Sports, Football, Column

Projecting BC Football’s Season With Help From Birds

Somewhere in between eating an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers and shoveling down a whole box of Bagel Bites in the wee hours of Saturday night, I found myself deep in thought about the Boston College football team. And birds. For some reason, I was thinking about birds a lot. When I woke up a few hours later with crippling stomach pains, a drier throat than an out-of-work Tatooine water vapor harvester, and a concerning lack of regret about my actions, I realized that birds are a pretty underrated metric for ranking things, and I have no idea how good this BC team really is, despite its 3-1 start to the season. Context firmly established, here is a list of hypothetical scenarios and accompanying bird comparisons for Steve Addazio’s team now that a quarter of the season is already gone.

Scenario No. 1: BC wins at least two games out of these three—Colorado State, NC State, and VTech—and becomes fringe-bowl eligible, but loses out the last block of the season and is sent to another hell-hole like Shreveport, L.A., where The Heights’ Photo Editor and I were almost shanked in a grocery store. Taking a win over Wake Forest basically for granted and assuming a loss against Clemson, BC could conceivably go 4-1 over its next five games before it has to play Louisville, Florida State, and Syracuse in November. More likely, however, is BC’s chance of going 3-2 in this stretch and facing Louisville with six wins—Addazio was extremely concerned about BC’s lethargic start against Maine. The Eagles live and die by the run, and if Murphy can’t get things going with his feet, it’s unlikely his arm will get the job done. If one of these teams can slow the ground game, BC is in trouble. This is the Cackling Goose scenario—you wouldn’t hate it if it showed up on your lawn, all things considered, but if it developed a pattern of hanging around, your dad might chase after it with a Wiffle Ball bat on a Saturday morning.

Scenario No. 2: Someone chokes during the next halftime pizza-eating contest and Brad Bates himself sprints onto the field to save the victim before riding off into the sunset on a motorcycle as “Danger Zone” plays and women and men swoon. I’d call that a Quetzal scenario for two reasons. One, the Quetzal is extremely rare, and two, the Quetzal’s plumage shares an uncanny resemblance with Bates’ hair.

Scenario No. 3: The Pitt games proves to be a fluke, and BC shows it’s significantly better than anyone anticipated. The Eagles are 5-1 going into the Clemson game, and Murphy goes off again on national television, breaking away for another patented long-range, fooled-y’all touchdown. He runs another one in from short range, and he throws the ball respectably enough. Josh Keyes hits Deshaun Watson hard enough to cause an on-field disintegration, and BC knocks off the Tigers at home to go 6-1 and force Murphy’s name into the Heisman discussion. Compare this scenario to the Christmas Island Frigatebird—you’re almost definitely never seeing it, but it would be pretty dang cool if you did.

Scenario No. 4: BC keeps sustaining offensive line injuries, and the offense falls apart. Left guard Bobby Vardaro collapsed in a heap of pain and was helped off the field in the third quarter against Maine, and while he did get back in the game, the extent of his injury is unknown. Right guard Harris Williams is still out with a fractured right ankle—BC is getting thin on the line, quickly. This is the crow scenario—it looms sinisterly off to the side, causing anxiety, but no matter what you do, you just can’t get the damn thing to go away.

Scenario No. 5: The Eagles knock off No. 1 Florida State and win the rest of their games to become the official upset kings of the world and then win a National Championship. Drake buys a BC jersey, and Addazio is allowed to make any recruiting video he wants with an unlimited budget from this point forward because he is the chosen one—Addazio the Redeemer. Tyler Murphy reaches behind his head and unzips himself, revealing he was Chase Rettig all along. We admit we were wrong and plead for mercy, but he shows none, smiting us on the spot. Put this down as the Tuscaloosa Tie-Dye Rabble Rousing Two For One Curved Beak Hen, because it, just like the above scenario, exists only in my head.

Scenario No. 5 A: BC knocks off No. 1 Florida State and then loses to Syracuse at home thanks to a missed extra point or shanked short-range field goal. Articuno scenario—it’s extraordinarily rare, but you know there’s the slightest of chances.

Scenario No. 6: The darkest timeline. Tyler Murphy goes down with a lower body injury and is declared out for the season. With the amount of running he’s done and the dangerous situations he’s been in already, this is a legitimate concern. Murphy unnecessarily jumped into a tackle against Maine, and Alumni collectively gasped in fear. If Addazio loses Murphy, he loses the ship. Darius Wade is going to be really good, but throwing him into the read-option fire would be terrible for his development and might put him on an injury track. Given the amount of fear inspired by the threat of losing Murphy, this scenario is named after the Southern Cassowary, one of the most dangerous birds on earth. According to Wikipedia, its “blade-like claws are capable of killing humans and dogs if the bird is provoked.” Stay away, Cassowary. Stay away.

Scenario No. 7: Addazio’s team finishes the season with the most rushing yards in the country. It’s very possible—BC is No. 3 in the nation right now and fifth in yards per game, and as seen on Saturday, Addazio seems to have a running back up his sleeve for every day of the week. Barring injury, they’re only going to get better with age. Call it a hawk—it’s cool, and there’s a decent chance you could see one.

Scenario No. 8: I am fired from this job. Pigeon scenario—you’re going to see it.

Featured Image by Emily Sadeghian / Heights Editor

September 22, 2014