions. Pressure is being upon these two chumps..

There must be a reason for this outpouring of bs. My hope is it BOT pressure..That would be good

JBQ said...

The bottom line is that Spaz wsa very loyal and enthusiastic defensive coordinator who was an offensive coordinator for Doug F. in Canada. He just can't cope as a number one coach responsbile for the program. Jags walked in and set the program on its ear effortlessly. He betrayed GDF and now he is trying to prove a point with an inadequate head coach and out of stubbornness is sticking with his game plan.

OB68 said...

As a season ticket holder who is unlikely to renew, I am disgusted with the lack of honesty being displayed by the athletic administration. With Gen's entry to the BC Hall of Fame it is unlikely that the Trustees will look to make a change. However, a strong letter writing campaign and a reduction in funding may just help them to see the light.

Ryan said...

Anonymous internet postings... right. The last great defense of a dying news media. As if not posting your name and SS# makes your criticism any less real.

BCNorCal07 said...

You know what else isn't a good way to build a program, Blauds? Consistent decline. That's a horrible way to build.

Benjamin said...

Just a thought (and I know I'm going to get ripped for this):
We know that GDF has fired coaches because he believes that they are detrimental to the overall growth of the sport - see Skinner, Jags. ATL even mentions that GDF isn't afraid to fire coaches. So why isn't Spaz fired?

Maybe, just maybe, GDF sees promise for the future of the football program in Spaz. Maybe our future is gloriously bright in his eyes and he actually believes it? Maybe we're too close to the losing season to see that?

Granted, at the end of the day, Spaz has no idea how to time out properly. Or run an offense. Or choose the right offensive coordinator. Or speak positively about his players.

Lenny Sienko said...


When Spaz was with the Calgary Stampeders, when Flutie was there, Spaz was the defensive coordinator.

When Spaz first came to BC, he was running backs coach, which wasn't too hard to do with Mike Cloud as the running back.

blockparty said...

kudos to the bc writer for getting under blauds' skin. at least he holds those in charge accountable, something the "writers" at the globe cannot or will not do.

Knucklehead said...

Blauds basically proves all the Anti Spaz folks point when he says that there were mistakes made by the coaches/ Spaz.

The Anti Spaz people are against Spaz because he is not a good coach.

The NW game continues to bother me. It made no sense to call a timeout and then kick the field goal. He essentially iced his own kicker. Frustrating.

The short kickoff before the end of the first half against Duke as atrocious. It lead directly to a touchdown, NOT A FIELD GOAL. Duke was moving the ball freely the entire half and he gave them 20 free yards. Those yards were the difference between a 45 yrd FG and a TD.

Spaz personally lost those two games with ODD calls.

So the article is basically saying when we are more healthy next year BC will win more games despite Spaz. What if we had a competent coach next year? We would probably win more games.

I have been saying this since I started posting here . . . BC sells itself to the players/students that the University and Alumni want to represent BC. What is required to be successful(8-4) at BC is a competent X, O coach who wants to be here.

The way Gene is managing BC Athletics finding a coach to fit the bill will be difficult. If Spaz cannot turn it around Gene won't be able to find a suitable replacement(because of his control issues) and he will be forced to resign.

Most AD's do not meddle for this reason.

eagleboston said...

Well, as much as I can't stand Spazadouches, we're stuck with him for at least 1 more season. It is a waste of time to keep posting about how much of an idiot he is and we simply need to get behind the players and hope for the best. All of the negativity is a complete buzz-kill. Let's forget about Spazoo for the next several months and focus on the players. When we start losing games in September, we can go back to calling for Spazi-idiot's head.

Ry said...

Is anyone else worried we may actually be better next year saving Spaz yet another year?

Dan said...

Agree completely with eagleboston. All this negativity will get us nowhere. We know now that the coaches, administration and local media read these blogs and obviously have made their decisions regardless. Time to get behind the current players and focus on the positives.

Also, we all know the Globe And Herald are rags. Current and future recruits are much more likely to read these blogs than those two excuses for journalism. Crapping on our own program only adds one more layer that makes it harder for us to recruit.

mod10aeagle said...

The Globe's star sports writer is Dan Shaughnessy. What more do you need to know about the Globe sports desk? Nevertheless, no one, including the BC administration, needs any sports reporting to know that the marquee sports programs are limping badly, and that falls squarely on the shoulders of the AD.

Knucklehead said...

So lets blame the media for the fact that Spaz sucks as a game strategist. Ridiculous.

The Boston Globe sports section sucks now? You people are douchebags. The Boston Globe sports section is Top 2 year in and year out.

It is not negative to point out the facts. Spaz is a good D-Coordinator. He is the head coach now and if he is the reason the team is losing games then it should be pointed out.

BC will win 6-7 games next year because of their talent. A good coach can rally his team or call a timely trick play, or make in game game plan changes that will win an extra game or two. Boston College does not have a head coach who is committed enough to make the difference. He leaves it solely on the players. He is a terrible modern day manager were collaboration, teamwork, and extra hours arequired to be successful . . . not only in football but in a career. Isn't part of his job to develop young people who will represent Boston College the way we have been accustomed to?

Dan said...

Correction: Globe and Herald suck horribly at College Sports.

Case in point, what percentage of fans do you folks think learned about this article through ATL or BCI vs. actually reading it on the Globe?

janebc said...

Kudos, Atlanta. One of your greatest pieces ever. And congratulations also to the head sports writer at the Heights. As far as the "all this negativity" cooments go-their criticism is directed at the wrong targets. Spaz-along with an AD who tells the fanbase they were spoiled "with too many victories" - are the "buzzkillers" -not the players who kept fighting despite their defeatist coach, nor the fans who demand more.

