Get well soon, Charlie Davies

Get well soon, Charlie Davies

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New lowpoint

Wow, not much else to say other than this game makes me sick more than any BC game in a long, long time.

The defense gave up a grand total of 9 points today - 3 set up by an INT and 3 set up by a terrible 'roughing the passer' [bullshit] call. Our defense is amazing. But it ain't enough with offense like that.

I won't say anything bad about any of the guys because they try their hardest and nobody's getting paid here. But the coaches better make sure that through recruiting, game planning, and practicing, the offense is never as absolutely pitiful as it was this season.

I'm beginning to think of Steve Logan as bizzaro Dana Bible. Is there an offensive coordinator out there who believes in both running and passing, depending on the situation? Or do they all have to be so stubborn? 

Bowling

Although it doesn't really feel like it, the Eagles take the field in four hours in a bowl game, looking for 9 straight. The last time BC played in the Music City Bowl, it was a pretty big deal - it was the start of BC's bowl win streak, and it was a matchup with ranked Georgia.

This game doesn't get much hype as Vanderbilt is 6-6 and the Eagles are heavily favored to dispatch them, even in front of 50,000+ Vandy fans. There doesn't seem to be much excitement as fans seem to be a little more disappointed about the ACCCG loss this year, a little less enthusiastic about recruiting, and quite a bit less enthusiastic about the bowl opponent. I know that I've sort of already mentally shifted into hockey mode [with a good dose of hoops, too - the men and the women are both off to good starts, although neither has done much against top competition].

But no matter what the situation, when BC football takes the field, it's a big deal - so I'm starting to get excited to watch these guys one more time. I know that when the final whistle sounds, I'll be greatly looking forward to next fall.

There are plenty of reasons to care about the game today:

-A win gives us 10 on the year for the third straight season
-A loss would be a major black eye. Not really a reason to get excited, but a reason to care.
-A win improves the ACC's bowl record to 4-3; it's been a disappointing bowl season so far, but it can be salvaged if BC, GT, Clemson and VT win.

Go Eagles!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh snap...

In the Meineke Car Care Bowl, UNC just pulled a Brady-to-Moss-esque juggling touchdown bomb of about 70 yards to tie WVU 7-7. 

It's a big day for ACC football - UNC is currently playing West Virginia, FSU has Wisconsin at 4:30 in the Champs Sports Bowl, and Miami plays Cal in the Emerald Bowl at 8.

EDIT: Wow, Alric Arnett and WVU just gave it right back to the Heels with a 44 yard TD laser... 14-7 'Eers.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

BC Christmas list

Santa's been pretty good to BC this year, so I'm going to be modest in what I ask for under the tree:

-A victory over Vanderbilt to extend the bowl streak.

-Continued improvement by the freshmen and sophomores on BC basketball, and hopefully a shot at a ~.500 record in conference play. If that happens, it could be a fun March.

-A few more recruits with at least some Division 1A offers for the football team.

-New suits and ties from Eastern Clothing for Al Skinner.

-A girlfriend or something for Ted Sarandis.

-A new baseball stadium for BC... let's actually get it started this year!

-A few playoff wins for Matt Ryan's Atlanta Falcons.

-A victory over BU at Agganis Arena on January 17th.

-An NCAA tournament berth for women's basketball & women's hockey.

-BC in DC in April... I've already made my plans to be there, so I hope the Eagles join me. Considering BC hockey's success over the past 11 years, I think this is a pretty modest wish.

-[This one's a secret...shh] A BC acceptance letter for my sister in the spring.

-[Not BC related, but very important] A playoff series victory for the Bruins. Anything more would be gravy, Santa, but let's at least get that...

-Health and happiness to all of my BC friends, and continued good fortune for our beloved school athletically and academically.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Too easy

The men's basketball team came just shy of breaking 100 today in a 99-61 win over Maine, who must be the worst D1 basketball team I've ever seen in person.

There were maybe 900 people there, which was actually kind of neat, in an intimate, cozy sort of way; if you're a purist, and you like hearing on-court conversations and the directions of the coaches from the bench, then you probably would have had fun at the game.

Corey Raji was feelin' it, with a 26 point, 13 rebound double-double. Rice had 21 points, 9 assists, and one of his best defensive games [albeit against a team of midgets].

Next up: a relatively important game against San Francisco on Monday night.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

St. John's beats BC again

The team that ended women's basketball's season last year foiled them again today, as St. Johns beat BC 72-63 in Queens. Mickel Picco led BC again with 19 points. Murphy had 16.

BC's 20 turnovers were key, compared to 13 for St. John's.

Two escapes

The men's and women's basketball teams both escaped with solid victories on Saturday afternoon.

The men finally shook off the Providence bugaboo, beating the Friars 81-76 at Conte Forum. They led from start to finish, but very nearly choked it away in the final minutes, letting a fourteen point lead shrink to four points in the last minute. This is an important win against a decent team, and a 9-2 record ain't nothin' to be ashamed of.

The women's basketball team beat a very good Houston team 62-56 on the back of a 27-point second half effort by Mickel Picco. The win came in spite of a woeful first half, after which the Eagles trailed 28-14. The victory put BC into the finals of the St. John's/Chartwell Holiday Tournament; the Eagles will face St. Johns at 3 PM on Sunday. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

ACC: 1-0 in bowl season

It's not a pretty win, but Wake Forest has overcome Navy 29-19 in the EagleBank Bowl, avenging their loss to the Midshipmen earlier this season. Wake overcame an early 13-0 deficit and dominated the 2nd half, somewhat reminiscent of the way they roared to victory over UConn last year.

The next ACC bowl is the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 27 - a good matchup between UNC and West Virginia.

Rivalry hoops

I dismissed Providence College basketball this year when I heard they'd lost to Northeastern 70-66 in their season opener. But since that point, coach Keno Davis's squad has put together a 7-2 record. I'll grant that the seven wins haven't come against the best competition [their most impressive win is probably over Rhode Island], but BC's wins haven't exactly come against world beaters either.

The fact that the Eagles have lost to the Friars two years in a row has been one of the most annoying storylines in BC athletics during my time as a student. The Friars are, I would argue, our best basketball rivalry, and while many BC fans probably view PC as an inferior program, the Friars hold a 57-45 lead in the all-time series against the Eagles.

Last year, BC lost to PC in overtime at the TD Banknorth Garden in front of a crowd that heavily favored Providence. I expect the crowd to be 50-50 at best this afternoon in Conte, as the Friars will be sending busloads of fans up for the game. It should create a lively, albeit tense atmosphere in the Forum. I'm already sad that I can't make it, as I have prior commitments that I can't get out of. The game is on NESN, so I'll fire up the VCR; hopefully it'll be worth watching in full.

BC All Access has a preview up for the game, including a breakdown of PC's starters and leading scorers. Friars.com has posted PC's game notes.

Tipoff is 4 PM this afternoon.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Scratching the hockey itch...

I'm finally done with finals [they went pretty well] and on break... and I'm already suffering from BC hockey withdrawals. No games until Jan. 2, no games that count until Jan. 9. 

Thankfully, I have the red-hot, first place Boston Bruins to tide me over. Last night, I attended the B's-Leafs game - a wild, 8-5 victory for Boston. 

Michael Ryder's goal makes it 7-5:







Adding a college hockey flavor to the night, Phil Kessel (Minnesota) netted two more goals to give him 21 on the year; Mark Stuart (Colorado College; sister attended BC) got into a nice fight in the first period; and Lee Stempniak (Dartmouth) picked up an assist for Toronto. The artist formerly known as "the rink rat," Elliot Olshansky, was in the house supporting Stempniak; I ran into him in the concourse after the second period.

'
BC vs. Providence hoops tomorrow at 4 PM on NESN... as well as the start of bowl season. Wake Forest is in action against Navy at 11 AM.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

WBB beats FIU 93-65; Photos from men's and women's games

Maybe it's because I had just been watching the Flex for two hours, but watching Sylvia Crawley's up-tempo offensive style is just incredibly entertaining.

It was far from a perfect day for the women's basketball team, but they still managed to score 93 points and run their record to 8-2 - and a perfect 7-0 against unranked opponents.

The game was even more of a blowout than the score would indicate, but FIU was shooting the lights out - particularly their Croatian Sensation, Monika Bosilj, who left the game with 30 points; she got a pretty good ovation from the BC fans as she left, a truly classy response to her great performance.

Mickel Picco got her stroke back today, knocking down three 3-pointers and finishing with 23 total points. Carolyn Swords was dominant as usual, racking up a double-double: 19 points and 10 rebounds. She's also developing a little bit of range with her jump shot, which could be very scary for opponents.

Ayla Brown had herself a pretty good game, too, with ten points and four rebounds; she looked really comfortable out there, which seemed to be occasionally lacking last season.

Jaclyn Thoman seems to be struggling a bit this year; she finished with two points and four turnovers in 14 minutes. Perhaps she was better suited to Inglese's system? She's a talented ballhandler and I expect her minutes to rise as the season goes on but right now it looks like Brittany Johnson is the go-to player at point guard. Johnson had nine points in 22 minutes.

The overall team D will have to improve and they'll have to convert some of the easy chances that they missed if they're going to knock off strong ACC teams, but all in all, BC looks like an NCAA tourney contender right now. In year one of the new regime, that's about all you can ask. This team will be fun to watch during ACC play.

