Gasson Hall has long been a centerpiece of Boston College. With its high-reaching Gothic construction, it's arguably the most recognizable building on the entire campus. The approach up the driveway displays high archway door frames and the feeling that you're walking into a building that is truly the school saying, "This is our house."
But the majority of Boston College fans probably have never explored the interior of the building. Inside the hall stands a statue of the Archangel Michael. One of those people who have history across many religions, Michael represents the leader of the Army of God, the one who is a spiritual warrior. In the battle of good against evil, Michael is one of the leaders against Lucifer, one of the embodiments of the Devil. Michael helps souls overcome evil, and he helps ferry them into the Kingdom.
In a world where Catholicism and religion can get very touchy-feely or earthy-crunchy, Michael is ridiculously bad ass.
Boston College released its 2014 football schedule poster this week, typically given out to fans en masse at the team's first home game. In the poster, the team's seniors gather around the statue of the archangel Michael in Gasson Hall as images of Boston College Eagle football appear in the archways behind them. It's something that can really get you pumped up.
For starters, the Gothic construction of Gasson Hall is one of those understated images that's really great. It originated at the height of the medieval era, a time frame largely highlighted by crusaders and knights. Buildings were often huge, elaborate works of art, with the interior evoking images of power and character. Speaking with various members in the design field, the purpose of Gothic construction is to have intricate designs that are wholly one's own. It's synonymous with barbarism, if barbarism could be used in a good sense. For universities and institutions, it's a way to distinguish themselves in a very individualized, yet still very religious, manner. It does not highlight the earthy-crunchy side of religion; it highlights the brimstone and fire side.
For Boston College, the picture is totally bad ass because it incorporates, in simply greyscale, the archangel Michael, the bad assest of the bad ass archangels, rising above Lucifer. You want to come into our house? Fine. We'll slaughter all that's evil. Now does that mean that these other schools are the embodiment of evil? No. I'm sure there are very nice people who work and play for those schools and teams. But Boston College doesn't want to lose, and that means we have to get mad and consider you trying to take what's ours.
If the poster does anything for me, it gets me ludicrously hyped for what Boston College marketing might have in store for gameday experience. I think back to the Frank Spaziani regime and seeing images of athletes studying in the library. I didn't want that; I said last year I wanted to see the construction and the dedication of the athletes. I want to see big sticks, great plays, and a running back crushing a linebacker. This year, I'm anticipating seeing hard-nosed BC highlights and the theme of the Eagles being big and bad. Whether or not that means they'll win six games and get to the bowl game is secondary, at least right now, to the heightening anticipation.
Contrast the images of guys on the football field working as one against the forces who are trying to defeat them. Consider the blood, sweat, and tears that go into it. Consider the hard work, the slamming of bodies, all that makes football what we like. Now consider this. We can probably expect something slightly short of images of angels coming down from the Kingdom to slaughter demons. And that's awesome.
One month to opening day, football fans.