The home football game this past weekend was unlike most in Boston College’s recent history. The Eagles’ upset of the No. 9 USC Trojans was the highlight of the night, but fans may have noticed a few other changes leading up to the win.
The new SuperFan Zone, coordinated by the athletic department and the Office of Student Involvement, debuted at this game. Located inside the concourse area of Gate A, the zone served as a tailgating location for any interested Gold Pass-holders. There was free food, a raffle, other giveaways, and a student band that performed cover songs. Men’s hockey head coach Jerry York was on hand to socialize with the students present.
Given the rainy weather on Saturday evening, using an indoor location was a wise decision that likely attracted more students than it would have under more desirable weather conditions. Pending its success at future high-capacity games like the Clemson game on Oct. 18, BC Athletics should consider making the SuperFan Zone a permanent feature of home games, as it provides an entertaining experience for students who may not have traditional tailgates to attend.
During the game itself, the crowd was—with few exceptions—civil, and chants from the student section largely remained respectful throughout the game, which was especially fitting given that the game was dedicated to the memory of 9/11 hero Welles Crowther, BC ’99. Red bandannas, an article worn by many in honor of Crowther, were prominent throughout the crowd. The red bandanna-themed custom gear worn by the BC football team and the athletic staff was a fitting tribute. The crowd was also enormously supportive of Crowther’s parents, cheering when they were brought out on the field at halftime.
Pete Frates, BC ’07, and his family also made an appearance at halftime to express their gratitude for the outpouring of support for the fight against ALS. A video played of the BC baseball team reading aloud a thank-you for the awareness and money generated by the Ice Bucket Challenge over the past few months. The family of Frates, a former BC baseball captain and sports information director who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012, was visibly moved by the positive response of the crowd, and their recognition was another emotional high point of the night.
As the game clock was expiring, Athletics personnel and TeamOps present in Alumni Stadium first held back the crowd, but then allowed fans to rush the field once the game was over. The zealous fan response was welcome after an arduous game for the players, and it was encouraging to see the officials allow students to celebrate once they were sure it would not interfere with the game’s conclusion.
The efforts of the University and BC Athletics served to enhance Saturday night’s central victory—the football team’s impressive efforts. Congratulations to the Eagles on their hard-fought win.
Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Editor