Dan Rubin: Hey AJ, we're coming up on 75 days until kickoff. When it was counting down to my wedding, I used to send picture collages to my friends of the ghosts of Boston sports past or present. My best friend resurrected the tradition with his wedding coming up at the end of next month. I'm a big fan of it, especially because we always come up with crazy names. I'm trying to think of a Boston College guy with the number 75, but since I can't think of one, I'll let you either tell me or we can defer to the comments section.
Who ya got for me?
AJ Black: Opens the old internet machine, types in "Know Your Dudes" and looks up last years BCI summer series. First off, last season we had Ian Silberman, who is now in the NFL. There have been some other really good linemen who have also shared the number 75 including Marc Columbo, Josh Beekman and Nate Richman. I'm sure I'll get blasted in the comments for forgetting some backup tackle from 1947, but oh well. I tried.
Dan, we talked a lot this week about Al Washington landing 4* LB Ethan Tucky, and there was a lot of excitement on the boards. Who was the last recruit BC snagged that legitimately got you pumped up?
Dan Rubin: You know what? It was Chase Rettig. Chase was an All-American quarterback who was coming from California in what might've been the recruiting coup of the century. I was thinking about him starting as a sophomore - either true or redshirt freshman - and how BC could build around him.
AJ: Really? I have to say Marcus Outlow. He was the first Addazio recruit, and he went to town trying to get players to BC.
Dan Rubin: Of course then Rettig's development went off course and died of dysentery, and he became the biggest what-if scenario I can remember because I can't help but think about what would've happened if he had even reasonably talented coaches.
One step further - we KNOW Daz is a reasonably talented coach at this point. Now we have a 4* guy recruited by him to be the focus of the defense? It gets me very excited, even if Chase is a cautionary tale that nothing is ever guaranteed.
AJ you're much more in tune with recruiting than I am. Tell me about how this can open doors for other recruits who may or may not have BC on their radar.
AJ Black: I like to think of these situations help a school like BC tremendously. I remember back to the Spaz days when Maurice Hurst--who ended up at Michigan-- said that there was a ton of talent in Massachusetts, but no one was considering Boston College. But now BC has the Bay State locked down, that way of thinking has dissolved. Thinking of that statement in a larger context, you think ⅘ stars think the same way. Grabbing guys like Jon Hilliman/Harold Landry/Ethan Tucky shows the recruits "Hey it's okay to go to BC if you are a good recruit". Believe me recruits see this all over social media. It removes the stigma that was created when BC was terrible.
There is a secondary benefit as well. Many of these big name guys are well connected with other big name guys. They have camped together, done 7 on 7, and know each other well. What you end up seeing are the more vocal 4*'s will start stumping BC to other recruits. Hilliman has been a great example of this. Coaches are great to get players in, but having other recruits doing your work for you? Well that's just gravy.
Dan, kind of changing gears here. The last few years BC has gone out and tried to make improvements to Alumni Stadium. They built video boards last season. What stadium improvements would you like to see the Eagles make this year?
Dan: Call me crazy, but I'm coming close to the vibe that Alumni Stadium needs a major facelift. I'm not talking about enclosing the corners like Brian used to talk about; I'm talking about fixing the stadium from underneath.
That means improved lighting in the concourse area, easier access to the seating, better style seating, and renovated bathrooms. Things like that go a long way to improving the fan experience.
I'm not touching tailgating with a 10 foot pole. It's like handling nuclear waste with an oven mitt in terms of bad ideas.
What are your thoughts on the topic?
AJ: I totally agree that they need an overhaul. Though I think at this point I would work on fixing what they are already have. The acoustics were a mess last year, the video board was hit or miss (think Syracuse game where it completely fritzed).
Dan, Maryland recently voted to allow UMD to serve beer at their football games. Do you think BC will ever allow that to happen? If so how would you execute it.
Dan: I think, at some point, beer sales have to become the norm at athletic sporting events. Right now, without beer, we are seeing too many people sneaking in nips of hard booze and getting wrecked during the game. For hard examples, look at what I said about the Clemson fans who were out of control last season or the Virginia Tech fans who I've talked about leaving dozens of crushed nip bottles under their seats.
It's something I think deserves a longer post, but I feel that alcohol enforcement at the games is virtually impossible in its current state. Nothing stops people from sneaking in nips, and there's no shot at having the one or security guys at each section enforce any rules.
My hypothesis - which I'd love to research and see if I can back up - is that beer sales allows for further regulation. It doesn't prevent people from getting sloshed, but it doesn't stop a family friendly environment either. The enforcement of family values is ultimately on security, but going to the game and having a beer would both serve as a way to regulate it as well as generate more revenue.
Again, it's something I'm making a blanket statement on and would need to back up. I have no stats or facts to back that up, but I'll do some homework and leave this open for a post in the future. It might not be so easy to just let it happen, and my thought may ultimately be proven wrong.
I tried to go as scientific as possible on that. Hope it worked.
One last question for you to wrap this thing up. While the students remain the most engaged part of the game, I usually take umbrage at the student section for being late arriving or early departing. What's the one thing you would tell them to help get them more engaged at football games?
AJ- Dan this is the age old question about BC students. When I was there, it was before the the cops kicked you out a half hour before the game started. Kids wouldn't show up at all. Or if they would they would show up halfway through the 2nd and leave near the end of the 4th. There is no real answer to this question in my eyes. It's a culture thing. Students need to be excited about the game, and if they are, they will show up on time and energized. We saw that at the USC game this year. The student section was bonkers. No matter what team you throw on the field, the students are going to be lackadaisical when the Eagles are playing Maine/Howard.
BC needs to figure out how to capitalize on the bigger games: the ones against Florida State and Virginia Tech. Do a give a away or something. Maybe limited edition t-shirts for the first 1,000 or whatever. Or even better, if your tickets are scanned in before kick off you will be entered for tickets to BC/ND at Fenway, or a trip to Ireland. Something big. Right now given the schedule that's probably their best shot.
NO HUDDLE OFFENSE
AJ: Chris Shaw was picked as a sandwich pick by the Giants, a pick they gained from the Red Sox. Dan, we are both Red Sox fans. Who would you rather have right now. Pablo Sandoval, or a prospect like Chris Shaw?
Dan: Shaw. I have several thoughts on the Red Sox, none of which I can say in public.
It looks like beer selections this summer are going to encompass a wide variety of Shandy options. Are you a shandy fan and if so what's your brand?
AJ: No, they all taste like lemonade and swill. I'm not a huge fruity beer person in general, but last year I tried Shipyards MelonHead and it was really good at the beach.
Finally, Mark Herzlich will be the bobblehead for all season ticket holders who make it to all seven home games. Will you be bringing home a #94?
Dan: I hope so, but I have no idea if I won a Flutie last year or how to receive my Bobble-Herz if I do.