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Superfan Behavior at the Beanpot Raises Some Concern

Man, wasn’t Monday’s men’s Beanpot final just crazy?

Any Boston College-Boston University men’s hockey matchup is bound to be intense, but this was something special. This was the Beanpot final. Everything about it was bound to be hyped up. There was the buildup to the game—the dual Snapchat story with BU, the plans to pack the B-Line on the way to TD Garden, and the intense (albeit cliched) trash talk.

And then the game itself. Lights breaking down, fights breaking out, and a tie-breaking goal after more than 61 minutes of hard and tough hockey. A BC Beanpot victory—its seventh since 2008—came one year after a stunning semifinal loss and subsequent consolation win. An exhilarating overtime victory over a cross-town rival.

I wish I could’ve been there. I was one of the poor schmucks unable to get myself a ticket. While everyone else was enjoying the game, I was sitting on my bed watching clips from the movie Armageddon. But don’t worry about me—I was still getting updates from the game. My friends texted me about it, and my fellow sports editors Michael Sullivan and Riley Overend provided top-notch live tweet coverage of the game. I knew when the lights went out. I knew when things got chippy on the ice. I knew when teams had power plays and when teams killed power plays. I knew when Alex Tuch buried the game winner past BU goaltender Sean Maguire. I heard about all of these things.

Unfortunately, I heard about other things, too.

I heard about fights between fans. Students from each school went to the opposing team’s fan section to create trouble. When BU fans visited the BC section waving “Go BU” flags, tempers flared and attacks, both verbal and physical, began. Eagles fans threw objects at Terriers fans. BU fans were pushed down. One gentleman in a maroon and gold jersey was escorted out of the fan section for his conduct.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that BU fans were perfect little angels on Monday night. I know they were just as rude, and they were just as confrontational. They went around looking for fights. That’s what happens when you go to BU—you don’t have any honor to begin with, so you have to create it through fights.

I also heard about some inappropriate booing. Now, before you make the assumption that I’m too uptight, I will say that I think booing is perfectly acceptable 99 percent of the time. It is a part of sports, starting as early as high school level and continuing through the pros. Fans can boo opposing players or coaches. Fans can (and should) boo referees when they believe the wrong call was made.

There are, however, circumstances when booing crosses the line. Posts on Yik Yak alleged that BC fans booed both a youth hockey team and a disabled girl. Booing the hockey team, the Junior Terriers, is like kicking them while they’re down. Think of their youth hockey league as Little League Baseball. Not everyone can play for his or her favorite team. Some kids will end up on the sucky and unpopular teams, like the Phillies. They can’t help it that they’re stuck with that team. We shouldn’t add insult to their injury.

It is indisputably wrong and beyond my comprehension that anyone would boo a disabled girl. I’ve also seen that some fans vehemently deny that this happened. Whether that allegation is true or not, it’s harmful to Superfans’ reputation that it was ever brought up in the first place.

As a passionate fan of many teams, I understand how close games can mess with people’s emotions. I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in the action and to allow your temper to rise. Becoming invested in a team is a risky business. When things go well, you’re on top of the world. When things aren’t so great, your mood free falls. That’s just part of being a fan.

I’m not here to lecture people and argue that a perfect fan section is meek. In fact, I believe just the opposite. Fans should be rowdy. Fans should be loud. Fans should give their team an advantage by creating a hostile environment for the opposing team. Fans should pack their home stadium and create a game-day experience like none other.

But what fans need to remember is that they represent something bigger than themselves. When BC students put on their Eagles gear and head out to TD Garden, they are representing their school. So in the future, even if BU looks for a fight, Superfans shouldn’t stoop to their level.

After all, it’s pretty much impossible for Eagles to fly that low.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

February 10, 2016

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Superfan Behavior at the Beanpot Raises Some Concern”

  1. “I wish I could’ve been there” – You lost all credibility with this phrase. Such a garbage nonsensical piece