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September 14, 2005

Fans: "Take it to the Heights"

By Kyle Paice

      Those of you from out of town; believe me: the Boston sports world used to be a far more dismal place. The Patriots used to be the laughing stock of the entire NFL, eternal basement dwellers. At least the Red Sox would come close, though—giving us infinite hope each summer, only to send us into a pitiful state of despair by Halloween. The newspapers used to refer to it as the 'Curse of the Bambino'. My therapist used to call it 'vacation money.'

      But then February 3, 2002 came. Adam Vinatieri split the uprights of the now ruined New Orleans Superdome, and Bostonians changed forever. Professional sports in Boston have almost miraculously become the gold standard by which other teams judge themselves. The time has come for Boston College to elevate the Eagles football team into the same echelon. All of the pieces are in place. Mathias Kiwanuka hasn't even played a down in the ACC, and was already voted preseason player of the year. Quinton Porter looked his sharpest in years against BYU and Army. Coach Tom O'Brien has stated in multiple interviews that this is his most experienced team he has had in his tenure at BC.

      Most importantly, it is time for our student super fans to kick it up a notch, and with good reason. Ask any New England Patriot what the key to their success and they will point to their fans—even before Bill Belichick. As a native Bostonian, I will be first to praise Belichick and his ingenious coaching schemes. However, the most telling stat in the Patriots improbable run of the last 4 years is that they haven't lost a game in Foxboro since December of 2002. The last time a team marched out of Gillette Stadium victorious was almost three years ago. Teams tremble at the notion of having to play the Pats on their home field. Just ask Peyton Manning & Co.

      College Football buffs as well as veterans of EA Sports' NCAA Football 2006 will know that home field advantage is even greater at the collegiate level. Teams fear having to travel to places like the Big House in Ann Arbor or the Horseshoe in Columbus. For some reason, however, this is not the case at the Heights. Personally, I find this baffling. We have the brass that goes the extra mile for us. Gene DeFilippo has worked hard to gain entrance for the Eagles into the ACC, and the football team certainly earned it with last year's performance that left them ranked at the end of the season. Therefore, it's up to the students to do their part, and provide the Eagles with the twelfth man.

      I will be the first to acknowledge tailgating to be one of the greatest inventions of the twentieth century, but it's no excuse to be late for the game. The city of Boston has decided to allow BC to begin its tailgates two and a half hours before kickoff—a thirty minute increase from last year. Therefore, there is no reason the student section shouldn't be stuffed before opening kickoff. There will be plenty more time to get to partying after the game. We owe our football team the same support that Nebraska gets playing in the Sea of Red or that Florida receives in the Swamp. Ask anyone that goes to those schools, they will tell you that arriving late to the game is absolutely unheard of. Same goes for leaving early.

      Those of you that decide to engage in the practice of leaving at halftime: pop that collar (since you were too cool to wear your yellow SuperFan shirt) and stay out. Give your ticket to someone who will actually fill their seat for the entire game. Those of you who left the BC-Pitt Basketball game with eight minutes left last winter know exactly who you are. Things were already awful, but nowhere near as sour as things turned after the basketball team had to watch their own fans deserting them with nearly an entire quarter left to play. That team gave us twenty games in a row without a loss, and deserved better from their home fans. The same goes for the football team. These aren't million dollar athletes. These are students just like us, and they deserve to have the twelfth man in the stands. The four best teams in professional sports, the Red Sox, Yankees, Patriots, and Eagles also not-so-coincidentally have the best fans in sports.

      So get to the Florida State game early. Wear yellow. Be loud. And be ready to storm that field.

Front Page (September 14, 2005)

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