Thank You, Boston College Athletics

When you were young, do you remember when you were with your parents at McDonalds?

You were excited for a Happy Meal consisting of a hamburger, fries, a small Coke, the coolest toy and an apple pie because you behaved so well at grandma’s house.

The lady in the red polo, wearing a McDonalds visor cap, brings a tiny cardboard box with golden arches on top— a meal fit for a king or queen. You take the bag and immediately your mom tugs your arm and says, “What do you say?” Your palms get sweaty, your eyes bulge out of your head as you look at the person as the small amount of words you know rush through your tiny head. Suddenly, a light goes on in your head—Eureka—and you say these fine two words:

Thank You.

“Thank you” is a phrase we were taught as children to use when someone offers a kind gesture like holding the door or elevator, helping you with your homework, or giving you food at a fancy restaurant or a McDonalds. It’s easy for us to forget when the right times are to say “Thank you.”

Here at Boston College, we’re on a tight schedule. We're running from class to class, meeting to meeting, dorm to dorm, party to party (let’s be honest now) and sometimes we are overwhelmed to the point where we forget to express gratitude. This isn't to bash people who refuse to say "Thank you" when I hold the giant Lower handicap doors or those who fail to say thank you to BC Dining at 1:45 a.m. on a Friday night. This a thank you to Boston College for it’s athletics.

You read that last statement correctly.

Think back again to the Mcdonalds moment. Someone (or something) crafted that hamburger, topped it with onions and ketchup, neatly put fries into a custom-made box just for Happy Meals and added soda and a cool toy to show off. Your mother or father paid for it with his or her own money and you hop up and down like a kid in a candy store, even though you are in McDonalds. That’s a lot like BC athletics.

The athletic department, coaches and especially players spend hours upon hours working to give the student body and alumni an athletic program to be proud of. From players and coaches having 6 a.m. practices to athletic director Brad Bates making calls and holding interviews for vacant coaching positions, running an athletic program—at least, a good one— is not easy. It's impossible for students to see what happens behind the scenes because we only see games, watch highlights or read the news.

Photo courtesy of Ken Kraetzer/ flickr.

Photo courtesy of Ken Kraetzer/ flickr.

But when you look to other colleges like Notre Dame or Florida State or if you look at the NFL’s handling of domestic violence cases on Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson or Greg Hardy—to name a few—it's hard to look and say there’s still some good left. But BC athletics fills that gap.

Last year, Superfans saw the revival of our football program under new head coach Steve Addazio and the legs of Andre Williams. The demigod Jerry York and the BC hockey team added another Hockey East regular season title, Beanpot win and a Frozen Four appearance. The basketball team had an off year, so Superman Bates swooped in and kicked Steve Donahue out and inserted mid-major coach, Jim Christian.

Of the four teams BC has faced this season, two had some sort of problem affect their team. UMass Amherst had academic problems, according to the Boston Globe. USC’s head coach, Steve Sarkisian, was called a racist by his senior running back and fell for Josh Shaw’s “heroic” story.

At BC, we were bowl eligible last year, had a Heisman Trophy finalist, a Hobey Baker recipient, several Olympians and a World Cup player. Now, this year, we had Pete Frates, former baseball player for BC, pioneer of the ice bucket challenge. And in honor of Welles Crowther, a model of what BC stands for, the Eagles scrapped and clawed their way to a victory over the ninth-ranked team in the country, the USC Trojans.

It’s a stretch, but BC is the model for other college athletic programs and even the NFL. We groan about the lack of success our programs have had in recent years, but we need to be thankful for what we have. We don’t have players yelling obscenities in the quad or Lower and we don't have academic integrity issues marring our athletes.

Sure, some of these teams like a Florida State might win a national championship, but we have had our moments. Go back two Saturdays and remember when you were on the field, jumping and screaming with Tyler Murphy or Myles Willis. Go back to late winter when BC hockey won the Beanpot. Go back to the end of last year’s final home game when we stormed the field following a victory over NC State when we actually shouldn’t have. These moments are what I cherish when it comes to BC athletics. A national championship would be great, but I'm content with what we've accomplished thus far.

Sure, we’re not an Alabama or a Duke, but we are BC, a model program for what athletics should be and a program that has given plenty of moments to the student body to remember proudly. So it's time that we say those same words we said to the lady giving us our Happy Meal at McDonalds:

Thank you.

 

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