The rule of thumb for sports writers always was “no cheering” in the press box. It made sense. Sportswriters were paid to observe, critique, comment on what they saw. Cheering was not part of the deal.
That, of course was and is simply untrue. We are all human. We all have favorites and those who are not our favorites. We all cheer–although we try not to be obvious about it.
We will do this to a point, knowing that when bad stuff happens, that must still be reported, even though we do this differently with high school kids and college kids than we would do it with professional athletes.
Which brings us to the Boston College Eagles. I will not be at The Heights on Saturday. I am taking ajerseyguy. com on the road to State College to watch that bizarre scene unfold in Penn State’s first game in the post Joe Paterno era.
But I will be watching what happens between BC and Miami very closely. And yes, I will be cheering. Cheering the same way I have done over the years for former BC players such as Luke Kuechly, Matt Ryan, Nick Larkin and for former coaches such as Tom O’Brien and do for current coaches such as Steve Donahue and Jerry York and yes BC football coach Frank Spaziani.
BC’s best asset as a football program is its players. They are way above the cut in terms of quality people.
This year’s group also includes a new wave of people who I will be hoping do well. And this has nothing to do with cheering for BC to win. I want BC players like Chase Rettig and Andre Williams and Emmett Cleary and Nick Clancy to do well because I like them. They are what the NCAA tries so hard to sell–student’s who are athletes.
But most of all I will be cheering and rooting for Spaziani to do well, to succeed. I like Spaz. Maybe its Jersey guy to Jersey guy type of thing.
Spaziani spent most of his coaching career as an assistant coach–a very good assistant coach. Three years into his head coaching career, the chatter you hear is that Spaziani is a very good ASSISTANT coach, but comes up short as the head coach.
Certainly, BC’s record the past few years would suggest that, if you just looked at the numbers. But there is more to football at BC than W’s and L’s–and yes, we understand that W’s and Ls is still the bottom line at almost every program.
In horse racing terms–which Spaziani as a Jersey guy is familiar–he has had a rough trip as the head coach. Injuries, suspensions, coaching staff turmoil all have been part of the picture. Some he has handled well, some he has not.
Last year BC tumbled to 4-8 and the critics were all preparing the eulogies over Spaz’s head coaching career. And no one knows better than Spaz himself that a repeat of last year, WILL close the door on his head coaching career at BC.
We think BC can win this year. We think they can reverse that 4-8 mark which should get Spaz Coach of the Year votes.
Will they do that? Ah, there is the question of the year at the Heights this fall. We hope so. We hope so for the sake of players we like. We hope so for coaches we like.
It is not obvious, but a foundation of good kids and good players is being built at BC, much the same way O’Brien did it in his first few years at BC and the way he is doing it now at NC State.
We hope Frank Spaziani is around to watch what can be built on top of that foundation.
BC MUST beat Miami on Saturday. Losing is not an option in terms of what this means for the psyche of the football program and the coaching staff.
No cheering in the press box?
Forgetaboutit. We are going to do just that, even if we keep the mute button on.
© Copyright 2012 Mark, All rights Reserved. Written For: A Jersey Guy