Disclaimer: This column is satire. All opinions belong to the author, a known idiot, and do not reflect those of anyone with an ounce of logic.
A few constants exist at Boston College men’s hockey games. Of course, there’s Fiddle Kid™, the alma mater at the end of the game, and, my personal favorite, the “sieve” chant. There’s also always the contingent of freshmen who feel the need to be blackout drunk for every game, a rite of passage for Newton fools. There’s one more tradition that truly drives the pulse of the student section. At the beginning and end of each period, and after each BC goal scored, if you were to look behind the net, you would see several passionate, dedicated fans enthusiastically waving two banners. One of these flags bears the senile serene, vaguely wrinkled face of head coach Jerry York, emblazoned with one word: “TRUST.”
Over the past few months, this enthusiasm has waned. As BC becomes further and further removed from its last NCAA Championship, the motto “TRUST” mocks the fans who have given up their time and energy on countless Friday and Saturday nights to cheer on a team that no longer meets their expectations, kind of like how the Patriots failed to win the Super Bowl for 10 years, but routinely came tantalizingly close.
In his last three years at BC, York has done absolutely nothing for the students. Lupe Fiasco did more for BC in one concert. York has underperformed in light of their expectations, shattered their dreams, possibly killed their pets, and repeatedly finished the NCAA Tournament without lifting the trophy. They owe him nothing in return, and are showing it the only way they know how—being absent from the games and sitting quietly in the bleachers in solemn protest. The loudest noise at Conte during a game is now the sad echoing of a student hitting a cowbell every once in a while.
It’s said that the sound of silence can be loud, but this is more approaching deafening. The lack of ardent support from both the students and the administration leads to the toughest decision facing Brad Bates in his short tenure as BC A.D.: getting rid of Jerry York, one way or another.
Here’s why he should:
Age. York is 69 years old, turning 70 in July. It’s a proven fact that old people are always terrible coaches. Just look at Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, Jim Calhoun, Marv Levy, George Halas, and Larry Brown. York has been under scrutiny since BC’s loss in the Frozen Four last year broke his streak of “winning the title every other year.” Combined with his age, it has me thinking about the future. Unless we could clone Jerry? Get on that, you countless Bio majors on the pre-med tracks. Besides, there’s always the chance that with Obamacare now staunchly entrenched in American society, those death panels could be calling York’s name at any time.
Health. Just two years ago, York underwent two separate eye surgeries, missing five games during a crucial stretch of the season. He also had to wear an eyepatch, making him look like a pirate. Why should BC put up with someone who associates the school with piracy, besmirching its otherwise-pristine reputation? Despite making a full recovery and having no other health issues in the years since, the mere fact that York had surgery leads to concerns about his ability to continue leading the Eagles. I mean, surgery is a character and toughness red flag. My 75-year-old grandmother just got both her knees replaced and is walking better than ever and without pain, but I sure as heck wouldn’t trust her to coach a peewee hockey team, let alone BC.
Recruiting. York has proven that he can recruit, and recruit well. But recently it seems his skills have begun to deteriorate, almost as severely as Alex Rodriguez’s baseball skills did once he got off steroids. York may have successfully recruited Johnny Gaudreau here, but that was only after Gaudreau de-committed from Northeastern (I mean, come on, really? York couldn’t beat out Northeastern?). But hey, at least he didn’t have too much trouble getting Matty Gaudreau to commit! Besides, as York gets up there in age, he’s probably losing touch with the younger generation and all their new-fangled Tweeters and Tinders (I’d probably swipe right on Jerry). Also, there’s no way York could ever make Vines as good as Addazio’s.
Trophies. The one thing York consistently talks about is winning trophies, and it’s the one thing that has led to his sanctified stature on campus. It’s also the one thing he hasn’t delivered recently. Yes, winning the Beanpot five years in a row was nice, but really? Losing to Northeastern? And then needing overtime to beat Harvard? BC fans expect another, unending Beanpot-winning streak to start up next year, or else York might be in even hotter water than he is in now, and who knows if this pirate coach is an adept swimmer? After all, we’ve only ever seen him on the ice of Kelley Rink. York hasn’t won the Hockey East Tournament since 2012, a full three years ago, and the same year he last won the National Championship. BC students are starting to feel like BU, needing to savor every trophy without knowing when or where the next one might come from.
To the BC students clamoring for change, who are howling for Mike Cavanaugh to return from the wasteland known as Connecticut or for York to hand over the reigns to assistant coach Greg Brown, I hear you. To Brad Bates, if you’re not still considering bolting for Michigan, I hear your silence, loud and clear. Jerry York hasn’t delivered a championship in, like, forever. There must be some creeping thought in your brain— is it time?
And to both of you, I will say only this: Trust no one.