Boston College AD's Latest Gaffe: Antagonizing An Already Irritated Fan Base

Jeff: I had a good a time as could've had watching Boston College go down early against #8 Clemson and never really making it too interesting.  Over the weekend, when I was catching up on what I missed in the world of college football and social media, I was very angered to see that Gene DeFilippo had tweeted the following:

"Very impressive to see ALL Clemson fans in their seats 10 minutes before kickoff, in time for national anthem."

Many of our readers were clearly angered by this as well but the majority of the BC fan base and our readers have never been to Clemson to watch a football game. Comparing Clemson fans being in their seats prior to kickoff to BC fans is hardly comparing apples to apples.

Clemson has many traditions that BC does not. For example, I was parked extremely close to the stadium yesterday, the equivalent of being in the Mods Lot at Alumni. I left to head in to our seats 35 minutes before kickoff. I have never left a tailgate at BC to head into the game that long before kickoff as a student or since then. First of all, as someone who has been to Clemson for many games and not just only times when BC has played there, the fans got to their seats earlier than normal yesterday. They were 5-0 and ranked 8th in the country. Of course they are a little more excited about their program than normal. But regardless of record, fans do get into the stadium at Clemson earlier than at Alumni. A few reasons might include:

  • Parking lots open at 8:00am for all games except noon kickoffs at 6:00am
  • There is a pregame prayer that many fans like to be in the stadium for
  • Their running down the hill tradition is referred to as the most exciting 25 seconds in sports
  • Re-entry to the stadium is allowed

Tailgating is part of football. Not everyone drinks alcohol when they head to a football game but football takes at least five hours including travel time to and from the game so everyone has to eat and drink something in that time. Traditions help get fans into the game early, but the tailgating rules I believe are the biggest factor. I saw kickoff, but I missed the end of the 2nd quarter and start of the 3rd because we headed back out to the car, grill burgers and drink a few more beers before heading back in.

When GDF speaks, people listen whether they like what he is saying or not. He can try to make some changes to BC tailgating rules in order to help the gameday atmosphere at Alumni. I think things could be improved as do many other people. Whether or not anything ultimately does change I do not care, but for Gene to bash BC fans for their arrival time to the stadium because they are not acting like a school does that has an 80,000 seat stadium and is regularly referred to as the best tailgating venue in the ACC, is ridiculous. Earlier this week GDF incorrectly stated that every team in the conference aside from Virginia Tech has had a losing season since BC joined, and now this tweet. What is going on with GDF and can you tell I am not happy with what he is saying lately?

Brian: Second part first. Yes, I can tell you are not happy with GDF lately.

As for DeFilippo, I really don't know what he is thinking lately. First was the litany of excuses about why Boston College football is going to endure its first losing season since 1998 -- when at the time, there was still a slim chance BC could have finished above .500. Next was this Tweet, and yesterday was giving Blaudschun just the slightest bit of daylight in the form of a quote on ACC expansion. Blaudschun ran with it and took Gene to task for his comments on UConn, which you could see coming from a mile away.

Blaudschun is clearly more interested in Big East expansion than covering his actual football beat, and his pro-Big East / UConn piece gave a sympathetic Big East fan base even more fodder to rip into GDF and the school. The whole Blaudschun article is thinly-sourced, with little direct quotes and few sources. It's almost as if Gene told Blaudschun the comment about UConn off the record and then wouldn't corroborate the story when Blaudschun sat down to write it. Blauds fired back by -- once again -- painting GDF as the villain, engendering public support for UConn's cause. 

These days, it's just one misstep after the next. We were already having an awful year on the gridiron, will likely have a rebuilding year on the hardwood, and this was literally the last thing DeFilippo and this school's athletics programs needed right now.

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