Review: The Battle of Comm Ave.

 

Last night I finally got around to watching The Battle of Comm Ave, a made-for-NESN documentary that chronicles the Boston College-Boston University ice hockey rivalry. Watching the film helped get me pumped about this year's hockey team and the outdoor game at Fenway Park. The film also got the creative juices flowing and gave me some ideas for future hockey posts. So stay tuned.

Overall, I thought Rival Films did a good job with the documentary. This would make a good Christmas gift for the members of your family who are die-hard BC or BU hockey fans. You can purchase the DVD from the Rival Films site.

Here are some of my likes, dislikes and critiques of the film.

Likes:

  • Footage of the teams of the older Boston College teams and the segments on BC coaches John "Snooks" Kelley, Len Ceglarski and Jerry York
  • Numerous interviews with former Eagles like Brian Gionta, Cory Schneider, Tim Kelleher, Andrew Orpik and Bobby Allen
  • Didn't realize that Tim Kelleher's older brother went to BU and was on the Terriers 1995 National Championship team. There's a good story about the York's recruitment of Tim Kelleher early in the film.
  • The effect that BC's construction of Conte Forum had on the recruiting wars between BC and BU, and BU firing back with the construction of Agganis Arena.
  • Hearing a BU player admit that the Boston College fight song is much better than BU's, and how it would get under the Terriers' players' skin every time BC scored and the band played "For Boston"

Dislikes:

  • (Obviously) The parts that profiled BU coaches. I know Jack Parker plays the tough, New England boy card, but there are quotes where he comes off as pretty arrogant. York, on the other hand, comes across as the lovable, even-keeled, happy-go-lucky alum that returned to coach his alma mater. BC should seriously consider using clips of this video in recruiting presentations given the contrasting portrayal of York and Parker.
  • (But true) The interview with the BU athletic director and his claim that they use the fact that hockey is the dominant sport at Boston U. to recruit against BC.
  • I did not know (well before my time) ... and can't believe that BC had a version of the Super Bowl Shuffle called the Beanpot Trot. Alumni: Watch at your own peril. So embarrassing.

Critiques:

  • While Rival Films most likely couldn't secure the broadcast rights, early on when profiling BC's 2008 Championship and BU's 2009 Championships, the film uses the radio broadcast audio when the Eagles and Terriers won the title. The audio quality isn't that great, and the ESPN calls by Gary Thorne (the voice of hockey) were 10 times better than the radio calls.
  • The film talks a lot about the rise and fall of each of the programs, but little to no mention is given to BC's 2001 Championship team. Perhaps it's because I was a freshman at the time, but I would have liked to have heard more BU reactions about when the Eagles dominated the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  • No mention of the outdoor game at Fenway Park. Fenway probably doesn't need help selling out the game, but it would have been cool at the end of the film to add a segment about the next chapter in the rivalry and feature the outdoor game coming up early next month.
  • Nit picky: There are some very close-up (zoomed in) interviews that almost leave you feeling uncomfortable. Hockey players aren't the most attractive guys out there. There's a reason they wear helmets?

Other Thoughts:

  • Hobey Baker award winner Mike Mottau was interviewed, as was Brian Gionta. This got me angry thinking about the fact that Gionta never won the Hobey Baker. Has there been a greater Hobey Baker snub in the history of college hockey?
  • While I had once visited and stepped foot in the arena, the movie left me nostalgic over the fact that I never got to the old Walter Brown Arena to see a BC-BU game. Although I hear that Agganis is a fantastic, new facility, it would have been nice to watch a game in Walter Brown.

If you've seen the documentary, leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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