Photos
Rice misses a shot


Southern at the line

Reggie Jackson

The starting lineup

Intros

Rusin on D

Swords

Final

BC 67 - SC Upstate 55

It was about as inspiring as the scoreline would suggest. Nonetheless, the mantra has to be, once again, 'take the win and move on.'

Tyrese Rice went scoreless, although he did have several assists including a very nice pass to Raji late in the game. 

However, the team seemed to play much better - and much harder on defense - when Rice was off the court. The game was won in a first half sequence with Rice on the bench. With BC trailing by 5 for most of the first half, Tyler Roche suddenly and unexpectedly went off, banging down four three pointers in six possessions including three in a row which gave BC a lead that they would never relinquish.

Roche ended up leading the way with 17 points including 5 tres. Trapani added 16.

Free throw shooting continues to haunt this team, as they simply could not bury USC-U down the stretch despite getting numerous chances to do so at the line.

Biko Paris needs to be the point guard in the future; he runs the offense far better than Rice does, in my opinion; put Rice back in the 2 where he played when we had Louis Hinnant. Maybe that can be a recipe for success.

I'm heading back to Conte now [microeconomics book in tow...ugh... just one exam to go.] for the women's basketball game; pics later.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We interrupt this study/exam block to scratch our heads...

...as we learn that UMASS BEAT KANSAS??? whatttt?!!!

So, by transitive property and several other bits of faulty logic, BC is a contender for the national championship!

In all seriousness, this development is very good for BC's RPI should the Eagles somehow get themselves into tournament contention come March. It's also very good for a UMass program that has gotten off to a pretty disastrous start this year. As a Mass. native, I would like to see the Minutemen succeed, despite the fact that they are our " "basketball" "rival" ." [Sort of like how the nail is the hammer's Home Depot product rival.]

Speaking of the hoopsters, they hit the Conte hardwood again tomorrow with yet another marquee non-conference matchup against South Carolina-Upstate. The Spartans enter the game with a robust 0-6 record, including an RPI-boosting loss to perennial powerhouse Duquesne, 79-69. They recovered from that loss to come within just two points of beating Kennesaw State [who I'm pretty sure isn't even D1... they can't be, can they?].

I'm sure the joint will be jumping.

Part two of tomorrow's hoops doubleheader features the women's team taking on Florida International. The Eagles are 6-2, including a 5-0 mark against unranked teams. 

FIU is 1-5 on the year, but they did beat NC State over Thanksgiving break, 58-42. In their other ACC clash, they lost to perennial conference doormat Miami 66-49.

I'm guessing the NCSU game was an aberration, but the Eagles better make sure they don't get caught sleeping. BC will need to clean up on these non-conference foes in order to get back into the 'also receiving votes' category.

Back to work for me... I will be at tomorrow's games so I'll have a brief report and pictures to post in the late-afternoon.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

BC women's hockey throttles BU, 5-0

After BC's last game, a loss on Friday night at UConn, I posted that it had been over a month since the Eagles put together a truly convincing performance.

No longer.

Last night at Walter Brown Arena - a place that's been a house of horrors for BC the last three seasons - BC smashed their cross-town rivals, 5-0. Allie Thunstrom scored a hat trick, including a pair of shorthanded goals.

I wasn't there. I wanted to go to both this game (at 5 PM) and the end of last night's basketball game (7 PM), but as circumstances worked out, I couldn't make it to either one. I missed a great one at Walter Brown.

The game broke BU's 7-game home winning streak, including a pair of wins over powerhouse UNH. BU had also not been shut out in 14 games.

BU has been an up-and-down team, but they undoubtedly came into last night's game as top dogs in Hockey East. This is a huge win for the Eagles.

On the hardwood, Boston College (7-2) beat Bryant (1-7), 80-61. Not the most impressive win over a first year D1 team, but a win's a win.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WBB pounds UNH

BC beat UNH 85-43 last night at Conte Forum, bouncing back from a tough road loss to Minnesota.

I had to leave at halftime to go to work, but in the half that I saw, Carolyn Swords quickly established her dominance. Lower-tier teams simply can't handle her post presence - as evidenced by her double-double (19 points, 14 boards).

While Mickel Picco appears to have cooled off from behind the arc compared to what she was doing last year, her 1-for-5 day extended her three pointer streak to fifteen games. "Threeco" notched 7 points before leaving due to foul trouble.

Jaclyn Thoman has earned back a starting spot and rewarded Coach Crawley with four assists, five boards, and 11 points.

BC (6-2) faces FIU on Sunday afternoon.

Remember these two things about BC hockey

1. On this date last year, Boston College was 5-4-5 and ranked 14th in the USCHO.com poll. [This year, BC's 9-5-2 and #7.]

2. Last year was supposed to be a 'rebuilding year,' in which BC developed some young players in preparation for an expected monster run in 2008-09. Even without Gerbe, this year's team is much deeper top-to-bottom.

We all remember how last year turned out:



While BU fans should be proud of their team's 3 point weekend, it's far from a be-all end-all. The Eagles are still the champs until they've been knocked out, and there's still a long, long way to go before that can happen.

Monday, December 8, 2008

ACC Bowl Games

Dec. 20 - Eaglebank - Navy vs. Wake Forest
Dec. 27 - Meineke - UNC vs. West Virginia
Dec. 27 - Champs Sports - Florida State vs. Wisconsin
Dec. 27 - Emerald - Miami vs. Cal
Dec. 29 - Papajohns.com - NC State vs. Rutgers
Dec. 30 - Smurf Turf - Nevada vs. Maryland
Dec. 31 - Gaylord - Vanderbilt vs. Boston College
Dec. 31 - Chick-Fil-A - LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Jan. 1 - Gator - Clemson vs. Nebraska
Jan. 1 - Orange - Virginia Tech vs. Cincinatti

Ten bowl eligible teams. Let's hope for ten wins, eh?
My predictions: W, W, W, L, W, L, W, W, L, W = 7-3 = much better than last year. Cross your fingers.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

College Hockey Fan Poll

It's official: The Eagles are headed to the Music City Bowl against 6-6 Vanderbilt. Um......yay?

Fan poll for this week:

MEN

1. Notre Dame
2. Minnesota
3. Boston University - looked great defensively this weekend, and Millan ain't bad either.
4. Northeastern
5. Denver
6. Boston College
7. Princeton
8. Vermont
9. Minnesota State
10. Air Force - first conference loss of the year this weekend.
11. Miami - rising fast.
12. Cornell
13. Michigan
14. Colorado College - ouch.
15. UNH - swept UML.

HOCKEY EAST: BU - NU - BC - UVM - UNH - UML - UMA - ME - MC - PC

WOMEN

1. Wisconsin - still undefeated.
2. Minnesota
3. St. Lawrence
4. Minnesota-Duluth
5. Dartmouth
6. BU - what an enigma this team is. They lose to Vermont, then beat UNH in a shootout.
7. UNH
8. BC - a little bit of rose-colored glasses here, but whatever
9. Harvard
10. Mercyhurst

HOCKEY EAST: BU - UNH - BC - PC - CONN - NU - UVM - ME

Smile



Beanpot 2004


BC wins in 2OT vs Maine


















The day after

Three friends of mine from Northeastern joined me at the game last night, and they spent their T ride back ripping on BU fans on the B-line; their points basically boiled down to 1) 1995 and 2) Northeastern's in first place. Good on them. That makes me feel slightly less terrible about the absolute disaster that was yesterday. [Slightly]

Other bits of good news, I guess:

1. BC beat UMass in basketball... yay? Except UMass is painfully mediocre, and it required overtime. But a win's a win, I guess. 6-2 now for the hoopsters.

2. ......

yeah, I got nothin'.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sucks to be us

What more can you say? That was about as awful as an awful day can be, sports-wise. Probably the darkest day in BC athletics during my time as a student.

The hockey game was immensely frustrating. BU did a great job of clogging the lanes and BC never really adjusted their passing accordingly; the power play was not so powerful, Conte was fairly dead considering it was a BU game; BU scored on a penalty shot... just a bad night.

Thankfully the basketball team beat UMass 85-81, but a 4 point win over that piece of crap team doesn't really make me feel much better, even if it was at Mullins Zoo.

I'm gonna go throw something now. Bye bye.

Ouch

Well, that sucked.

It wouldn't have mattered, really, because VT just ate our lunch today, but when we had first-and-goal on the 7 late and called for 3 straight passes by Davis, that was absolutely moronic. That was pretty much game, set, match right there.

We sure better hope that Tuggle is good.

Thanks to Herzy and the BC defense for all the great memories this year, including a number of very entertaining wins. I know the season "isn't over" since we still have some third-rate bowl to "enjoy," but yeah. Great job all year, BC D - best defense I've ever seen following BC.

Hockey season now.

1-1 tie

I remember next to nothing about the game because I spent most of it trying in vain to block out all of the annoying toolboxes sitting around me. Eff BU. [For the record, these toolboxes weren't just BU fans. The toolbox list included BC fans, ushers, townies, and little kids.]

Go BC x 3 today (football, hockey, hoops).


