September 24, 2008

# 11 Alumni Stadium, Boston College


Say what you will about this being a spite pick, but the cold hard truth is BC scraped the barrel of the rankings from four of us who all visited on separate occasions. My cousin went to BC and I have some great memories of partying with her friends on campus and going out in Beantown. But when it comes to its football culture, there is a lot to be desired. Nobody can deny that BC is a hockey school and that's not a bad thing. They, along with BU, have a proud history as one of the bastions of American hockey.

But this is a football stadiums ranking and the Eagles don't measure up. As one attendee described, "There's no bigger hole than Alumni Stadium and there's no worse collection of bitter, jealous and angry people than the B.C. 'superfans.'" Alumni Stadium resembles more a glorified high school stadium. There is little buzz around campus amongst the students and fans. The fact that most people have to park miles away and shuttle or walk to the stadium hurts the overall gameday vibe. There is a small parking lot near the stadium, but the school enforces ancient (read: lame) tailgating rules, only allowing fans to legally tailgate 2 hours before kickoff. Absurd. Boston is a terrific city to visit and walk around, but it's a T ride away from Chestnut Hill, so the direct surrounding area suffers a bit.

While the efforts of the Superfans is commendable and good for school spirit, the fact that this movement is still rather young is a shame. Notre Dame seems to draw out the best from the BC faithful. Whether or not this is simply school pride at its finest or BC students and fans putting on a mask of caring to convince Notre Dame they're not inferior when it comes to football. I'll be the first to admit that the Eagles have dealt us a few devastating losses over the years. The fans can relish that role all they want. But the fact remains that BC as a football team hasn't really accomplished much outside of these upset moments.


Sean said...

I hate BC and its high school stadium. The old turf they had there rivaled the shit they had at the Vet. And the Super Fans that poured Piss and threw shit at us as we ran on to the field makes it even better. I wouldn't mind if that place melted because the seats are all metal bleachers anyways. Suck ass school, suck ass stadium and suck ass program. Thanks Jimmy for firing me up!!

Doug said...

Jimbo, enjoyed your thoughts on Alumni Stadium. I had a chance to go out there for the BC-ND game in 2001, and I am heading out there again this year to see BC-ND in November. I might have some additional thoughts after seeing it again this time around (whereas it is sometimes hard to gauge an experience during the college years.)

Overall, I thought BC was a mediocre experience from a college football standpoint. As you pointed out, the tailgating rules were completely bogus. We played them at 8 pm in 2001, and yet we weren't permitted to tailgate until two hours before the game. We showed up at BC ready to party at around noon, and people were barely awake. That is big time college football?? I don't think so. I was stunned at how apathetic the students were for the ND game. There was no energy on campus until about an hour or so before the game. Not impressive at all.

The one thing BC has going for it though is its location in one of America's greatest cities. There are very few cities to visit that are better than Boston in my opinion, so a trip out to BC can turn into a great weekend if you take advantage of the great location. Go visit Fenway, do the Freedom Trail, hang out on Boston Common, go to Cambridge, check out the Harbor, go to the Italian North End, and grab some drinks at one of the many Irish pubs in town. It is easy to get around on the “T,” and you can walk the entire city with no problem.

I would recommend the BC trip just for the chance to hang out in Boston for a couple days. As far as the gameday setting and the college football experience, it is really nothing special.

WI_Eagle said...

As a BC alum that has traveled to a large number of college football destinations, I agree that the overall gameday experience at BC is average at best. I just wanted to clarify one thing. The City of Boston sets the tailgating time limit. The border between Boston and Newton runs through the middle of the BC campus (it is not delineated on the campus but follows the hill that separates Lower campus from Middle campus). Alumni Stadium is below the hill and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of Boston. Every year BC has to apply for a permit just to be able to host the games. A few years ago it was a big win for BC to get the tailgating limit changed from two hours to three. I guarantee you that if BC could they would allow tailgating all day. Alumni Stadium is surrounded by the million dollar homes of Chestnut Hill on one side and the brownstones of Brighton on the other side and neither group has much of a liking for the traffic, noise, etc. that gameday creates. Both groups exert pressure on the City to keep tailgating to a minimum. I think that given the situation BC does the best they can, but I do agree that the gameday experience is nothing to write home about.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just found your site. No matter what banter is thrown about the cool thing is that we are the only 2 Catholic Universities playing D1 football (and we've now beaten you guys SIX straight times).

I graduated BC in 1988. After living in Chestnut Hill for 3 years, We figured, it was senior year, we may as well head to South Bend in the fall of 1987 and enjoy a game and find out what all the hype was about in the midwest.

It was a great experience but the funny thing was we all thought, "Where the hell are we? We are in the middle of nowhere. Chicago is so far away. What the hell do we do here besides go to football games?"

Your game day experience and the traditions were spectacular but the campus and the town of South Bend was ho-hum, no big deal. It was obvious that ND's main focus was football, football, football. We all figured that BC has the best of all worlds: a great school, in a great city, and a proud athletic tradition. It seems your remote campus forces you to make football the ULTIMATE experience because there are no other distractions.

The cool part is traveling to the other schools and observing the different cultures.

Last thing, 2 buddies of mine from Death Valley Clemson went to Boston for the Clemson/BC game and they ended up tailgating in a Chinese restaurant in Cleveland Circle! They loved it. Go EAGLES!