The first installment of the BC Interruption mailbag ...
BostoncollegeNYR asked: As a soon to be alumnus, one thing I have always been bothered by is the relative lack of enthusiasm from the alumni (other than recent grads) and other fans. Bob Smith and his wife show up in their non-maroon and gold outfits and take their seats expecting to sit down the whole game expect for when they stand for 3 seconds to golf clap a touchdown. What's up with that?
Jeff: College football has taken off in popularity over the past decade nationally. There are several factors that play into the sport becoming more popular and one of them is football as a sport becoming more popular at all levels which it is played.
But the college game in particular has taken off because of the game day experience. Tailgating is much different today that it was 20 years ago with satelite tvs and even better portable grills. SEC schools and schools with in the ACC like Clemson or schools in the northeast like Penn State have welcomed this change and the all day tailgating that goes along with a college football game. This new form of tailgating is incredibly popular with people who have children in college and younger. BC has not adopted to the all day tailgate surrounding a college football game though so their fans, outside of students are still older than you might find at the average football game or are just not the same people that would be as likely to attend a football game if the average fan were arriving several hours before kickoff to enjoy the day in a parking lot eating and drinking with friends.
The in stadium experience at Boston College is largely linked to the out of stadium lack of experience. Once the tailgating experience changes, it will attract more people more like yourself and Bob Smith wearing his blue button down will decide to watch from home or upgrade his seats to somewhere where you can't bother him.
CoachJF asked: How does Boston College better engage the locals and the local media in support of BC athletics, in particular, the two big national sports of football and basketball and to a lesser extent hockey?
Grant: These are three completely different questions, so I'll try to address all three briefly.
Football first. Let me ask you a question. How many times have you been watching TV and seen an advertisement telling you to get out to a BC football game?
Personally I can't think of any. Now, I've lived off campus for the last couple years, but I can't imagine things are all that different now compared to when I was a student.
I think there are two factors here. One is that even a little effort on advertising the games would go a long way. I don't think that's done.
Living down in UConn country, I do see UConn advertising its games here and there. Why isn't that done up at BC? Again, maybe it happens and I'm totally off base. But if the community knew there was a game, some of them are going to go.
But that's not the biggest factor. The problem is that it actually a burden for a family of four to go to a football game because of the parking. And unfortunately short of filling in and paving over the Res, this just doesn't have an easy solution. Who wants to drive to Needham and take a bus to the game? That's a pain in the ass.
It's really a shame that the Chestnut Hill T stop is ⅓ of a mile from campus. That's just long enough to be a prohibitive walk for a family. For those fans coming from the west, that would make things a whole lot easier if they could park at Riverside and take the T right in to the game.
Okay, that was long.
For basketball, I will say: Just win, baby. People will show up when the team plays well. When I was a student and we weren't terrible, people showed up. It wasn't packed, but people came. Even the students.
For hockey: I'm not really sure what can or should be done to improve attendance. We're pretty much what everyone in the east wants to be as far as attendance.
Honestly, BC is an extraordinarily convenient destination for hockey and basketball games with the parking garages (and how quickly you're able to get out of them -- that shouldn't be underestimated). I think in hoops you would see something similar to hockey's attendance if you had a contending team.
ACal6888 asked: How old is too old to find the hockey players hot? .....just curious.
Grant: Joe is really the perfect person to answer this one but he's busy with real-world things as the moment. I've got his back here.
I did ask him for his opinion on this one. His answer was "21 years and 213 days old." That seems to be the general consensus among the college hockey community. Once you've reached 24 years 212 days, it is no longer acceptable for you to call a player hot. Amy.
I spoke to my wife on this. She has A ‘Thing' for Milan Lucic. Now, my wife is 25, so according to our standard we've just set, she's technically not allowed to think hockey players are hot. But she's also not allowed to think anyone else is hot, since she's my wife. So, somehow that cancels out or something.
Ironically enough -- and this is true -- Milan Lucic is 24 years and 214 days old. So Lucic, by one day, is not allowed to think that hockey players are hot.
We've answered nothing here. I should have just forced Joe to answer this.