SaturdaysOnShea said...

As someone pointed out, this article highlights that there are problems at BC and that the loyal fanbase is discontent with the spew put forth by Gene, Spaz, and Blauds. It's disheartening that hack work like this is being published, but it is a good sign that Blauds (and by extension Gene and Spaz) feel they need to respond to the criticism in a mainstream article. I guess it means they feel the heat

eddierock said...

ATL: Nice job. I knew you would take it apart. What I find most galling is the line about the loyal fan base needing "extra tenderness and consideration". Leaving aside the patronizing condescension, betrays a shocking ignorance of both the expectations of the BC fan base (which are fairly modest) and the expectations and demands at other big time football programs. Can you imagine such tripe being written about an SEC school? I continue to be amazed that Blaud writes such crap and the Globe prints it. Such an aggressive and proactive apologist for failure? Why? Maybe Gene has some compromising photos...

EagleManhattan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EagleManhattan said...

"Also, we all know the Globe And Herald are rags. Current and future recruits are much more likely to read these blogs than those two excuses for journalism. Crapping on our own program only adds one more layer that makes it harder for us to recruit."

Recruits read these boards, err, blogs!!!!!

This is the same BS that the ostriches who pretend to call themselves BC fans have used to try and shut up any dissenters who refuse to similarly shove their heads into the sand. This the exact same excuse-making that has been going on ever since those of us who actually watched BC games have been calling for Spaziani's head from the beginning. It's been obvious for a long time that the guy has no clue what he's doing. Pathetic.

eagleboston said...

Eagle Manhattan,

I agree but my point is that the decision has been made for at least 1 more year, so there is no benefit to blasting Spaz and calling for his head. We want him gone, we all get it, the media doesn't. However, it is a waste of energy at this point. Spaz is not going anywhere. All of our harping, while worthwhile a few weeks ago, is now pointless. I merely suggest that we go back to talking about the players and our hope for next season and ignore Spaz. Eventually, he will be gone and BC can return to being a good, but not great team.

mod34b said...


Now I know why you are uncomfortable criticizing GDF.

You think just like him. And your remark is just like what GDF just said (be happy with 7 or 8 wins in a few years)

Here is what you just said: "BC can return to being a good, but not great team"

You and GDF: Ever to Do OK

Not me: Ever to Excel

And, the relentless blasting of the twin imposters (GDF and Spaz) has gotten results. They have been forced to publicly state that Spaz is now on the hot seat and must win.

Plus the recruits already know the situation. These kids all have advisors etc. a negative blogger comment is meaningless to the recruits

Keep the pressure on. We Are BC!

JBQ said...

Jo Lonn Dunbar really had a good game today for the NO Saints. Go BC! Tim Russert lives!

eagleboston said...

Mod, how do you define "great?" I define "great" as winning the conference title and going to a BCS game. Even with Jags and Ryan, BC did not achieve that definition of greatness. In the last 20 years, BC has been good, but never great in football. Perhaps your definition of great is merely getting to the ACCCG?

mod34b said...

Great would be 10-2 , 11-3, 10-3, top 15, excellent bowl, not necessarily a BCS bowl.

chicagofire1871 said...

Haha, good stuff.

BC: Ever to do ok

Thanks Gene.

Man, I so miss that 2007 season. That must be what it's like every year for Ohio State fans or LSU fans. I watched so much college football, it was so exciting. Now? Jeez, I have to force myself to just watch BC and even then I don't enjoy it.

CT said...

All it would take is one afternoon listening to sports talk radio down here in Atlanta to realize how unscrutinized GDF/Spaz really are on the college athletics landscape. How relatively easy they have it. You're right, Blauds. Atlanta isn't a big city with other things to do or pro teams in town. Just Boston. How about getting out a little?

I liked the sentence that even some insiders don't see the big picture like Spaz does. Pretty vague but pretty telling.

Our football coach laments the fact that success is measured in wins and losses and that's just the world we live in. If that doesn't inspire confidence, nothing will. Go out there against FSU and be men of high moral standard, boys! ESPN paid for TV rights so that they could show Luke Kuechly wearing glasses and reading a book.

Our AD says if we played Buffalo instead of ND and made the FG vs. Duke that we'd have been 6-6. If we played The Little Sisters of the Poor we'd be 12-0, too. Or at least 9-3. Or in a tougher conference, we'd be 2-10. By the way, ND isn't very good, GDF. But I guess I'm just spoiled by all those 8-4 and 7-5 seasons. We know we'll never be Oklahoma or Texas, GDF, but below the likes of a UConn or N'western? Guess I'm just too objective about it.

Are all the empty seats in a 44,000 seat stadium objectively level-headed or subjectively critical? That alone tells the story.

Jeff said...

This Globe article was a complete travesty. Rather than a thoughtful analysis, it was a hastily-thrown together of random thoughts and unfounded assumptions meant to distract us from the Globe's horrible job covering BC sports. It has failed.

Andrew S. said...

Sad to hear even a paraphrase of Coach Flip saying "if we swap Notre Dame off our schedule with Buffalo..."

This is as dumb as the sea is deep. I can't even begin to see why anyone who's job it is to run a division 1 program that generates a giant chunk of the school's athletic budget would ever have this thought cross his/her mind, let alone say it for others to hear and repeat.

If it's true that C-Flip said this, it's the worst excuse making I've ever heard. Such idiotic drivel furthers my desire to see him ousted.

Blaud's article just sucks. He seems like an idiot too. Hey Blauds, every single BC article of yours I've ever read looks like it was half-assed and mailed in. Ooops, sorry to fulfill the anonymous internet troll trope - headed back to my mommy's basement... hotpockets for dinner tonight again.