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Column: Amidon Does It All, In The Best Way

Asst. Sports Editor

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

Boston College wide receiver Alex Amidon was left off of the Biletnikoff Award semifinalist list, which was cut to 10 players this week, and the receiver probably couldn’t care less.

In his record-setting season, during which he’s already broken the single-season receiving yards mark for BC, and will get the receptions record either this weekend or next, Amidon hasn’t just brushed off the praise—he’s deflected it to teammates and coaches. He’s also made it very clear that the only stat or record that matters to him is wins and losses.

“I don’t really have too much to say,” Amidon said on Saturday after breaking the record. “It was all [quarterback Chase Rettig] and everybody on the offense. It’s not me. I mean, Chase is playing phenomenally this year. The only thing that matters to me right now is two—two and eight. That’s the only stat I’m worried about.”
    The national media doesn’t have to recognize Amidon. He may be fourth on the yards per game standings, but the team hasn’t been successful, which is huge for national awards, and he hasn’t put up the same ridiculous highlights that the semifinalists ahead of him have. He also isn’t a typical receiver for this award.

He doesn’t make freakishly athletic plays in the air or jaw-dropping jukes for yards after the catch. What he does do is run faster than anyone else for four whole quarters, and no one else can say that. He wears down defenses better than other the receivers ahead of him. He’s like a one-man Oregon hurry-up.

“I was not surprised to see that long strike from Chase come near the end of the third quarter [of the Clemson game] because—I’d hate to guard him because he’s going to be running deep routes all day and you might not want to if you’re a DB,” said his father, Stephen Amidon, when we talked earlier in the season.

But the BC community needs to make sure Amidon’s incredible season is honored. In a Jerry York-like fashion, the wide receiver will probably cringe at any abundance of praise given to him for his own performance, but in such a tumultuous season, the Eagles’ biggest and brightest star deserves to shine.

As Rettig said on Saturday after the Notre Dame game, Amidon is what everyone at BC should be like. Not just the football players, not just the athletes, but everyone.

His work ethic isn’t just enviable. It’s near perfect.

“There’s a quality in him, he’s a perfectionist,” his father said.

He’s a perfectionist in the best way possible. He builds up those around him, motivating them to match his effort, and his perfectionism is about as selfless as possible. The only thing he’s focused on is the team’s success.

After the Northwestern game, when he had 118 yards and moved into the top 10 for receiving yards nationally, he wasn’t satisfied.

“He looked at that game and knew he could do better,” his father said.

The next week, when he put up 193 more and two touchdowns against a top-ranked Clemson squad, he still couldn’t feel content.

“After Clemson, when he had amazing numbers, he was still palpably frustrated,” his father said. “In the long run, that’s a really nice quality to have in a son, but it’s really frustrating.”
“He was just being Alex, he never stops,” Rettig said after the game.

Amidon, of course, brushed off the praise when it was brought up.

“I’m glad that people think that of me,” Amidon said of Rettig and his teammates’ praise. “I wouldn’t want them to think anything else, and it’s a lot to do with them, really.”
He brushed it off as if everything he’s doing is expected, as if it’s the norm, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. No one does this. No one goes at every rep with the same intensity. No one gets this much individual success without letting in a little bit of praise. But Alex Amidon does, and no matter how poorly this season goes for BC, none of that should be overlooked.

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