Friday, December 5, 2008

BU Hatred Week - Part 4 - Pinhead Nation

The Pinhead Nation blog [RIP] is the greatest source of college hockey humor ever created, with the possible exception of yankeefn01's posting career on USCHO. This was one of their all-time greatest hits:

Dreams Dashed, the sad story of the Boston University student

Commonwealth Avenue is generally a very collar-up area. It's beautiful and is home to many wealthy families out in the Newton area and borders America's most beautiful school, Boston College. On the other end, downtown, you have many expensive stores, restaurants, and hotels surrounded by beautiful brownstone buildings on both sides of the tree-lined streets. Both ends of Comm. Ave are places to be for the wealthy, beautiful, and intelligents of Boston, you know people like your superiors at Pinhead Nation. 

But somewhere in the middle, something went terribly wrong. In the middle of Commonwealth Ave, you have hobos, burned out cars, and of course, Boston University. It is the polar opposite of the elite parts of Comm Ave. To be honest, when I go there, it reminds me of war-torn Sarajevo or depressed sections of old Leningrad. Considering the pollution, the filth, the lack of English-speaking inhabitants, the rat infestation, and the overabundance of concrete, it's no wonder that BU even makes volunteers in the Peace Corps depressed. 

The majority of the students are foreigners who put on their button-down Euro shirts, minus the top three buttons since they never button them anyways, splash on some cheap designer fragrances in lieu of bathing, and spend their time at Landsdown Street listening to techno Euro-trash sound. Finding an actual American at BU is almost as difficult as actually being rejected by their admissions department (read: impossible). 

Things are night and day between the Euros and the Americans. Most of the Euros, like most Americans outside of the Boston area, could care less about Boston University. They have no school pride and could care less where they are going to college, just as long as they have access to the clubs on Landsdowne Street and black designer clothes. 

Then, there are the American students at BU. Although a rare find, these people really had life swing in the wrong direction when they were seniors in high school. When it was time to choose a college, they had faulty guidance counselors who didn't implore them not to waste their application fee by applying to a legitimate collar-up school like Boston College. 

Unfortunately, most followed their pipe-dream until the end. Like most Boston-area students, they applied to Boston University as a safety school. But in the end, their applications to Boston College were used as toilet paper in many of Chestnut Hill's fine campus bathrooms after being laughed at during the BC faculty's annual Christmas party. 

Needless to say, their applications to Boston University were accepted almost immediately. Admissions isn't much of an obstacle at BU as their Latin motto translates to "Just send us a check and we'll skip the entire admissions process". Then they waited...and waited...and waited. Sadly, when their got their letter from BC, it started "we regret to inform you...". If you're a BU student or grad, the 'Nation apologies for bringing up these bad memories again. Since most BC rejects never read the entire letter, they probably missed the last line that states "good luck at whatever God-awful institution that is pathetic enough to accept you and thanks for the $50 application fee". Also included in the rejection letter, of course, was a course selection guide for Boston University's upcoming semester. 

Most professional therapists point to this moment when things went terribly wrong for the future BU students. Like Tony Montana in "Scarface" or Cameron Frye in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", this was the last straw to push them off the edge. After days of serious depression, they dug themselves out of their "hole" and dusted themselves off for a life far below the one them had dreamed. Then, in a feeling that only "new hatred" brings, they dug through the trash and pulled out their BC rejection letter, which serves as their daily motivation to remind them of their failure, and fuel their bitterness towards Boston College. 

Every morning, BU grads wake up and prepare for a day serving BC grads our daily gourmet coffee and espresso, while thinking back of that terrible experience at their mailboxes. BU students, still smarting from the pain of being rejected from a top-tier university, learned to deal with being shipped off to the big city to Boston's second-tier school of higher learning (the pot smoking hippies at BU put the 'high' in higher learning). 

As you know from above, all they are left with is thinking about their rejection from BC and the life they could have had. Seeing that beautiful school on the hill, so close, but yet so far, is at times too much to take. Instead of classy gothic buildings, they moved into grimy, disgusting, and roach infested Warren Towers. Then, it's off to dinner at Burger King, where they breath subway fumes while imagining what it would have been like to nibble on caviar while sitting under a nice patch of grass on BC's impeccibly manicured campus. 

After a nice dinner of about 800 grams of fat, it's off to the hockey arena since it is the only sport that Boston University participates in. For the BU fan, it's a relief as they think "finally, I can be with my own people". Where else can one gather with others and simultaneously and randomly chant "BC sucks" as therapy to remind them of their rejection? No where else my friends. No where else. 

As the great Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, "Boston University...you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy". No truer words were ever said. 

Collar Up. 

- Mav 

In case you ever thought it might be

The politics behind the potential upgrades to and/or relocation of the Boston College T stop at the end of the B line is not particularly interesting, and I would not recommend choosing it as a paper topic.

Long story short, by the way: nothing's gonna happen. Hooray, the T!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

BU Hatred Week - Part 3 - The Heights, October 2003

Part 3 of BU Hatred Week, and one of my favorites. A 2003 Heights column. Enjoy!

http://www.bcheights.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticlePrinterFriendly&uStory_id=3a3e520b-2f91-49aa-9e19-a61f791d84d5
Sucks to Be You: One man's call for self-exploration
By: Tim Czerwienski

Posted: 10/7/03

"By 1 a.m. Sunday, it was clear that, according to Boston University students, Boston College and vacuum cleaners are quite similar - they both suck, but at least BU students have a use for vacuum cleaners."

This was the first paragraph of the lead story in the Sept. 29th edition of BU's student newspaper, the Daily Free Press.

The story was the DFP's coverage of Midnight Mania, an event celebrating the kickoff of the college hockey season. Why the BC hatred on the front page? Some might call it shoddy journalism. Others might call it petty and childish banter. Not me. For me, it's the last straw.

In only a year at BC, I've been subjected to more unfounded, stupid, inane chatter from BU students than I'd care to even recall. Anti-BC rhetoric is expected at hockey games. It's less expected on the street. It's downright out of place in the pages of a newspaper.

That doesn't stop the students of BU from printing useless drivel, like this staff editorial piece that ran before last year's Beanpot: "we here at the ol' Free Press present to you some reminders of why it's not just okay, but actually your duty as a citizen, to hate Newton Community College. The brown stain at the end of the Green Line might boast about its grassy fields and open campus. But really, they're just being selfish. Why not donate their ample land to an institution that could really enjoy it, like a nursing home?... Boston College is just all-around bad. The hockey team sucks, the campus sucks and their values suck.

"Newton Community College? Give me a break. For the newspaper of a university that would sell its soul to even crack the US News Top 50 to refer to BC as "Newton Community College" is preposterous. If we're Newton Community College, what does that make BU in comparison? I know. Allston Daycare Center.

The brown stain at the end of the Green Line? Get a campus. Who wants to go to school in the most non-descript, useless neighborhood in Boston? Good luck wading through the river of filth that emanates from Fenway Park after a Sox game.

The hockey team sucks? Nonsense. Beanpot aside, we still beat BU more times than we didn't last season. And we buried them behind Providence for fifth place in last year's Hockey East standings. And we're only two seasons removed from the most thorough drubbing of a conference in recent memory. Perhaps BU doesn't remember the 2000-01 season, when BC won the Hockey East regular season, Hockey East Tournament, Beanpot, and national championship. BU's players were probably sitting down on the bench crying like whiny babies while Brian Gionta and company totally dehumanized them on the ice.

Values? What about John Sabo, the BU forward who was indicted for aggravated assault with a shod foot after he stomped on someone's head outside a local dive? And what about the headline grabbing West Campus Masturbator, who made a habit of storming into young ladies' rooms and playing a little pocket hockey before fleeing? These are but a few members of BU's pantheon of moral and scrupulous students.

BU pales in comparison to BC in almost every other sport. Here's a quick fact: Joilet Junior College has a football team, but BU doesn't.

BU plays basketball in the anemic, impotent, borderline Division III America East Conference. Vermont represented this unconference in the NCAA tournament last season. BC battles with the likes of UConn and Notre Dame while BU is piddling around playing Binghamton and Hartford.

I'm not the only one who thinks that BU is nothing. For instance, here's a quote from the Dartmouth Review: "If you want to pay for a school with Ivy League pretensions but community college atmosphere, then Boston University just might be the place for you."

Or this quote, from a BU graduate's posting on studentsreview.com: "Personally if I had it to do all over again I would go to UMass or some other school. I would definitely not go to BU. Nor would I go there for any graduate work and if I have any children I would never subject them to it either."

BU is like the younger, uglier, scrawnier, and clumsier kid that lived down the block from you in your youth. Sure, you were better than him in school, and at wiffle ball, and at football, and at getting girls, and at life. But boy, could he kick your ass in Dungeons and Dragons. Until you learned the rules, and totally ruined him at that, too.

Let's face facts. BU is nothing compared to BC. They're taught from before their freshman year to hate because, quite honestly, they're just smart enough to realize they can never be us.

Some people say that this hatred is just a harmless inferiority complex. We should pity BU, perhaps even take them under our wing as a mentor.

Never. Never again will I ever acknowledge those one-note jokes as even remotely deserving to be mentioned in the same paragraph as a legitimate institution like BC. The next time you hear a chant like "BC Sucks," remember the probable source (a hateful, weak-willed zilch), and act accordingly.

