Column: A Letter To Freshman Superfans
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Dear freshman season ticket-holders for Boston College hockey,
Congratulations. You are in possession of the golden ticket. Well, 16 golden tickets, actually. This year especially, those 16 tickets are the most valuable items on campus. You should’ve heard the reaction some of The Heights seniors had when they tried to buy season tickets a month ago, only to find out that they had already sold out. I think our graphics editor was about to break his computer.
You (and by you, I mean your parents) likely purchased hockey tickets sometime this summer. How could you miss out on the chance to see the defending national champs take the ice for a couple of games? And it’s only $95 of Mom and Dad’s money, so why not buy season tickets even if you won’t use all of them, right?
Wrong. Dead wrong. If you have tickets, you need to go. BC hockey at Conte Forum is not the type of event you casually stroll into during the middle of the first period if you can’t find anything else to do before going out on Saturday night. It is your Saturday night.
If you have tickets and legitimately can’t attend, that’s fine. But you need to sell your tickets. BC has a reputation to uphold as one of the greatest atmospheres in college sports, not just for college hockey. That won’t happen if the student sections aren’t full.
If you’re still on the fence about going, I think I can convince you that there’s nowhere else you should be on Saturday night at 7 p.m. than Kelley Rink. I’ve been to night games between Texas and Texas A&M at both schools’ home stadiums when each team was nationally-ranked. I was at LSU when Nick Saban made his first return with Alabama after ditching the Tigers. I’ve even been to the NBA Finals. Yet absolutely nothing topped the atmosphere in Conte last season when BC opened the season against Denver.
As a freshman, I had no idea what to expect. I’d been to maybe three hockey games my whole life and never had any serious interest in the outcome. I showed up 30 minutes early because some upperclassmen told me I had to get a spot behind the net, and they were right.
Once the puck dropped, I don’t think there was a non-deafening moment outside of intermissions. I promise you, there aren’t many feelings in the world better than telling a complete stranger that he sucks at life and goaltending with 2,000 of your closest friends.
Head coach Jerry York called it the best crowd he’d seen at Kelley Rink in his 18 years at BC. You’ll get to know York well. He’s kind of a hero around here. He’s only 12 wins away from the all-time wins record for college hockey, and there couldn’t be a better man to achieve such an incredible record.
Sure, the Eagles lost on Saturday to Northeastern, but that shouldn’t make you any less excited about the rematch this weekend. That incredible environment against Denver last year came in a loss. It’s a long season, and the third and fourth lines are still figuring out their chemistry while the defense gets young players up to speed. But the talent is there and this squad is still championship-caliber. Besides, doesn’t it make Saturday that much sweeter knowing the Eagles have an opportunity to get some early-season revenge against the Huskies?
I was never a hockey fan before I got here. Football and basketball were almost exclusively my sports, but that changed a year ago. There are probably going to be a lot more of you in the crowd than there will be upperclassmen this year. Listen to the juniors and seniors sitting next to you. Follow their lead. Scream “sieve” as loud as you can. Jump around when “Shipping Up To Boston” starts playing. Make Chris Rawlings, Northeastern’s goalie, want to get out of Conte as quickly as possible. It really does make a difference.
If you’re pissed that football got blown out again, that’s okay. It’s understandable, but don’t let that keep you from supporting BC’s best team. We are BC, and we need you there on Saturday.