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Addazio Defends Against Critics (Again)

NCAA Football: Quick Lane Bowl-Boston College vs Maryland Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one thing we know about Steve Addazio it’s that he doesn’t take kindly to being criticized or questioned on social media. I only use the word “social media” here because we know that the “traditional Boston media” doesn’t dare question any decisions that Addazio makes or the overall direction that he is taking the program. Instead they want to focus on the questions on everybody’s mind like “Just how hard is it to contain Lamar Jackson” or “How effective was Mike Knoll with his punting today”? Therefore when Addazio is getting testy it’s clear that he is responding to Twitter comments or blogs by non-traditional media like the BCI staff , “Eagle in Atlanta” or (Lord help us) fans on twitter that @ Addazio’s Twitter account.

This defiant behavior by Addazio exactly new. We all remember the famous “boxer shorts” conversation from last season around this time which was one of many times that Addazio used his radio show or a press conference to defend himself against critics unprovoked. Also, there was the famous rant in 2015 when Addazio proclaimed that he would one day get to tell everyone “I told you so”.

This season Addazio managed to stay away from taking on critics until this past weekend. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Addazio delivered his now famous “It’s going to be beautiful” statement after the loss to Virginia Tech last weekend. Addazio was asked how he can get the team to a level where they stop making so any mistakes and make some plays. (As a side note does anyone know who the hell asked this question? It was fair but by far the toughest question Addazio has been asked this year.)

On Monday night’s “Boston College Football Radio Show”, Addazio went back on the attack against his critics and used his cringe worthy technique of talking down to fans. Seven minutes into the show Addazio took a conversation about how good Anthony Brown looks into a conversation the overall progress of the team. It felt like a follow-up to the tough question asked to him on Saturday night.

“If you understand football and you really know football you can see all the progress that’s being made. If you don’t really know---And I know everybody thinks they do—but if they don’t really know and they look at it from a sack (inaudible)…” said Addazio. That was just Addazio warming up about his critics that don’t understand football.

Addazio then went on to talk about the team’s progress. “We are doing while we are playing some of the best teams in America. I say it all the time and I think everyone thinks people are tired of hearing me say that. Really? Well that’s just the facts. If you don’t want to hear it don’t let the facts get in a way of a good story. I don’t know what to tell you. People who know football know who we play,” said Addazio.

Addazio then went on to say how some of his good friends have complimented how well the team is playing.

“This team is going to be a hell of a football team and it’s not that hard to see. It’s going to be a hell of a football team and at times it’s a hell of a football team right now and that showed on Saturday. What’s the race? We’ve got to get going as fast as we can get going. We all want it sooner than later. Sometimes you got to know when you got a good thing and you’ve got to let it mature. In this world we are in nobody wants to do that. Well, OK. But I mean this thing here—a little bit more fertilizer and a little more growth here and this probably has a chance to be something quite good in the near…in the very near future.”

On the surface you could chalk up this conversation to Addazio being very thin skinned and this is just the only way he knows how to respond. That is the most probable explanation of his defiant talking down to the majority of the BC fan base.

I will offer one possible alternative. Is this Addazio’s way of rallying the troops and saying it’s us against the world? Is this how he gets his players to fight hard for him when the cards are stacked against them? I will say that last year Addazio timed his “boxer shorts” discussion right before the upset win of NC State on the road which setup the team for a 3-2 run down the stretch. Is Addazio using all these tactics again hoping for the same response? I will say that prior BC employees in the SID role such as, Chris Cameron or Dick Kelley, worked with coaches and players on the best techniques when dealing with the media. I don’t have a relationship with anyone currently in that role at the Heights, but I have to believe that someone has given Addazio feedback on this stuff. Either Addazio is blatantly stubborn and doesn’t want to take the advice or he is a little smarter than we all think and is using this is a rallying call. I’m going with former but time will tell.