This column isn't a complaint. It's a call to arms. It's time to stop shrugging off the soupy dreck that spews forth from the mouths of BC haters. It's time to fight back. Just remember: Beanpots come and go, but it will always, ALWAYS, suck to BU.

BU Hatred Week: Part 2 - The River Hawk Hockey Blog

In Part 2 of my efforts to ramp up the hate in preparation for this weekend's epic tilt between Boston College and Boston University, I present to you a lovely little number penned by the guys over at the River Hawk Hockey Blog prior to the BU-UML Hockey East playoff series this past spring.

http://riverhawkhockey.blogspot.com/2008/03/two-minutes-hate-we-invented-that-whole.html

"It’s time for playoff hockey, and that means it’s time to throw rational, fact-driven commentary out the window.

Instead of the usual Wednesday feature (the only occasionally amusing USCHOmbudsman), we present to you now a positively Orwellian exercise in general dislike: "The Two Minutes' Hate."

Hate is a strong word, and we only wish there was a stronger one that we could put into blog-appropriate vernacular. There’s something about an arena full of 6,300 sniveling fans, all dressed in crimson and white wishing it was maroon and gold that we just loathe.

Next to Scumherst, BU has by far the largest collection of meathead college-boy fans in Hockey East. The majority of these knuckledraggers would be lugging shingles up a ladder if daddy didn’t have the cash to get them into a school that would accept a corpse if the check cleared.

Never has there been a bigger group of fanboys than the face-painting, costume-wearing mutants at BU. When you have a fat loser that wears a sequined cowboy hat to every game, and he's one of the tamer specimens, then your fanbase is a problem. There are hot dog costumes (with ever-changing toppings), Jesus costumes, guys wearing goalie masks, middle-aged hairy men that take their shirts off at the slightest provocation, face painting fat girls, some tall creep with a beard, and that's just two rows of section 118. We wish we were kidding.

Perhaps the worst part, and there’s evidently so much to detest, is their insufferable inferiority complex to the Gold Standard of colleges up the road. The very fact that the big “cheer” these missing links love so much boils down to “BC sucks,” and that they continue to remind you of this fact, regardless of who they’re playing, speaks volumes.

We get it, you’re mad that you’ve been relegated to your third-choice school (Northeastern was full up too) and you need to vent your frustrations. We don’t blame you; we certainly wouldn’t want to be associated with the terrier either. But it’s not our fault you were 1,000 SAT points and the ability to speak like a human being shy of being admitted to BC. Enough already.
We also have a general distaste for Agganis Arena.

First and foremost, because of the namesake. Know who was a "Golden Greek?" Achilles. That's who. Harry Agganis played two years for the Red Sox (wow, a .261 career average!) and was a football washout. Sure, he made the so-called "College Football Hall of Fame" (it's more of a broom closet, really), but they'll let in just about anyone. Case in point: O.J. Simpson. So yeah, your greatest all-time athlete is the peer of a double murderer. Congratulations. When are you building Ted Bundy Stadium?

Second, Agganis is just as revolting on the inside as Walter Brown Arena ever was. Sure, it has a flashy video board (probably stolen), but it’s still not as good as the Whitt or Tsongas Arena because the powers that be decided to put so many luxury boxes in that you can’t see the ice from the concourse.

We know it came in handy when that traitor to all things Boston, Ray Bourque, came to watch his developmentally disabled son for the one season they snuck him through remedial math (presumably so he didn't have to mingle with the great unwashed that regularly attend BU games), but it’d be nice to watch the action while we’re waiting to be gouged on overpriced, mediocre nachos. And we're sure that the braintrust over on Comm Ave is hard at work trying to figure out just how to infuse the whole rink with that WBA urine stench that everyone came to love so much.

Then there's BU's players, speaking of unwashed. Here's a school so devoid of anyone better to whom to give scholarships that they floated one to Eric Gryba, or if you prefer, Karson Gillespie. One which had three captains that were such reprehensible human beings that Jack Parker suspended them (and another player) and stripped them of the little letters on the front of their shirts then gave them back. One which was collectively on the brink of tears when a few of its players were brutally beaten up last year (actually tragic), but stood by John Sabo when he nearly killed someone in a similar fashion. If Maine wasn't so infested with (alleged) pedophiles, academic frauds, and sexual harassers, BU would take the cake for giving scholarships to and tolerating the worst people in Hockey East.

And to give you an idea of how bad the recruiting is at BU, the best two players the Terriers have had in the last five years, John Curry and Matt Gilroy (we call him Girl-roy haw haw haw), are walk-ons that Parker was lucky enough to have drop in his lap.

We find it odd that they named it "Jack Parker rink at Agganis Arena," though. Rinks are usually named after parties that played a big role in the program's development and are deceased. By that token, we would have named it "Jack Parker's Career rink."

Go 'Hawks. Beat BU."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

BU Hatred Week: Part 1 - Dartmouth Review

In addition to gearing up for the ACCCG, it's also time to gear up for this weekend's top-10 clash between BC and BU. In order to help you prepare and build up the hatred, I'm going to share some of my favorite anti-BU rants from around the interwebs.

First up: The Dartmouth Review!

Freedmanizing Boston University
By James Mills | Wednesday, January 21, 1998

Boston University should offer one of the nation's richest college experiences. It is within walking distance of Boston's cultural downtown and has graduated such illustrious intellectuals as Howard Stern. Boston University also had a 90-year football tradition until last month when high officials at BU, led by University Chancellor John Silber, suggested to the Board of Trustees that the football program be struck from the budget. A vote was taken and the plug pulled.

On Oct. 25, the board's decision was announced to the football team following their loss to Northeastern, 28-7. Just four years ago, the football program was 12-1 and finished first in Division I-AA.

It came as a shock to many students and alumnae, who enjoyed the football games. BU officials argued that it was a business decision; the football team runs a budget deficit because ticket sales do not cover costs.

But how can a college with the average student paying 30,000 dollars a year be in fiscal strain over the reasonably-sized football program? The real problem is that they have some of the highest paid administrators and most bureaucratic administrative structures in private education. Silber is one of the highest paid college presidents in the nation, with a salary of over $400,000.

Another believable answer is that certain officials, particularly Silber, are waging a war against mainstream American culture. Since Silber arrived at BU in 1970, he has expressed a desire to eliminate the football program.

Silber is quoted by BU's Daily Free Press saying that 'University of Paris, University of Oxford, and University of Cambridge have gotten along remarkably well and never had football.' Armed with the Terriers' dismal recent record (2-18 over the last two seasons), Silber struck the final blow.

Instead the savings will be used to pay for high priority sports like women's soccer, field hockey, and crew. The last women's soccer game drew under 50 spectators. The last football game before the news broke, despite the team's poor record, drew 2,025 spectators. Silber wrongly believes that football and academics cannot co-exist. If academics and football cannot co-exist then why did the Ivy League schools invent college football?

Football has become the quintessential American sport. The fall in popularity of baseball has made it even more important to American culture.

Americans of all races watch football on TV during Thanksgiving and other holidays, and the Superbowl remains the most watched event on television.

Silber's basic lack of understanding is demonstrated by his ridiculous comments related to his promise to allow the football players to keep their scholarship.

Silber is quoted by the BU Daily Free Press as saying, ' Players never have to play football again, don't have to risk injury, and don't have to spend time at practice'. Apparently it has never occurred to him that some people enjoy the competition and physical activity. Football players are supposed to be grateful that he has allowed them to keep their scholarships. In essence, Silber breached a contract with these players . When they were admitted to BU and signed their scholarship deals, it was implicit that BU would have football in the next few years.

On Nov. 1, the team played at Connecticut without their jerseys in protest against the college policy. In the second week of November., the BU Terriers played their last game ever in their red jerseys, ending their 90-year football tradition.

In a driving rain at home, the Terriers blew out UMass 33-8 to win their first game of the season and showed heart before a crowd of 3,000. After time expired, the crowd rushed onto the field yelling, 'Silber sucks! Silber sucks!'. The football players joined in, laughing and cheering a bittersweet victory.

This attack on American culture is just another example of intellectualism gone awry. It is another example of a power hungry college president wanting to go to Harvard, but being trapped in an mediocre institution for almost 30 years.

If Silber wants to run a European-style University maybe he should get out of the American education system, but until then maybe he should realize that BU is an American college and by destroying the football team he has created a college where few well-rounded males will even consider attending.

Many of the football players are transferring to other schools to carry on with football and applications among student athletes will likely plummet as BU becomes a school not for the well-rounded, but for mediocre intellectuals.

If you want to pay for a school with Ivy League pretensions but community college atmosphere, then Boston University just might be the place for you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Basketball

The men defeated Iowa tonight 57-55 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge while the women received votes in this week's AP poll, something that they didn't do at all last year.

Meeting Coach Crawley

While I have no idea what the future on the court will be for BC women's basketball in the cut-throat ACC, it appears they have hired the right coach. I got a chance to listen to Sylvia Crawley speak as part of Intersections' "SparkLunch" program, and during the talk, Crawley presented the image of a talented, smart, funny and dedicated coach.

She brings the kind of enthusiasm, energy, and passion that has made the Heights fall in love with Jags. It's clear that DeFilippo is seeking out coaches who love BC and are willing to sell the program through their enthusiasm.

