Welcome to the refreshed BC Interruption! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [contest rules]. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
Laura Berestecki, Editor in Chief
I always knew that I wanted to go to BC. My dad was a Double Eagle and I grew up nearby, so once I started playing sports, we started coming to BC games. I got very into basketball in elementary school (which is funny if you know me, because I am short and have no athletic abilities), and we started going to all of the BC women’s basketball games. Over time, we started going to men’s basketball and football games too. In 6th grade, I wore at least one piece of BC apparel every day (which is also funny if you know me because my style has changed... a lot). Here is an example of how much I idolized BC WBB.
In 7th grade, I came home one day and said I wanted to go to a hockey game. And BC hockey quickly became everything to me. By 10th grade, my family and I were season ticket holders and going to most away hockey games. I’ve missed 2 home games over the past 10 years and still go to most away games. Also, one of my family cats is named after Nathan Gerbe.
Writing for BCI has been great for my BC fandom because it has brought me back to teams that I had stopped watching (I had so much fun going to women’s basketball games this year, even though it was a rough season) and gotten me into watching new teams (women’s lacrosse! Final Four!). Plus, through BCI I’ve met friends that will travel to random hockey away games with me :)
Joe Gravellese, Editor Emeritus
My origin story as a BC fan is not necessarily super interesting: I was born in the Boston area, I grew up a huge Boston sports fan, and I was taught from a young age that BC was our local college team.
Of course, how I became a fanatical BC fan as opposed to a more casual one is potentially more interesting, I guess?
I grew up in a family of hockey fans, and we always supported all the local college hockey teams - BC, BU (ugh, I know), Northeastern, Harvard, UMass - you name it. We'd watch them in person and on TV; watching the Beanpot was always a huge deal.
When I was 10, BC started their run of Frozen Four appearances under Jerry York, ending in heartbreak in '98, '99, and 2000. In 2001, I was 13, and BC broke through for their first national championship since 1949. It was my first taste of any of my sports teams finding success. At the time, the Red Sox, Bruins and Patriots were all still pretty bad. So this was a big, formative sports fan experience for me, and solidified BC as my hockey team.
I got more in to BC basketball and football as well when I was in high school. As I was in the process of looking at and applying to colleges, Jared Dudley, Matt Ryan and company were launching BC into the national conversation in the marquee revenue sports. Needless to say, this had a huge impact on me.
2004-05 was the year of the NHL lockout, so as a huge Bruins fan, that winter had a gaping sports void -- one that I filled by watching or listening to each and every BC basketball game. I remember taking a 90 minute ride from the bus, to the blue line, to the green line to get from Revere High School to BC to go to some basketball and hockey games that winter - sometimes I'd manage to drag friends, sometimes I'd go by myself.
My senior year in high school, 2006, I was choosing between BC and a few other schools I was accepted to when I attended "Admitted Eagle Day." On that day, two things really stuck out to me: first was a conversation with the late Father Neenan. He asked me about my college choice and told me more about the values of the Jesuits. I learned about "men and women for others," finding god in all things, and the Jesuits' commitment to education and service. That really resonated with me.
And the other thing that resonated with me that day was that it was also the day of the BC spring football game. After attending some academic panels, I went and sat in the stands at Alumni and truly felt at home, having been a BC fan my whole life.
Needless to say, I was a huge fan of all things BC from the moment I got on to campus in 2006 - soccer, women's hockey, baseball, you name it. But of course it was always hockey that was the closest to my heart, something that's stayed true to this day. Seven years after graduating, I still travel far and wide for hockey road games, and I don't see that changing any time soon.
AJ Black, Football Editor
I have lived in Massachusetts my entire life, and grew up in a family that was all about Boston sports. My father was a big BC fan from the Doug Flutie days, and got me into it as well. At the dinner table it was always Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and BC sports. When my girlfriend-now-wife ended up playing in the BC Screaming Eagles Marching Band, I started regularly attending games which I loved. Watching Matt Ryan torch a defense, or Sean Williams make a highlight reel block got my adrenaline going, and at the time the fans were crazy and it was infectious.
I then ended up at Boston College for my Masters, where I lived for two years as an RA, and ended up working there for three years before I got married to my wife at St. Ignatius. Even when they were (are) bad, I still love nothing more than making my trip back to a place that is so very special to me. I always get that rush when I enter the campus, and that is something I will always treasure.
Grant Salzano, Senior Hockey Writer
My reasons for BC being so important to me are a bit personal and maybe a little corny, but they are what they are.