BRog33 asked: Who do you think will be the breakout star of the football team will be next year? It was clearly Amidon this year.
A.J Black: I have to cop out here and give you two players, because honestly when you asked, I couldn't decide between an offensive player and someone on the defense.
First off on offense, I have to go with Rolandan Finch. My initial gut instinct was to pick someone on the offensive line, maybe Matt Patchan or one of the young guys like Wins Homer or Frank Taylor. But for me, I think an improved offensive line is going to be money for Deuce. After a half a season in Spaz's dog house, and a whole bunch of games where Doug Martin decided to scrap the run game entirely, Finch still finished the season with a respectable 5.6 yards a carry. Now think of what he will do if they can fix the offensive line, and hand the ball off to him 30 times a game. Especially with weak non-conference defenses, I'm sniffing a thousand plus year with a dozen touchdowns for Deuce this year.
On the defensive side of the ball, I am going to take a shot here and go with Spencer Rositano. He had an interception every game over a span of a month last year, and that was on a lousy defense. I love his knack for the ball, and I think with Don Brown's new pressure based defenses he will get more opportunities to make plays, and we will here his name a lot next year.
Cdiggitydog asks: I am cautiously optimistic on BCFootball and slowly becoming a convert to Addazio's way after choking on my gizzards when reading about his hire (Temple? Seriously?? I was convinced I was seeing Spazzoo II Redux with Acid Reflux and a Cowboy Mustache Pepto Bismol Chaser to boot...but nay I digress...).
Give me your best projection for the 2013 yr on how Steve will straddle his largely public stance on using DTQ's (dual-threat QB's) while holding an in-house Best-Offensive-Weapon-We-Got in Chase Rettig for his last year on the Heights. If he's recruiting long-term for the O-Line and skill positions to maximize DTQ's, does he paradoxically create a short-term one-year offense to play to Rettig's strengths? Or does he sacrifice winning short-term in 2013 by building an offensive playbook that plays to DTQ's while limiting Rettig's talents? I don't see how he can play it both ways and come out smelling like roses...and unfortunately, the smell test to me is making me gag on Rettig and I think the poor guy is going to lose out on what could have been a phenomenal NFL-here-we-come Senior Year.
1) He doesn't like the TOB-esque, two quarterback system
2) Every position is up for grabs, including QB
3) He favors dual-threat QBs
Not looking good for Rettig here.
Addazio won't come out of this smelling like roses this year as Rettig is a clear fan favorite. But three years from now, will anyone remember that Addazio cheated Rettig out of his senior year as a starting QB? I tend to doubt it.
Here are the scenarios I see playing out, from most likely to least:
1) Addazio holds an "open tryout" at QB in the spring. The position is unsettled until the fall at which time he names Josh Bordner the starter over Rettig. Bordner attempts at least one pass this season and serves as a bridge QB saving Walsh/Lowrie a year of eligibility and giving the staff a full year to find another dual threat QB. Rettig's career quietly comes to an end.
2) Addazio and Day adapt the playbook to play to Rettig's strengths. Rettig is named the starter coming out of spring ball. His senior year is to mixed results as the scheme really doesn't fit his abilities.
3) Full-on QB competition this spring. Position is unsettled until late in fall camp. Addazio / Day decide that Walsh or Lowrie has the better skill set to run their offense. Rettig and Bordner sit. Rebuild mode begins in earnest in year 1.
I really like Rettig and think he has a ton of potential, but I don't see any scenario where he has a phenomenal-NFL-here-we-come Senior Year under this coaching staff. I think Addazio / Day want to run a system that doesn't complement Rettig's skill set.
Even under a different coaching staff, do you honestly think Rettig would make it on the next level? No question he has been hurt by the the revolving door at OC, the systematic dismantling of O-Line U and Spaz's offensive ineptitude. But Rettig still seems a bit too slow, but in terms of speed and decision-making, to make it in the NFL. Having said that, Rettig may also be this program's last best chance at putting another signal caller in the league until we move away from the dual-threat QB and back to more of a pro-style offense.