The most compelling part of the lunch was Crawley describing the process by which she was hired by BC. The athletic department noticed her when she joined the University of Ohio dance team for a performance during a televised BracketBuster game as a way to promote the women's team; they called her the next day and said they wanted someone with her enthusiasm and energy at BC. They tracked her progress for the rest of the year and determined that her record at Ohio was impressive enough to offer her an interview for the BC job.

Crawley had an "ACC clause" in her contract, which meant that she could leave her Ohio contract if an ACC team came knocking, since "to me, [the ACC] is the highest level of competition."

She said that when she arrived in Boston for her interview, she was instead taken around by Gene DeFilippo on a tour of Boston - visiting Harvard, BU, Kenmore Square, the North End, and having dinner in a Boston restaurant; she said Gene wanted to go beyond the regular interview process and spend time with her to learn more about her on a personal level.

"It was a brilliant idea," she said. "I felt comfortable with BC right away" and she fell in love with the vibrancy of the Boston area, combined with the beauty of BC's campus.

After a formal interview, Crawley was offered the job, and she said the players instantly bought into her system. With 23 years of recent professional experience and a great deal of success, Crawley has real credibility with her players, and this should show both on the court and in recruiting.

Crawley has a very compelling life story. After being hung out to dry when the first major American women's pro basketball league - the ABL - folded, she decided to diversify and "never again put all [her] eggs in one basket."

In addition to earning a spot in the then-fledgling WNBA, Crawley started a clothing line when she became frustrated by the lack of options for 6'5'' women. She later invested in real estate, and now rents out five homes; she also helps manage a national lifestyle magazine with a friend from Ohio - all of this while pursuing her basketball career, first as a player, and then as a coach.

Crawley is a compelling figure who seems poised to lead BC into the upper echelon of ACC women's basketball. I was excited about the hire beforehand, but I'm even more excited now. It seems like she's the real deal, and I wish her nothing but the best.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sparklunch with Crawley tomorrow

I signed up tonight to participate in a SparkLunch with WBB head coach Sylvia Crawley tomorrow afternoon. For those not familiar with the SparkLunch program, it's a series of 50-minute catered lunches where students can listen to talks by prominent members of the BC community. Jags and York have done these in the past, but the spaces filled up for those very quickly.

I'm not sure if there's any space left, but if you're interested, the website to sign up is at www.bc.edu/sparklunch.

The bells are chiming: Lazy Monday thoughts

Thoughts as I put off studying for my first final, which is, inexplicably, tonight (?!):

-The bells in Gasson Hall are chiming again. They must have been re-installed over Thanksgiving break. They have been on a few times during the long construction period, but it seems like the work on Gasson is finally done, and the every-fifteen-minutes fixture is set to return for good.

-BC moved up to #2 in today's USCHO hockey poll. An interesting tidbit: The top 4 teams are Notre Dame, BC, Minnesota, and Miami - so, BC, plus three teams BC knocked off en route to last year's national title. BU is down to #7, and is one of an astonishing 8 teams to receive at least 1 first place vote [the others being Notre Dame, BC, Minnesota, Miami, Denver, Princeton, and Air Force].

-On a related note, whoever gave BU said first place vote deserves to be tarred and feathered.

-BC stays steady at #8 in the women's hockey poll, while the traditional powers solidify their top 5 spots: Wisconsin, Minnesota, St. Lawrence, Minn-Duluth, and Dartmouth. BU falls to #6 after a WTF loss to Yale.

-Everyone's talking about tomorrow night's ACC-Big 10 Challenge basketball game as a probable win for BC, but Iowa's looking decent so far at 6-1, including a victory over Kansas State this past weekend. BC is looking to defend its 2-0 all-time record in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

College Hockey Fan Poll

I'm in an awesome mood this week. Thus, I feel compelled to give BC a nice big bump.

1. Notre Dame -
The Fighting Irish scored a 1-0-1 record this weekend against Western Michigan while the Gophers struggled, so let's give them a turn to defend the top spot.

2. Minnesota -
Minnesota had their first unproductive weekend of the year, losing to Michigan and tying Michigan State.

3. Boston College -
They exhibited their freakish ability to break out and punish teams in the 3rd period against Harvard, and they came up clutch in a potential trap game up north.

4. Boston University-
Are you ready for BC-BU? 'Cause if not, you should be. This series will be the most massive BC-BU regular season clash in a long time.

5. Northeastern-
Let's have a Boston trio in the top 5... Northeastern suffered a setback against Princeton, but roared back with a nice win against host RPI yesterday in the consolation game.

6. Minnesota State-
They weren't particularly impressive (1-0-1) this weekend against a poor Bowling Green team.

7. Denver University-
DU handed Air Force their first loss of the season to cap off a 2-0 weekend.

8. Air Force-
Who have they beaten? CC, that's who... AND they chased Bachman from the game.

9. Princeton-
A nice win againt NU, but a real head-scratching loss to Mercyhurst. According to a friend at the game, MC's goalie stood on his head and Princeton nearly made an epic comeback, so I'd give them the benefit of the doubt.

10. Vermont -
A win against a suddenly-not-so-bad Maine team, and Vermont has now quietly trapped their way to a 9-3-2 record.

11. Colorado College-
WTF is up with Bachman? When he breaks out of his sophomore slump, the Tigers will break out as well. I'd still expect to see them in DC, but they are in a funk right now.

12. UMass-Lowell-
UMass-Lowell continues to be the most overlooked team in America. They improved to 8-5-0 with a win over RIT.

13. Cornell-
The Big Red earned a split against the Sioux at the Ralph.

14. Miami-
The 'Hawks were idle this week.

15. Michigan-
There's a whole lot of mediocrity at this point in the rankings. Michigan's victory over Minnesota gives them the nod.

Women's Top 10

1. Wisconsin
2. Minnesota
3. St. Lawrence
4. Boston University
5. Minnesota-Duluth
6. UNH
7. Dartmouth
8. Boston College
9. Clarkson
10. Harvard

EAGLES GET IT DONE UP NORTH

I did not see, listen to, or GameTracker a single second of this game, but I still sweated as it progressed and I got urgent text message updates from Grant indicating that BC hockey was about to pull a WTF loss. Whether it be travel-weariness from the long road trip, or a bit of a 'trap game' effect before the forthcoming BU series, the Eagles seemingly came out flat today in Hanover, allowing Dartmouth to jump out to a 1-0 lead and hit three posts in the first two periods.

With less than a minute to play and the BC net empty, the Eagles finally struck back - Gibbons, from Whitney and Bradford - on a disputed goal that was initially waved off, then re-allowed after a conference between Benedetto, York, and the other officials.

BC outshot Dartmouth 5-0 in OT, and the 5th and final shot, a Barry Almeida effort with under one minute left in OT, hit the back of the net to give BC a huge 2-1 win in their only road nonconference game of the season.


Photo credit: Melissa Wade, USCHO.com. Almeida scores the winner.

BC is 9-4-1 through fourteen games this year, compared to a 5-4-5 mark at this point last season.

BRING ON BU!

*

The women's hockey team also won today, a 2-0 blanking of Northeastern. Stack and Welch lit the lamp for the Eagles, who improve to 9-3-3.



Last year at this time, BC was 7-5-3; in 2006-07, they were 10-4-1.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

TAMPA

Mr. Davis, I apologize for doubting your ability to win us this game. Go get 'em in Tampa.

This one is for all the braindead morons who continually pick BC to struggle year after year after fucking year, only to be wrong again and again. For all the people who said BC could never win without Ryan, for all the chicken littles who wanted to run Jags out of town after UNC, for all the pundits who picked BC 5th or even 6th in the Atlantic, for all the people who said TOB made football at BC, for all the fucking rednecks who send us to shit bowls every year.

The best part about BC triumphs is that they're ours and ours only. This one's for BC, and everyone else can go screw.

4 years in the ACC, 2 ACC Atlantic titles. Time to bring home the conference title next week.

Oh how you make me happy, BC hockey


One of the bad things about watching just about every game all year is that you see your fair share of duds. But every now and then, there's a game that's totally fulfilling from start to finish. With the exception of maybe a 4 minute span after Harvard's game-tying second period goal, during which time they tried to employ the trap to slow BC down, today's BC-Harvard hockey game was incredibly entertaining and riveting, and it ended with a great 5-1 result for the Eagles.

Brock Bradford and Cam Atkinson nearly ripped the back of the net off with cannon shots for BC's 2nd and 3rd goals. Matt Price banged home a rebound for goal #4, while Orpik book-ended the scoring with BC's first and last goals. 

Bradford's goal was entirely made possible by Brian Gibbons's outstanding pass through traffic from behind the Harvard net; he threaded the needle between the collapsing Crimson defensemen and found Bradford, who made no mistake about absolutely burying it. In my excitement after Bradford's goal, I whacked Grant with what can only be described as a Tysonesque body blow. Sorry about that, buddy.

The bad news: lots of penalties. 12 in all. It was an endless parade to the box. The good news, though, was that the penalty kill was unbelievably effective, holding Harvard to 1-for-9 with the man advantage; and that goal came after Jimmy Hayes broke his stick, making it feel like a de facto 5-on-3 for Harvard.

It was a pasting in front of a sellout (7,884) crowd. I'll take it.

