Who went to the Beanpot final on Monday? Everyone.
Who went to the Women’s Beanpot final on Tuesday? Virtually no one.
When I woke up Tuesday morning after the Boston College men’s hockey team defeated Northeastern University 4-1 in the Beanpot final, I saw a massive amount of pictures of people drinking straight from the Beanpot trophy. According to many, the Mods were “turning up” from BC’s win at the Beanpot. It was nice seeing the BC community come together through a sporting event and celebrate in such a manner. In the fall, we had the privilege of storming Alumni at the end of the last home game against North Carolina State.
But when I woke up Wednesday morning, I didn’t witness any pictures with the BC Fiddle Kid, nor did I see people storming the Mods after BC’s women’s hockey team defeated Northeastern 3-0 to win the Beanpot final. The only picture that has been branded in my thoughts has been the picture of the women’s hockey team skating around the Kelley Rink with the Beanpot trophy to an empty arena.
Yes, the Eagles were on BC campus for the Women’s Beanpot final. While many decided to cram onto the B Line and head to the TD Garden to watch the men’s Beanpot final and fork over some cash, the women’s Beanpot final was a short walk (or short bus ride from Newton or off-campus) and FREE! But as evident from the attendance in Conte and even the commentators, there wasn’t much support for BC, but there was for Northeastern. So if women’s Beanpot final was on campus and free for BC students, why was there not such a strong showing from Superfans like there was for the men’s Beanpot final?
The women’s ice hockey team is just as good as the men’s ice hockey team and what makes women’s ice hockey interesting to watch is that the players don’t go for hard hits to the glass, but focus on pure athleticism and skill.
I get it that it’s easy to get turned on from a hard hit. That’s why everyone loves football: Every one jumps out of his or her seat when a hard hit is made that may cause a concussion. That’s why everyone loves boxing: Punching someone for twelve rounds is riveting! And that’s why everyone hates baseball: Knowing how to play game correctly is boring but juiced up home runs and home-plate collisions are where it’s at! When did the appreciation for skill become lost?
While watching the women’s ice hockey team play, I was so captivated by the way they played. They were calculated, offensive and showed why they were the better team based on pure skill. Physicality wasn’t a factor, as it shouldn’t be in sports. The skill they exuded won them the game and it’s the women’s ice hockey’s skill that has earned them the success they’ve had the season.
But the other puzzling factor is paying versus not paying. The women’s Beanpot final was free for a reason. It was free to allow the BC community to come in droves and cheer on the women’s ice hockey team. The game was also free because people had already paid money to get tickets for the men’s semifinal and final so they wouldn’t spend money to watch the women’s Beanpot. When people found out the final home game of the football season against NC State was free, droves of Superfans came. I can’t recall a time when I was among so many Superfans in the student section during the game. But even free, you could clearly here the skates and the slapping of the puck around Conte.
Fan participation—or lack thereof—is something we’ve discussed before. We talk about how people prefer to tailgate through the first quarter of a football game or how people leave before the game is over and leave the Alma Mater. Early in the season, a roommate of mine forgot that BC sings the Alma Mater after every home game. But it is appalling that the counterparts to the men’s ice hockey team are doing just as well and we as a community don’t respect it by attending one of the greatest sports traditions in Boston.
It’s hard not to say this is just another example of favoritism towards men’s sports over women’s sports even in 2014, but this seems to be the case. The women’s Beanpot final was free so getting a ticket or paying for a ticket wasn’t an excuse. The women’s Beanpot final was on BC’s campus so the excuse of travelling was invalid.
What was meant to be a second consecutive night of celebration, fiddling in Conte, and drinking from another Beanpot trophy turned into one of the most disappointing moments to be a fan of BC athletics. Congratulations to both hockey teams for their victories in their respective Beanpot tournaments. I just wish there was an equal level of respect for both victories from the BC faithful.
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