Admittedly, as AJ pointed out last week in his final thoughts, I had to leave the game early (right as the rains started falling) in order to go to work. So I missed the ending from my usual section and instead was forced to watch the game from an iPhone with the Watch ESPN app. That said, let's jump right into it and offer up the observations of how things looked from the bleachers:
Clemson fans might be great, but I somehow got the bad ones.
Look, last week, I had tremendous interaction with Clemson fans. I called into multiple radio shows, saw tweets, social media interactions, and overall grew another level of respect for one of the nation's best and most passionate fan bases. At the game itself, I had my biannual discussion with people about how Clemson people show up with orange pants, orange shirts, orange bumper stickers, and even Tiger-branded headsets. I think it's great. It's one of those things that you guys have that is fantastic to see, even if it makes me crotchety because BC people wouldn't be caught dead wearing that stuff (God forbid they don't wear Vineyard Vines, right?)
Somehow, someway--I ended up with a group of horrible fans sitting behind me. They were probably a group of 20-somethings who showed up late, then proceeded to act like complete animals.
I'm no angel. I'm not trying to act like I wasn't the one taunting some USC fans as they waltzed out of Alumni Stadium, and I'm not trying to act like I wasn't the one at Foxboro getting in some fun at UMass fans' expense. But there are ways of doing it. There are ways of saying things so that you don't embarass yourself. I happened to get the idiots.
Maybe I'm getting a little preachy and "get off my lawn" about this, but seriously. I had this group of eight of them sitting there talking smack about BC (I'm used to it, so whatever), almost trying to start a problem. This one girl kept smashing the back of my seat cushion because it was in her leg room, like I wanted to have my back in her lap (hint: I didn't). This other girl kept swearing like she was from old Southie, then looked at the little kids (no older than four or five) and said, "he's got headphones on so he can't hear me anyways" as THEY STARED AT HER. The father with the kids just shook his head.
The absolute nadir, though, is forever the city of Boston not related to BC. You want to talk smack about BC? Go for it. You want to make fun of our students for not showing up on time? Be my guest. But don't sit there and talk smack about stuff that's not related to BC. These two knucklehead males in this group behind me kept talking about the Patriots and Tom Brady stink, Patriots fans stink, and the Red Sox stink. So I turned around and said, "Hey they didn't play like crap on Thursday, pal. They won the game." After an immediate recoil with the statement of "I'm a Pats fan too bro" they started crapping on Matt Ryan. Guess what I was wearing? A Patriots hat and a Matt Ryan jersey.
So like I said--I don't think Clemson fans on the whole are like this. But let this be a message. Don't be that guy in someone else's stands. You don't know who you're talking to. I guess I probably could've gone to the Team OPS guy over in the stairway, but that guy's done about as much as the BC kickers this year on extra points.
If you're going to be late in someone else's stadium, follow the code of conduct. Cheer for your team and not against someone else's. I understand these fans exist everywhere, and I'm fighting with the duality of thought--1) on one hand, I'm not even 30 yet. I'm not an old man. Keep having fun and live it up. But 2) there's ways of acting and ways of acting. About four rows back there was a great Clemson fan wearing a bright orange fishing shirt talking about the game and very politely (yet loudly) rooting for the Tigers. Why couldn't I end up with that guy sitting behind me?
Speaking of those BC fans...
Great job by the students to come out and stay out for most of the game. There were plenty of people walking out with me, but I doubt they all had to go to work, too. As it turns out, the majority of them were going back to a tailgate to get the grill fired up. I love this. It means they sacrificed themselves for the greater good, the ones who said, "I'll miss this in order to get the tailgate working."
It's that type of teamwork that I think goes underrated these days. I would never be the guy who goes out to get the tailgate set up for the limited post game hour or two. I would never leave the stadium period with the issue in doubt. But the type of people who are willing to let their friends and family enjoy the game so they can step out? You guys are the unsung heroes of Boston College football.
As for the fans themselves, a FANTASTIC showing, almost to the likes of the USC game, when I left. Even as the rains came, the Superfans stayed. A little bit of rain never hurt anyone, so I was proud that they stuck around and didn't want to miss it.
Now if only we could get you guys in before the kickoff, we'd have ourselves something special developing.
Can anyone let me know how it went on Shea Field? I didn't get a chance to see anything, and I'm sure the field held up oh-so-great under the rain. What were crowds like? How did the accessibility go? Weigh in with comments.