The news out of town made everything even better:

BC men's basketball beat a good UAB team 83-77 in the consolation game of the Preseason NIT, on the back of a 2nd-half resurgence by Tyrese Rice. The women's basketball team emerged victorious in the Caribbean Challenge, beating James Madison 71-63 to go 2-0 in Cancun. And while not necessarily BC related, who could be unhappy about Air Force remaining undefeated with a 4-1 victory over Colorado College?

Tomorrow (or, I guess, today) is the big one... GO BC.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Women's hockey ties Princeton

Ugly, ugly game in which BC blew a 3rd period lead to fall behind 3-2 late. Mary Restuccia scored a nice goal with one minute to go and the BC net empty to salvage the draw. 


BC-Harvard at 4 PM.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

WBB BEATS TCU IN CANCUN!

The women's basketball team bounced back from being smashed by Notre Dame in a 77-68 upset of TCU in Cancun, Mexico. TCU, #22 in the country, burst on to the scene by beating Maryland earlier this season.

Mickel Picco led BC with 23 points.

This is very pleasant (and, admittedly, surprising) news :) Congrats BCWBB!

A terrible bus ride, a tough loss, and a great time

I love Boston College. More specifically, I love how BC gives me an excuse to do what I did yesterday – make a day-long jaunt to the Madison Square Garden for the sole purpose of watching one essentially insignificant college basketball game – and make it seem normal and socially acceptable. [Compared to some of my previous BC trips, and some other trips I have planned, it’s actually about as normal as taking the T to the TD Banknorth Garden for the Beanpot.]

Despite a tumult-filled eight hour (!) bus ride from Boston to New York, a long wait at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and a tough loss that included the classic BC Tease ™ where it looked like they were going to pull it out only to rip your heart out with a minute to go, the trip was a blast. I traveled with my whalepants-wearing, old-fart compatriot, Pat Lane (BC alum from the long-ago class of ’08), got to see Madison Square Garden, and sat in the second row courtside for $10. And at the end of the day, I left feeling a lot better about BC basketball than I did at the start, when I was predicting doom-and-gloom the entire trip down.

First, the trip: we booked the Peter Pan bus for 11 AM, figuring we’d get into town at around 4 PM, giving time to enjoy a nice pre-game meal, walk around a little bit, then head to the Garden. All was going according to plan, as we crossed the CT-NY border at 3:30 PM, but thanks to New York traffic, it took us from 3:30 PM to 6:55 PM to travel from the NY border to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. We were held up even further by the fact that our bus driver apparently sideswiped a taxi cab in the traffic jam, forcing us to wait an additional fifteen minutes for the police to show up and file a report. It was, as the driver said over the PA system, the ‘longest four-hour trip of all time.’

Instead of dinner, we quickly shifted to plan B – ‘miss as little of the game as possible’ – and we got into the Garden about 5 minutes into the game with BC down by 4 points. Our NY culinary experience was reduced to MSG hot dogs of questionable origin and ridiculous price.

MSG was initially very surreal and unenjoyable to me – the color scheme is offensive to the eyes, the stage lighting takes some time to get used to, and the bowl arrangement just feels very, very odd. [The stage lighting is especially rough on me – I have a weird eye condition and my view was definitely impacted by the stage-style lighting -  I can see a lot better when all things are illuminated more equally.)

While there’s certainly not a bad seat in the Garden, our instant-upgrade to courtside made the experience much more enjoyable; we then moved into the oh-so-packed “student” section when our pal Claver2010 scored us two second-row seats next to him near the BC bench.

The game itself was actually very entertaining. BC held their own and played with authority and aggression in the first half, but turnovers, poor shot selection, and a baffling lack of shooting by Tyrese Rice let Purdue drift out to a double-digit lead as the second half went on. BC kept showing flash after flash of a potential comeback, and I remarked that the 5 minute mark was the right time for the BC Tease ™, at which point, It Happened – BC went on a really nice run, sparked by some good play by Southern and Trapani, and cut the lead down to 4; an awful offensive foul call on Trapani – one in a sequence of shady calls against BC at critical situations – stemmed the BC tide with about one minute to go and the rally tapered out.

Still, Tyrese Rice only scored 15 and never looked dominant, but BC hung in there with one of the top ten teams in the country; I can’t really complain about that. I like the development of Southern, Jackson looks like a player, and JOE TRAPANI is going to be the steal of the year. We just really need Tyrese Rice to play like an All-American; if that happens, this team will win its share of basketball games.

A nightmarish hour in the Port Authority Terminal listening to an endless loop of Christmas music plagued the return trip, but it was an otherwise smooth journey, and I got back into Boston safe and sound at 5 AM.

One of the things I love about traveling anywhere, but particularly to NY – I absolutely love returning to Boston, walking around the city I love, and noticing and further appreciating its great qualities. For all its flaws, Boston is home.

My trips to New York always follow a predictable emotional pattern.

1-    1.  I’m very excited for my trip.

2-    2.  Getting into the city is a pain in the ass, and I get mildly annoyed.

3-    3.  I get out of the bus/train and realize why I always end up hating New York the first six times I get bumped into or almost gunned down by a renegade taxi driver.

4-    4.  I have a great time doing whatever I’m doing. This is invariably part of the equation: I always have fun.

5-     5. I come down with some sort of cough or stomach bug.

6-     6.  I get to the bus/train station and anxiously await the return home

7-      7. I return to Boston, and as I step on to the street, angelic music plays in my head and I remember how much I hate New York

8-      8. I get excited for my next trip to NYC.

No offense is intended to New Yorkers here, who make up some of the best people and best sports fans at BC; also, New York has the only four things I really need to enjoy a city – 1) an educated population, 2) good sports, 3) good food, and 4) ample public transportation – but every day, I thank God (who I technically don’t even think exists) that I went to Boston College and didn’t go to school in New York, like I considered for a good amount of time; again, it’s not that I don’t enjoy my trips to New York, it’s just that when I walk out of South Station and into downtown Boston, it gives a nice, comforting sensation – it’s a vibrant, lively, historic city, yes, but I enjoy the fact that being a pedestrian is not round-the-clock hand-to-hand combat, a Darwinesque struggle for survival; and I like how drivers aren’t involved in a NASCAR-style 24 hour contact sport. I also enjoy how every third person I come across isn’t a) on crack, b) mumbling loudly to himself, c) asking me for change [especially since I’m a sucker and always give change to anyone who asks, as long as I have some]. Boston is a kooky city with some insane drivers, rude people, and oddly-laid-out streets, but warts and all, I’ll take it any day and often feel compelled to kiss the ground when I walk out of South Station.

All in all, I’d rate this as one of my top BC road trip experiences, despite the loss; it made me regret for 2.2 seconds the fact that I’ll never see a BC Big East Tournament at MSG [then I snapped out of it and realized that if we were still in the Big Least, we’d have our big tilt against Rutgers football to look forward to this weekend].

I took many photos, and expect to have them up later in the day, but for now I must get some sleep, then enjoy the holiday with family.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and GO EAGLES!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

MSG tonight!

First thing's first - Last night's scheduled men's soccer NCAA tournament game at Dartmouth was postponed until this afternoon due to inclement weather. Now I'm really glad I didn't try to go.

By the way, to Dartmouth & the NCAA: lame. Soccer is supposed to be played regardless of weather.

So good luck to the soccer Eagles this afternoon.

The basketball Eagles have their MSG matchup with Purdue tonight. I'm taking the Peter Pan, not the Fung Wah, so I might actually make it; I'll be in NYC at around 3:30 and will be sitting up in the nosebleeds.

See you all tonight!

Monday, November 24, 2008

College Hockey fan poll

Inside College Hockey and The College Hockey Blog have posted their weekly power rankings and the USCHO.com poll will follow this afternoon. It looks like the cool thing to do this week is to give props to Northeastern. While I am very cool with this, as NU is one of my two favorite non-BC teams [hint: the other is #1 in America], I think it's a bit premature to put NU above BU just one week after BU pasted them.

MEN
1. Minnesota - A split at Denver is always a solid weekend. The Gophers have clearly established themselves at #1.

2. Notre Dame - I discounted the Irish early on this season, but I have learned my lesson. Their combined two-game 14-2 pasting of Bowling Green was a message to the CCHA.

3. Boston University - BU hit a rough patch this week, losing two to Vermont, but I doubt their struggles will last long. Credit to Vermont.

4. Northeastern - Boston's far superior urban university picked up two more wins this week, including one against a plummeting UNH team. Thiessen is one of the best goalies in America.

5. Minnesota State - Am I the only person on the Maverick bandwagon? I feel like I consistently have them much higher in my rankings than anyone else does. Two more wins for MSU-M this weekend, although it was just Michigan Tech.

6. Boston College - It looks like BC may be starting that Slump Thing again. It's not full-blown Slump Thing yet, but we may be getting there. Either way, I really am not concerned. I'm a little concerned with Muse right now, but we'll see how he does with the chips on the table. I bet he returns to his freshman year form.

7. Colorado College - CC is another solid team that is struggling along with the growing pains of its sophomore goalie. I suspect they will be back in the top 5 soon.

8. Princeton - The keepers of the Hobey Baker flame had another 4-point weekend in the ECAC. A matchup with Northeastern in Troy on Friday will tell us a lot about both teams.

