Robert Rossi, Managing Editor, Emeritus, on September 19, 2012 1:03 AM
Boston College football’s 22-13 loss to Northwestern this past Saturday was not available for viewing on any of the television stations a BC student can (legally) watch in the dorm rooms. There was a low-quality audio feed for anyone who didn’t mind reading, over and over and over, a list of movies airing on the other university channels later that night (Gladiator was on at 8), but I tried listening and found it uncomfortable for reasons that made me even more uncomfortable:
- I am a senior at Boston College. I have season tickets for the Boston College football team. I live on campus. WHY DOESN’T BC CABLE TELEVISE THE AWAY GAMES?
- I understand that the game was on the Big 10 Network, which isn’t a part of BC Cable. This omission didn’t upset me as much as feeling like not that many people on campus would even care. And who can blame them? Who wants to watch the alma mater get steamrolled by a mediocre program?
- This apathy stands in stark contrast to another imploding team near and dear to my heart: the Boston Red Sox. Why isn’t BC’s head coach Frank Spaziani getting the Bobby Valentine treatment?
BC will never be Red Sox Nation in terms of numbers of fans, attention from the Boston media, or Jimmy Fallon running onto the field and almost ruining its happiest moment ever. #FireSpaz is a moderately popular topic on Twitter among alumni, but the vitriol doesn’t seem proportionately appropriate when compared with that lobbed by Sox fans at their team’s manager, Bobby Valentine.
The two men share far more similarities with each other than any of the other Boston “Big 5” coaches (the Big 5 being the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA football). I’m sure non-BC fans are laughing at the inclusion of the Eagles with the pro teams. On the other hand, Los Angeles doesn’t have an NFL franchise because of USC football. “Ever to Excel,” right? The most depressing thing about this comparison for BC fans, however, is that when you stack Spaziani and Bobby V up against each other, it’s Spaz who comes out looking worse.
Valentine’s Red Sox will miss the playoffs, but the Sox haven’t won a playoff game since Spaziani became BC’s coach. Coincidentally (well, not really), BC football has also failed to win a postseason game during the same timeframe. Only one of these men has been in his current position for this entire period.
Blame for the decline of Boston College football has been directed at people in the athletic department besides Frank Spaziani, but the one subjected to the most criticism will be gone from BC by October 1. If the first decision of the new BC AD will really be this easy, what is the purpose of delaying the inevitable? Every game BC loses under a coach nobody expects to be here next year only makes recruiting top talent and filling Alumni Stadium more difficult, and thereby pointlessly extends the rebuilding process.
When I applied to BC, the football program was among the very best in the NCAA. When I graduate in May, it will have descended into a laughingstock. One look backward should be enough to convince any SuperFan that right now is the time to move forward. If Bobby Valentine, manager of a team closing out a lost season, sits on a seat so hot that it’s almost on fire, BC football has every reason to turn the page before it loses any chance at salvaging anything from the 2012 season.
Boston College needs to send a message to its fans, donors, and past, present and future athletes. Rebuilding will begin when BC once again treats losing as an unacceptable status quo. The search for a permanent head coach can start the day the new AD takes control. But before then, BC needs to fire Frank Spaziani and appoint an interim head coach. Actually, that’s an understatement.
BC needs to fire Frank Spaziani and appoint an interim head coach immediately.