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Five Good Minutes: Claver2010

Today we welcome to the blog Billy, Boston College Class of 2010. Billy is known in the BC message board community as Claver2010. We try to get a student's perspective on football, hockey and the state of Boston College athletics.

Jeff: Thanks for joining us Billy. First tell us a bit about yourself.

Claver2010: Well, I'm a current student in the Class of 2010, a math major (stupid idea) from Darien, Connecticut. I decided to attend Boston College for a number of reasons - the academics, the sports programs and the Jesuit tradition (I went to a Jesuit high school).

Brian: We don't follow recruiting as closely as I'm sure most current students do, but what's up with this Arthur Fontaine kid? Do you think he'll recommit to the Eagles, or have we lost him to the Bulldogs?

Claver2010: Fontaine is obviously a great talent, being ranked the number eight tight end in the country. He clearly has BC connections which I believe initially caused his commitment. As with many seventeen year olds after making life altering decisions with a lot of time to think about it, he had second thoughts. He has seen the entire different world both athletically and academically of the SEC. Unfortunately, I believe he will be a Bulldog.

Jeff: As alumni we can imagine what the atmosphere on campus was after the Florida State loss last year, but what was it like after the Eagles lost to Maryland the following week?

Claver2010: After the FSU loss the main emotion on campus was complete and utter shock. The atmosphere was the best I had experienced in two years, despite the weather. The Superfans were there early and were loud and the Whalepants were actually standing (maybe because of the wet seats) and somewhat cheering. I remember walking into Lower and people were dead silent. The atmosphere the following weekend was frustration. I think many people on campus took Maryland lightly and looked ahead to the Clemson game. The thing I remember most was the fact that a team stormed the field after beating us. That really stuck.

Brian: Some of us sadly attended both of those games. After the Maryland game, I didn't think we were going to win another game that season. Luckily, Matt Ryan and the team came through in Death Valley.

Brian: We turn our attention to ice hockey as we are told you are an avid BC hockey fan. What did you think of Nathan Gerbe's decision to turn pro this offseason and what do you think of Boston College's chances to make it back to the Frozen Four in Washington DC in 2009?

Claver2010: From Nathan's point of view I believe it was the right decision, he was the most electrifying player in the country and had nothing left to accomplish on the collegiate level. He had two Hockey East championships, three Frozen Fours, three National Championship game appearances, and most importantly a National Championship. The biggest knock on him is clearly his size. He is not going to get any taller and he is clearly one of if not the strongest on the team despite his size. I would have loved to see what Nathan could do with a year lined up with Brock Bradford but he did make the right decision.

Jeff: Name one Hockey East program and one National program that you think will pose the biggest threat to Boston College's defense of a National title.

Claver2010: Hockey East next year will boast the usual suspects as I believe New Hampshire and Boston University will pose the biggest threats to BC hoping to repeat as Hockey East Champions. Both have questions between the pipes that will ultimately be the barometer of the success of their respective teams. UNH will be replacing Kevin Regan who was extremely successful in the regular season but had the monkey on their back come March that has plagued the program. BU also has a question between the pies and clearly has the offense to make a run come March. I believe that our Commonwealth Avenue rivals will be our biggest threat. A sleeper team to watch in Hockey East would be UMass Lowell, an extremely young team with more talent than we all have become accustomed to. Nationally the balance of power is clearly in the West as I look forward to see at Conte what Wisconsin - who has a great incoming freshman class - and Notre Dame have to offer along with Michigan and North Dakota.

Brian: Where do you think BC men's ice hockey falls in the scale of important programs for the Athletic Department? Has it lost ground to other programs like sailing? Do you see the importance of the ice hockey program diminishing over the next few years?

Claver2010: On the scale of importance, hockey falls comfortably third in the eyes of the Athletic Department. It is a shame because it has the market and the results to thrive if the effort was put in as most of the die-hard hockey fans feel that the program succeeds in spite of their support instead of because of it. The start would be to air condition Conte Forum. As three games have been suspended it is clearly a problem and it is an embarrassment that the hockey team does not deserve. If I was a power team from the West, I would be weary of coming to Chestnut Hill because of these fears.

Another suggestion would be to incorporate more local hockey programs in the atmosphere. There are few games that sell out and the department knows this. I suggest that come the middle of the week for a night game if a group of tickets go unsold, GIVE them to a local team and equip the kids with thundersticks. It would hopefully change the morgue-like atmosphere that sometimes falls over Conte. In the future the popularity and profitability of the program directly will be determined by the effort put in.

Jeff: Last one, have you been able to get to any away football games during your time on the Heights? Are you planning on attending any of the road games this season? From watching on television or from what other fans have said, which ACC stadium do you think is the most intimidating venue to play in?

Claver2010: While I have yet to attend a road football game, there is one in the plans and two are definite. This year's road schedule does not have the marquee road games that last year or the 2009 season has, however there are plans to make the trip to Raleigh, North Carolina to see some revenge against NC State. My senior (2009 fall) season I will be making the rite of passage to South Bend along with a trip to Death Valley, which apparently is a sight to see. I think the toughest venues for teams to play in the ACC would either be at Virginia Tech or Clemson. The Thursday night environment is something special and the thought of whalepants and students all wearing orange, standing and screaming for hours on Saturdays is something that BC should strive for.

Brian: We'll look forward to seeing you in Raleigh for a Wolfpack beatdown on October 4. Thanks for joining us Billy.