9. Denver University - DU stopped the bleeding with a Saturday victory over #1 Minnesota.

10. Air Force - This week is the big one for still-unbeaten Air Force: games against Colorado College and Denver.

11. Vermont - Another team I initially doubted. Hey, I admit when I'm wrong. Vermont is cruising right now, and picked up an impressive sweep at Agganis Arena.

12. UMass-Lowell - Despite their loss to rampaging Northeastern, I still project Lowell to end up #4 in Hockey East this year when all is said and done. They destroyed Providence, but to be fair, everyone is doing that these days.

13. Cornell - Two wins last week including one over a very solid Harvard team. Cornell and Princeton are shaping up to have a great battle in the ECAC. Cornell has two with North Dakota this week in a monster series for both teams.

14. Miami - With two wins against Michigan, Miami is quietly working their way back up the rankings after a rough start.

15. Nebraska-Omaha - Sorry UNH. Nebraska-Omaha sneaks into the top 15 from completely off my radar after scoring 10 goals in 2 games in a sweep of Michigan State. I didn't even notice until this weekend, but they're 9-2-1.

WOMEN

1. Wisconsin
2. Minnesota
3. Boston University
4. St. Lawrence
5. Dartmouth
6. UNH
7. BC
8. Harvard
9. Clarkson
10. Minn-Duluth


Rally around the new guy


Can this man lead BC to the promised land?

It doesn't matter who you wanted to be the starter at the beginning of the year, or after the Georgia Tech game, or after the UNC game; it doesn't matter if you think he should have gotten some snaps during games this year; it doesn't really even matter what you think of Davis's abilities. What matters is this: Dominique Davis is the man charged with getting us over the hump and into the Orange Bowl. It's time to rally around him. With a week at the helm under his belt, a lot of those first week jitters should be gone... let's hope it translates into results.

It's not going to be easy, but it never really is with BC athletics. GO DOMINIQUE!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thank you, Chris Crane.

With that blow in the second quarter of yesterday's game against Wake Forest, it appears that Chris Crane's BC career is over.

There has not been a single BC athlete during my three years here that's received more flack from fans - some of it deserved, some of it undeserved - than Chris Crane. The only other two I can think of who got audibly booed were Ryan Ohliger and Jon Oates. 

But with Oates, there was sort of a protective fondness from the crowd; there was none of that with Crane, just lots of vitriol and chants for Davis. A satire newspaper at BC even had the headline "Students agree: Crane must go," ostensibly about the crane in front of Gasson Hall. I can't imagine having to deal with that ignominy, having to deal with being reviled and booed by your own fans.

Because he didn't play for very long, we didn't really get to learn much about Chris Crane. But here's what I do know:

He inherited the position from the 2nd-best quarterback in BC history - a guy who was good for two miracles per year and a guy who took BC into the national Top 10. Filling Matt Ryan's shoes is almost impossible no matter who you are, and Crane was thrust into that position. And with Crane at the helm, BC has 8 wins and is one win away from getting to the same place they got to with Matt Ryan, the ACC title game.

Crane won the confidence of his teammates during the offseason, beating out message board heroes Boek and Davis ane earning both the starting QB job and the title of offensive captain. 

And although he had several awful games, he clearly learned from his mistakes week to week and was starting to really get into a groove. He has become outstanding at fake handoffs and misdirection, and his ability to tuck it and run added another element to BC's offense this year that none of the other QBs on the roster could have provided. He also learned how to become a game-manager, limiting turnovers and doing what he had to do to put a W on the board. He finally put together back-to-back solid games against Notre Dame and FSU and was doing a good job against Wake before the injury.

From time to time, he also uncorked some great throws. His toss to Robinson in the corner of the end zone to give BC a fleeting lead over Clemson was brilliant, and he had some excellent passes in the Virginia Tech game even with a hostile crowd hurling down boos and insults upon him.

Additionally, from all I know about Crane, he's known as a great guy in the locker room, and a guy who has the respect of his teammates. He also reportedly has a 4.0 GPA.

Chris Crane will probably not go down in history as a player BC fans remember 20 or 30 years down the road, but his short career as BC's starting QB, for all its tumult, has the Eagles two wins away from the Orange Bowl.

Thank you, and good luck.

A follow-up on yesterday's game

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!@##!@#! ??? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

!

!

Gross

BC men's basketball loses to St. Louis, 53-50. I don't know what's sadder, losing to St. Louis or scoring just 50 points.

Raji had 22... using my math skillz, that tells me the rest of the team scored 28. Awful.

Women's soccer out

FSU beats BC 1-0.

Day of reckoning

It's an ACC championship quarterfinal today for the Eagles and the Demon Deacons. There's really not much I can say to add to what we already know about this game. It's the most important game of Chris Crane's life. Let's hope they all rise to the occasion.

Today, the women's soccer team also has a huge test, facing Florida State in the Sweet 16 at 2 PM. The Eagles lost to FSU 1-0 in September in Chestnut Hill.

The men's hockey, women's hockey, and men's basketball teams all have games today as well, facing UMass, BU, and St. Louis, respectively.

*

In this week's episode of "Logic people use to denigrate the ACC," OMG! #2 BU lost to fellow Hockey East team Vermont and will thus move down the national rankings. I guess that means Hockey East sucks!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Two 2-0 wins

The men's hockey and soccer teams both won their games tonight - soccer over Colgate 2-0 in the NCAA men's soccer tournament, and hockey over UMass 2-0 in a lazy affair at Conte Forum.

Shawn Chin and Edvin Worley tallied the goals for the soccer team, which advances to the second round of the NCAA tournament on Tuesday night, when they will travel to Hanover, NH to take on Dartmouth for the right to make it to the Sweet 16.

The BC-UMass game was, quite frankly, a very boring affair. Cam Atkinson and Paul Carey scored while Muse posted a 27-save shutout. Atkinson's goal came on a sweet cross-ice pass from Barry Almedia, while Carey scrapped for his during a late BC 5-on-3.

The story of the game was Joe Whitney starting at defense in place of the scratched Anthony Aiello. York did not disturb the offensive combinations, which were really clicking last week - but he shook up the defensive pairings which obviously struggled last week. So far, so good. Whitney has a history playing the point on the power play - we'll see if those skills carry over into 5-on-5 play.

Elsewhere in Hockey East, Northeastern downed UNH 3-2 and Vermont came back to beat BU  4-3 at Agganis Arena. Maine beat Merrimack in the Toilet Bowl, while UMass-Lowell crushed Providence 6-1.

BC finishes off the home-and-home against UMass in Amherst tomorrow night.

Temporary Hockey East power rankings-
MEN: BU BC NU UML UVM UNH UMA UME MC PC
WOMEN: UNH BC BU NU PC UC UME UVM

Got my tickets to MSG!

Section 349, Row E for Wednesday night. Just $10 per ticket... not bad at all.

Go Eagles!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

UCOwNNed!

Yeah, that title is lame.

Anyway, Boston College women's hockey topped UConn 4-0 tonight, their second victory over the Husky Women this season. Allie Thunstrom, Meghan Fardelmann, Becky Zavisza and Maggie Taverna scored, while Molly Schaus picked up a 33-save shutout.

Recap from USCHO:

"4-0 is a bit of a misleading score. It certainly had the feel of a 1-0 win ground out on the road. Schaus was forced to come up big early and often in the third period and the game seemed close to swinging on a number of occasions.

BC really imposed its will for the first period and a half, right up until they took a 2-0 lead; from that point forward, it was almost all UConn, outshooting BC ~25-15 over the last two periods. A number of these shots were point blank and Molly had to make some big saves.

The first goal for BC was vintage Stack/Thunstrom wizardry. Goal #2 was odd - the puck landed on Garcia's shoulder, there was a scrum around the net, and it fell off her shoulder and across the line.

Goal 3 came against the run of play courtesy of a BC power play. Kristin Regan fired a nice shot from the point and Becky Zavisza made a redirection that Milan Lucic would be proud of, putting the game on ice; Maggie Taverna added a 130-foot empty net rocket to put icing on the cake.

Zavisza reminds me a lot of Andrew Orpik from the BC men's team - maybe not the one player who stands out the most, offensively, but a strong, smart two-way player who can sneak up on you by uncorking an awesome wrist shot. Her resurgence has been one of the big reasons for BC's success this year.

The defense didn't have its best game overall, giving up a lot of good chances, but two blueliners deserve a lot of praise:

I thought that Brie Baskin had her best game as a defender thus far. She was solid for the entire game, but one play stands out - around halfway through the third period a UConn player (I think Thibault) was streaking in alone toward the net and had another one coming on her left; Brie came out of nowhere to fly into the zone and breakup the play cleanly. 

And then there's Kurth, who seems to almost always be impressive. She plays like a grizzled veteran. Mike said that she's the best BC defender he's seen in his seven years of watching them play. I don't doubt it for an instant.

Good win on the road... time to cap off the weekend with another big one on Saturday."


**

BC women's basketball won tonight as well, beating Hofstra 71-60. Mickel Picco and Ayla Brown each scored 16 to lead BC. Next up for the Eagles is their first real test of the season: a huge matchup with Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon.

INCH on Hayes

-Inside College Hockey has a story today on Jimmy Hayes, BC's big-time freshman who registered his first career hat trick on Saturday night against UNH. I love the title: "Run Like Mays, Score Like BC's Hayes." Great reference...

