As far back as I can remember, there were two things that mattered in my life - cookies and Boston College football. So much of my childhood was spent with the Eagles and Alumni Stadium. It was as much a part of me as breathing, school, and learning.
When I was probably seven years old, my dad took my brothers to their first game against Temple. I think it was the second year of the Big East football conference, and Tom Coughlin was in the process of turning things around. BC beat Temple, and my dad/brothers had more fun than they could remember together. So my dad decided to get season tickets the next year.
That next year, 1993, was a magical season where BC beat #1 Notre Dame in South Bend after The Game Of The Century on David Gordon's kick. The run continued the next year when they were a David Green fumble away from playing for the Cotton Bowl (or something similar), ending the year with a destruction of Virginia in the Carquest Bowl.
Those days are long gone. The joy felt back then is gone. And the days of being a Boston College fan, for all of us, may be over if something isn't done.
Like I said earlier, things in my life revolved around BC football. I remember spending Saturdays and quality time with my mom because my dad was out with my brothers. I remember going to see them play Michigan on my birthday at night. And I remember the first time I missed a home game in college when they played Miami and got throttled. I remember the pit feeling in my stomach back then, in 2003, when they showed the Canes run out of the tunnel and BC came out in their own right. There was nowhere else I wanted to be.
That feeling is gone. My gut feeling is that I love Boston College and I love the program. But the current state is so bad that I want to quit. I don't want to go to the games anymore, and I don't want to associate with it. It has nothing to do with losses; I can deal with that. It's the way BC loses. They're not a program anymore. They're a whipping boy, a disgrace, and an afterthought. They mock their fans with the way they parade around as if they're a good team. And they're led by someone who can't inspire anybody to feel anything other than apathy and sadness.
I know this program can be special because I've watched it be special. I've gone on the road and proudly worn a gold shirt. When I was in high school and everyone was Notre Dame fans, I proudly wore a Superfan shirt as if I was a Mets fan amongst the Yankees. I was an outcast because I was a BC fan, but it was nothing I felt I had to apologize for. I always had the program to back me up, an 8-4 or 7-4 or 7-5 season and a bowl berth against Boise State to be there. December 28th was always BC football bowl day, and even though I wanted to go to the Orange Bowl, I knew that as long as BC was good, I'd have my fall and winter entertainment.
Those days are long gone. Maybe in five years, it'll be special again. But I don't know that I'll be there. The department still needs to get rid of Spaziani, and as long as he's at the helm, I can't help but feel a chance of him coming back. Even if he is gone, the new coach will need to recruit players; he can't clean house like a pro coach. That means at least four or five years before the new system can truly be installed. That means four or five more years before BC can be relevant again. By then, I'll be in my early to mid 30s, maybe having married my girlfriend, maybe even with kids. I don't know that I'll be able to invest the time and money the way I do now, simply because my life won't allow it anymore.
They don't give me a reason to put them ahead of anything anymore, and that's sad. I hope anyone who reads this can feel what I feel, that my words aren't just statements. This is a real, raw sadness; my BC is gone, and if the new coach can't succeed, then there's no hope. BC might never get back to the days when it truly meant something for me. I hope Brad Bates reads this and listens. This is what we are now. We're an afterthought, something that was special 10 years ago.
I really want Boston College to come back, but I don't trust that it will. This is the end of days for a BC fan, a time when 600 yards of offense against the once proud defense is the norm. I am not only disgraced to be a BC fan, but I don't even feel like one anymore.
Maybe one day it'll come back. But for now, there's nothing but sadness.