I live in Connecticut, and when I was growing up, some of my earliest memories were of being in the car with my grandpa listening to Red Sox games on the radio (AM 1080!). I was really close with my grandpa so I was with him a lot, and if the Red Sox weren't on the radio I would always ask him why not -- I just assumed that if we were in the car, the Red Sox would be playing.
So I was always very pro-Boston from an early age, and as time went on I started to watch the Bruins, and, since my TV was constantly on NESN, I would also watch the Beanpot when it was that time of year. Even though my allegiance wasn't yet set, I still knew that you couldn't just root for both BC and BU -- sides must be chosen. I just didn't know which side I was supposed to pick.
So in high school, I knew I wanted to go to school in Boston, and my top schools when all was said and done were BC and BU. BU gave my family absolutely nothing in financial aid, but BC's package was extremely generous -- it was everything we needed. I have a single mom who had two kids (I have a twin sister) entering college at the same time, so that financial aid was completely necessary.
But even more than that, BC made me feel like I was wanted and BU made me feel like I wasn't welcome. So needless to say, that Beanpot allegiance was written in stone before I even stepped into campus.
There's a little more to the story, though. Things were sort of complicated in high school. Before my sophomore year, my mother remarried and we moved into my new stepfathers house. There were some pretty serious issues after that, and they divorced and we moved out, coincidentally, right as I moved into BC.
My sister was going to school in Connecticut, so she and my mom ended up getting an apartment, and I just took my things and went to BC. During the summers, it just worked out that I ended up living and helping out at my grandpa's house (how's that for full circle?) near my mom and sister's apartment.
And so, BC became truly "home" to me as the first place I could call my own in years. The Heights welcomed me in, I met my best friends, and, for me, the Eagles gave "home team" a profound new meaning.
I love Boston College, and it is so much more to me than just sports.
Arthur Bailin, Senior Men’s Basketball & Hockey Writer
I guess I chose Boston College by accident. I was applying to different schools in my quest to transfer out of Quinnipiac, and I applied to BC not really expecting to get in. I had actually committed to Fordham and was dead set on going there, but at the last minute BC sent me an email telling me I had gotten in. I was so sure that I wasn’t getting in that I had ignored an email from student services asking for my classes from my second semester freshman year. Not grades, classes. I was actually admitted as a second semester freshman, but that got changed in a hurry.
I guess I fell in love with BC athletics at the USC football game. It was my second game at the Heights, and I was sitting with my friend Patrick in the first row behind the end zone. I couldn’t see a blessed thing because I was sitting behind an ESPN camera well, but the energy in the stadium was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. At that point I was hooked.
Patrick Toppin, Staff Writer
I didn’t grow up a Boston College fan. I had never even heard of the school until the 2010-2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park in San Francisco, when Colin Kaepernick and the Nevada Wolf Pack beat up on Luke Kuechly and the Eagles. For the record, and to my everlasting shame, I rooted for the Wolf Pack.
At moment I fell in love with the Eagles, I was not sure I was going to attend BC. I had not even put in my application yet. But on a Saturday night in September 2014, I watched Tyler Murphy do his thing against USC.
I grew up a Cal fan. I attended every home game at California Memorial Stadium for over 12 years. I attended more games than any player that has ever played for the Golden Bears. I bleed blue and gold. And if there is one team I despise more than anything on this planet, it is USC.
So as I watched Murphy clinch the game for the Eagles with a 66-yard touchdown run, I knew that I was fan. That fandom was cemented in the highs and lows since that night; from missed PATs and winless seasons to overtime goals to win the Beanpot and NCAA tournament games in field hockey and soccer.
I still bleed blue and gold, but now there is maroon in there as well.
Colin Leddy, Junior Football Writer
I have been a BC fan since I was a kid. I am from Natick, MA, home of Doug Flutie. This gave me an instant connection that drew me to the team. In high school I attended the BC football and men’s basketball camps, which also grew my interest. I use to love watching Matt Ryan dazzle Chestnut Hill during his legendary career. I was an avid fan of BC basketball as well, especially during the Al Skinner era. Sean Williams had to be my favorite player at the time. Also, it's very cool to watch my former teammate Troy Flutie on BC's squad. It seems like they’re moving in the right direction, which is great to see.
Michael Gualtieri, Contributor
I became a fan in 2004-05 while working as a Student Manager for BC Men's Basketball. The team started off 20-0 and got as high as #3 in the nation. I have been hooked ever since!
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