-BC guy Chuck Kobasew has only played in 7 games with the Bruins this season due to an injury, but he has multiple point games in 5 of those 7. He scored two goals last night in Boston's 7-4 win over Buffalo, including one which he banked in off of Ryan Miller from behind the net.

-Expect plenty of ZooMass students in Conte on Friday night. I'm happy to have them in the building - I'm just wondering how UMass-Amherst can offer a fan bus to away games, but BC can't because kids might drink and get in trouble. Also, for $25, UMass students get a ticket, a ride to and from campus on the bus, AND pizza. At BC the best you can get for $25 is a hot dog and a coke.

-Here's a funny story courtesy of the LetsGoDU hockey blog: the University of Minnesota is in a heavy recruiting battle with.... the University of Minnesota. Both the football team and the hockey team want the services of two-sport high school standout Anders Lee.

-Tonight's BC games: women's hockey travels to UConn for a Hockey East tilt, while women's basketball hosts Hofstra.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two hoops wins; on to MSG

Boston College defeated old Big East foe St. John's 82-70 in front of another scant crowd at Conte Forum. Joe Trapani was impressive again with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, and an earth-shattering dunk late in the game; Rice led the team with 28 points. I really enjoyed watching Evan Ravenel play tonight; his game needs polish, but from where I sit he provides the best low post presence on the team.

BC now plays Purdue at Madison Square Garden on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I believe the BC game will be at 7 PM but I'll post if I hear otherwise.

The women's basketball team also had success tonight, beating Holy Cross 82-69. Carolyn Swords scored a career high 33 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Eagles to their 11th straight victory over the Crusaders. She shot 15-for-17 from the floor.......HAHAHAHA. Picco had 19 points, a season high.

The score was 30-21 at the half but coach Crawley's new up-tempo offense put up 52 points in the 2nd half.

The Trophy Case: BC's honors during my years at school

  • Men's Basketball
  • 2006 - Commonwealth Classic Winner
  • 2008 - Commonwealth Classic Winner
  • Women's Basketball
  • 2008 - Caribbean Challenge Winners
  • 2008 - Blue Sky Classic Winners
  • Sailing:
  • 2008 - ICSA Women's National Champions
  • 2008 - ICSA Co-Ed National Champions
  • Football:
  • 2006 - Meineke Car Care Bowl Winner
  • 2007 - Ireland Trophy
  • 2007 - ACC Atlantic Division Champions
  • 2007 - Champs Sports Bowl Winner
  • 2008 - Ireland Trophy
  • 2008 - ACC Atlantic Division Champions
  • Men's Soccer:
  • 2007 - ACC Regular Season Champions
  • 2007 - ACC Tournament Champions
  • Women's Soccer:
  • 2006 - Sweet Sixteen
  • 2008 - Sweet Sixteen
  • Women's Hockey:
  • 2007 - Beanpot Champions
  • 2007 - Frozen Four
  • 2009 - Beanpot Champions
  • Men's Hockey:
  • 2007 - Hockey East Tournament Champions
  • 2007 - Frozen Four
  • 2007 - Mariucci Classic Champions
  • 2008 - Beanpot Champions
  • 2008 - Hockey East Tournament Champions
  • 2008 - Frozen Four
  • 2008 - National Champions

Games I Attended in '07-'08

  • Overall: 51-30-11 + 12 non BC + spring football = 105 games
  • Home: 40-25-6 + spring game
  • Away: 4-5-5
  • Neutral: 7-0
  • Non-BC NCAA Games: 12
  • Men's Hockey: 13-6-5
  • Women's BBall: 8-2
  • Football: 6-1 + spring game
  • Baseball: 5-1
  • Softball: 4-0
  • Men's BBall: 6-4
  • Women's Hockey: 8-11-5
  • Men's Soccer: 1-2-1
  • Field Hockey: 0-1
  • Women's Soccer: 0-1

Stadiums/Fields Seen 07-08

  • Total: 20
  • Conte Forum [BC] - (49)
  • Alumni Stadium [BC] - (8)
  • TD Banknorth Garden - (7)
  • Shea Field, Baseball [BC] - (6)
  • Newton Soccer Field [BC] - (6)
  • Walter Brown Arena [BU] - (4)
  • Shea Field, Softball [BC] - (4)
  • Matthews Arena [NU] - (3)
  • DCU Center [Worcester] - (3)
  • Schneider Arena [PC] - (2)
  • Ridder Arena [Minnesota] - (2)
  • UConn Hockey Arena [Conn] - (2)
  • Agganis Arena [BU] - (2)
  • Tsongas Arena [UML] - (1)
  • Whittemore Center [UNH] - (1)
  • Mariucci Arena [Minnesota] - (1)
  • Bright Arena [Harvard] - (1)
  • Harvard Stadium [Harvard] - (1)
  • Newton Field Hockey [BC] - (1)
  • Houston Field House [RPI] - (1)

Games I attended in 06-07

  • OVERALL 67-27-3 = 97 games
  • Football 6-0
  • M Hockey 17-6-1
  • M Basketball 14-4
  • W Hockey 13-6-2
  • W Basketball 6-3
  • Softball 3-1
  • W Soccer 3-1
  • M Soccer 3-1
  • Baseball 2-4
  • W Lax 0-1

Best Moments

  • Men's Hockey, 4/12/08 - National Champs.
  • Football, 10/26/07 - BC rallies with two touchdowns in the last 2:11 to win at Virginia Tech and maintain their #2 ranking. Students spill out of the dorms and have an impromptu celebration all over campus. What a night. WOW.
  • Men's Hockey, 3/30/08 - BC scores 3 goals in 1:58 to come from an 0-2 deficit to a 3-2 lead late in the 2nd against Miami in the NCAA regional final.
  • Men's Hockey, 3/30/08 - Joe Whitney's ridiculous diving goal sends BC to the Frozen Four, beating Miami 4-3 in OT.
  • Men's Hockey, 3/21/08 - Benn Ferriero's 3OT goal caps a comeback against UNH in the Hockey East semifinals at the Garden.
  • Men's Hockey, 2/11/08 - Nick Petrecki's OT goal wins the Beanpot for BC!
  • Football, 9/1/07 - BC scores a touchdown to tie the game at 21 right before half time against Wake. BC wins 38-28
  • Men's Hockey, 11/30/07 - BU goalie Karson Gillespie gets sent to the box by Benedetto for a swan dive... piss-your-pants laughter follows
  • Men's Hockey, 3/15/08 - Nate Gerbe's amazing penalty shot goal makes it 4-0 BC over PC in Game 2 of the HE QFs
  • Men's Hockey, 2/4/08 - Gerbe slays BU in overtime
  • Men's Hockey, 3/22/08 - BC cruises to another Hockey East title, beating UVM 4-0
  • Men's Hockey, 3/29/08 - BC gets past the Gophers 5-2 in the NCAA tournament.
  • Men's Hockey, 3/15/08 - BC sweeps the Friars with a pair of 5-1 wins in the HE QFs to advance to the TD Banknorth Garden.
  • Women's Hockey, 2/29/08 - Eagles top PC 4-2 in the season's penultimate game to keep their playoff hopes alive. Stack with the ENG to ice it with 4 seconds left.
  • Women's Hockey, 1/4/07 - BC kills off a 5-on-3, Lindsay Wright aka CANADA scores a sick goal, and BC upsets #4 SLU 5-2
  • Women's Basketball, 1/6/07 - BC stuns NC State with a thrilling 1 point come-from-behind victory
  • Men's Soccer, 11/9/07 - BC clinches ACC reg. season title with a win at home against VT.
  • Women's Hockey, 01/12/08 - MN native Allie Thunstrom's goal with 1:30 to go gives BC a tie @ #4 Minnesota
  • Men's Hockey, 3/14/08 - BC blitzes Providence early and often en route to 5-1 win in Game 1 of HE QFs at BC
  • Men's Basketball, 12/23/07 - Tyrese Rice knocks down a floater with less than 5 seconds to play to give BC the 57-55 win over Northeastern.
  • Men's Hockey, 1/19/08 - Carl Sneep's goal in the 3rd ties BU 2-2; pandemonium in the student section
  • Football, 11/24/07 - BC finally snaps the long losing streak against the U.
  • Women's Hockey, 2/10/08 - BC's Stack scores in the 2nd to tie UNH 1-1. We lost, but that was a great moment.
  • Women's Basketball, 12/31/07 - Picco nails back to back three pointers as BC wins a thriller against NU
  • Baseball, 5/13/08 - BC rallies from big early deficit to beat UConn.
  • Softball, 3/26/08 - Fence Girl crashes into the fence, Thunstrom scores winning run, BC downs HC 4-3
  • Women's Hockey, 11/29/07 - A clutch goal with under a minute remaining by Stack gives BC a much needed point @ UConn
  • Women's Hockey, 3/15/08 - UNH tops St. Lawrence 3-2 in OT to give Hockey East a representative in the Frozen Four.
  • Men's Hockey, 11/30/07 - BC explodes for a 3-0 1st period lead en route to a 6-2 win over BU
  • Football, 10/7/07 - BC scores 31 points in the 2nd quarter against Bowling Green and rolls to 55-24 win - up to #4 in the country!

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