In the wake of Saturday's humiliating 30-3 at the hands of UCF, I have decided to embark on a quest. It is a desperate search for survivors in a sense. I do not expect it to be easy or brief in nature, but it is one that I feel obligated to pursue. This quest has been 2 years in the making and has finally reached a crucial turning point. A performance such as Saturday's hapless effort against a Conference-USA team demands that I focus my attention towards this matter and although it may be in vain, I will not stop until I am able to find that which I seek.
What is the aim of my noble search, you ask? The answer is simple: to scour the Chestnut Hill campus for one of the few remaining supporters of Frank Spaziani as BC football's head coach.
I realize that the opinions of a head coach following an embarrassing loss will be a bit reactionary, but that's how this business works. It was apparent that the fan base was displeased with the coaching last season and many had high hopes for the 2011 season. Here we are, two weeks in, and the defense appears to have regressed while the offense still has immense difficulty sustaining drives. As the head coach of a Division 1 football team, your job is to produce acceptable results and show signs of improvement. One would be hard-pressed to find a person that believes Coach Spaz has done either of those things.
As early as the second quarter of the UCF debacle the hashtag #FireSpaz became prevalent on my Twitter timeline. As someone that took so much effort to find a way to watch the game on CBS College Sports Network on channel 9482 or whatever, I instantly regretted how I had decided to spend my Saturday night. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching my football program get demolished by a school that was previously 3-47 against teams from BCS conferences as much as the next guy, but this was a tad absurd. Initially, I was unsure how to feel about the "Fire Spaz" movement and had been a defender of his until roughly halfway through last season. At some point last fall I eased my stance and have been leaning towards his termination ever since. For the record, I am not usually a proponent of firing someone unless you have an adequate replacement and this case is no different. There is no sense in firing Spaz if we have nobody competent to step in and do a better job. That being said, I would be shocked if, barring a miraculous turnaround, Coach Spaz does not get fired at the end of the season.
Now that I have stated my humble opinion, I think it's necessary to get a sense of what other BC fans think about the situation. I began walking around campus and casually asked BC students -- both informed and clueless alike -- what they thought of Coach Spaz. Let's just say that the responses lacked variety.
Naturally, I started with my closest circle of friends, many of which are highly informed sports fans. A year ago, these were the same people to whom I preached my defense of Spaz. Fast forward to September 13th, 2011 and we are in virtual accordance. We were admittedly hopeful that the hiring of Kevin Rogers would have a significant impact. However, when a large group of spectators are audibly calling out the play call based on the down and distance, we quickly lost that enthusiasm.
One student expressed his frustration: "One week we're airing it out and almost moving the ball effectively, the next week we revert to our 'draw-draw-sack-punt' offense; where the hell is the coaching logic in that?"
Another noted the pathetic play by the offensive line in both games: "For a coach at 'O-Line U', how do you possibly have one of the worst offensive lines in college football? Shouldn't that be a priority?"
Both fans come off as rather knowledgable and make valid points. When I pressed a little harder to get to black and white answer, both replied that it was time for Spaz to go. A few days after Saturday's loss to UCF, an actual Twitter account with the handle @FireSpaz appeared. That's when I realized that this notion was widespread and not limited to people with a vast understanding of BC football. Each person I discussed the topic with struggled to find positive things about Coach Spaziani. Virtually everyone called for his eventual, if not immediate, termination.
When I set my Facebook status as "Does anybody still like Coach Spaziani as BC's head coach?", one of the responses came from a friend that attends UConn.
His answer? "Yeah, the teams playing against BC."
Crap, even UConn football is laughing at us....
At a party, I overheard a group of girls discussing how "wicked fun" BC football games were. I casually poked in and asked what they thought of Coach Spaz, to which one responded, "Is that the guy with the goofy looking mustache? He sucks." Aha! I had finally found the perfect description of our beloved head coach. Another followed up with, "Oh him? What does he even do anyway?" Granted this particular Superfan didn't know a whole lot about football, she asked an almost valid question. We are unable to recruit new, standout players. We cannot replace the losses at offensive line. We look utterly unprepared for the back-up Northwestern quarterback. Our defense is suddenly unnaturally porous. If all of these things continue, what exactly does Spaz do?
After a few minutes, one girl piped up and came to Spaz's defense.
"Hey, I like Spaz," she said, "He's good at defense and stuff."
I didn't feel the need to spout off the ludicrous offensive numbers of our opponents, but instead was intrigued by the possibility that I had finally found a loyal supporter of Spaz. I encouraged her by agreeing that he is kind of good at defense and "stuff". I pushed her one step further and asked if she meant that she thought Spaz should remain the head coach.
Her response: "Oh, no no no. But maybe he can stay for defense or something."
So close, yet so far. I thought I had finally found the person willing to adamantly stand by Spaz's side. Alas, I once again came up empty. The search has proven more difficult that expected and will continue until I can identify someone who is against finding a new head coach. Hopefully, I can find someone before BC's next game because if the Eagles fall to Duke at home the last member of Team Spaz, like our bowl game aspirations, will have vanished into thin air.