Struggles of the SuperFan

After an unbelievably exciting first half, with its storybook start and tumultuous end, Boston College football looked like a transformed team. Andre Williams was tearing apart the Florida State defense, cutting side to side and breaking tackles. The crowd was going wild, and Alumni Stadium was shaking with energy. SuperFans were shocked to see what was happening in front of them. They high-fived following every play and yelled cheers with more intensity, yet there was still lingering doubt and negativity about the rest of the game.

 Even after each positive play for the Eagles, I heard SuperFans moaning about how Boston College football was going to give away the game. “Their luck can’t last too much longer,” “Just wait until Winston shows his true character,” “They will find a way to blow the game away.” Standing next to people who were constantly complaining, I was afraid and worried about what would happen if the game did actually head south. Within an hour, I quickly learned.

 As a freshman at BC, I have only been to two football games at Alumni Stadium. Coming into the season, I heard of the disappointment of the “Spaz” era, but also of the excitement and optimism building with the new arrival of Addazio. I had no idea what to expect at the beginning of the season, but soon learned the mentality of a typical SuperFan. It is important to note that this doesn’t reflect every SuperFan, but it does describe a very large percentage.

 The typical SuperFan:

1. Arrives halfway into the first quarter. Why would you arrive 30 minutes early to get your Gold Pass point when you could spend that valuable time tailgating?

2. At the sight of any Boston College mistake, references the “Spaz” era. Excessive complaining soon follows. Once it starts, it is a disease that does not go away for at least a few hours and, in extreme cases, it lasts the whole fall.

3. When the bickering and negativity gets over a certain predetermined limit, you promptly leave the game.

4. Even if that limit is not reached, once your friends leave or you notice half of the student section is empty, you quickly evacuate the premises as if a fire alarm is going off.

5. Unless you are incredibly optimistic, a dedicated SuperFan or a football fanatic, the buzzer ending the third quarter is like an alarm clock reminding you to leave.

Does anyone actually know the lyrics to the Alma Mater? You know, the song that immediately follows the game and is sung, win or lose, by the BC football team and the few remaining SuperFans? I’m sure many people have no idea about what I am referring to, which shows the sad truth of the situation.

 Most of us love our school, but if we really loved the football team, we would stay until the very end, help them through their troubles,and praise them with their successes. However, we give up hope at the first sight of misfortune. Would you break up with your significant other after the first argument? Would you never try a food after one bad experience? Would you transfer out of Boston College after a bad day?

 This mentality, I’m assuming, has been pounded into Boston College football fans after years of disappointment. With the high expectations that our football team should strive for, the past years have been devastating. Boston College fans got used to losing and because hardship is easier to deal with when you have low expectations in it from the beginning, fans developed a mindset that equated with that.

 Most fans had low expectations for the football game, expecting a blowout. It was Parent’s Weekend and most SuperFans had their focus on things other than football. Still, many students showed up to the game, even if they weren’t on time for kickoff.

Midway through the second quarter, I looked around the student section and saw hundreds of faces that could rival McKayla Maroney’s expression on the Olympic podium. I realized that as time went on, Boston College’s momentum and SuperFan’s optimism withered. Florida State got their act together in the second quarter and threw a dagger at the Eagles with their miraculous last second play right before half time.

Unfortunately, as time expired in the first half, the last threads of hope went with it. We gave up on our team. However, the football team was different. The squad stayed tough and refused to give up against the No. 8-ranked team in the nation. They kept Florida State’s lead to only 14 points for most of the second half and waited for the big play to come that would bring back the idea of winning the game. Teams have certainly come back from much larger deficits than 14 points.

With over half of the fourth quarter left, the student section looked like campus on a Sunday morning at 7 a.m. -- empty. When the football team looked up to the stands, it had to be incredibly discouraging to see their “SuperFans” gone. No longer was there a student section; instead it was sections F, G and H that happened to contain mostly empty seats and a few students.

Image courtesy of Gavel Media

Image courtesy of Gavel Media

Now compare this to Notre Dame. They lost to Oklahoma this past weekend, 35-21, yet at the end of their game, every Notre Dame fan stayed in the audience to sing the alma mater with their team. And not a single fan left until the football team stepped off the field.  A little different from how Alumni looked, wouldn’t you agree?

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