Sports, Column

Don’t Sound Like A Massive Idiot (About BC Sports)

About a week ago, when I was having a conversation with The Heights’ assistant sports editor, I said something completely stupid.

Mind you, this happens a lot. I’m not really one to think of the implications of my words before I express an opinion. Rather, I usually go with my gut reaction, and then tend to regret it immediately as someone points out the obvious flaw in what I just said.

So yes, it’s not surprising that, as I was discussing Boston College football with a kid who has followed the Eagles since he was in diapers, I managed to look like a complete idiot. We were talking about the BC offense, and I got excited and decided to profess how I like the heavy run game and how I think “It’s so BC.”

I got a look for that one, and I immediately backtracked.

“OK, no—I know it’s not classic BC.”

At this point, I’m completely lying. I had no idea what classic BC was.

“It’s just so now BC. It’s so Addazio BC.”

At this point, I feel like I’ve covered my tracks, concealing my complete lack of knowledge about BC football’s heyday and stringing something together that might actually make sense.

Scarred by that experience, I looked into what BC football really is. Turns out, it isn’t really about running the ball. Instead, BC’s known for the o-line—some guys who protect our very pass-oriented quarterbacks (the name Matt Ryan should ring a bell).

Reflecting on the experience compelled me to think about what other completely idiotic things I’ve said about BC sports recently that have little to no basis in reality. For your sake, I’ve compiled them here. Hopefully you’ll read these and manage to have a conversation about sports in which you don’t look like a massive idiot, as I usually do.

1. There’s no chance that BC’s taking the USC game.

In my defense, this wasn’t an entirely stupid thing for me to say—I probably would have sounded like more of an idiot had I gone the other direction, but my entire column the week before the USC game was about how BC has no shot at beating USC but we should all go and have fun and delude ourselves into thinking BC could win for a while. Guess it wasn’t delusion. Sorry, guys.

2. It’s not a big deal that BC only moves the ball on the ground.

This one I said rashly in defense when a friend of mine mentioned how he wished BC would run a pro-style offense because it’s so much more fun to watch. I stand by part of my argument. Pro-style offenses are not more fun to watch. They may be prettier, and I’m not saying I don’t appreciate a good passing play, but I think you can get the same kind of excitement from a run game. What I was wrong about is the claim that BC can get by this season by relying solely on its RB core. Last year was fun and all, but even with the massive performances from Andre Williams, it would be hard to say that season couldn’t have been better if the Eagles had some more depth in its receivers. The problem with being a one-trick pony (or, if you want to count a couple more ponies this year, as the run game is clearly more diversified), is that your opponents only have a few patterns that they need to learn on defense. What’s the best way to eliminate risk? Diversification. So yes, BC can keep running the ball, but if it wants to keep beating high profile opponents like USC (keep? I can’t believe I just wrote that), it needs to diversify its offense, making it harder to read.

3. BC hockey will be seriously lacking on offense this year.

But Johnny is gone! And Kevin, too! That doesn’t even begin to mention the Sonny Milano debacle! This one has to be true! This is an easy one to let slip. All of the evidence seems to be in your favor—the top three point-earners for BC made up three of the top five in the NCAA last year, and every single one of them is gone. Then the Eagles lose their highest-profile recruit to the Blue Jackets, and all is lost. What you have to realize in this situation, though, is that just significantly less than infinity is still a lot. There’s no arguing with the fact that those three guys were most of BC’s offense last year, but they were also three of the most senior members on a team of 15 underclassmen. Freshmen scored 49 goals for the Eagles last year, and, in case this wasn’t clear, that was when they were rookies, which they are no longer. With a year of experience under their belts, the large class of 2017 has the chance to make serious strides on offense this year, without the support of Gaudreau’s cushion. That’s not even to mention the more experienced members of the team that stuck around.

4. BC field hockey will definitely advance in the NCAA tournament.

Again, this one looks pretty reasonable. This team is pulling upset after upset. Ranked at No. 13, the Eagles knocked off No. 10 UMass in their home opener. Then, a week later, BC took UConn to strokes, with Leah Settipane making 12 saves and the Eagles pulling their second upset of the season. Last week, BC upset No. 4 Syracuse in yet another overtime result. The problem with this, though, is that the Eagles did similar things last year during the regular season, only to be knocked off early in the tournament. Syracuse upset? Check. Connecticut upset? Check. The only difference that comes up is that No. 19 BC lost to No. 14 UMass early last season. This may be offset by two extremely narrow losses to teams in the top five, making this current season very comparable to the last one. I’m not saying that the Eagles won’t advance in the tournament, but historical data shows that it takes a lot more than a successful season to do so.

5. BC basketball will most definitely finish the season at the bottom of the ACC.

Olivier Hanlan made the conscious decision to forgo the NBA for at least another year to return to this team, despite the hiring of a new coach who will implement a new offensive system and … well … You know what? No. I’m sticking with this one.

Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Editor

September 24, 2014