This week, Boston College and Notre Dame’s football teams revealed their uniforms for this season’s installment of the Holy War, at Fenway.
The Eagles’ uniform is simple and understated, a throwback uniform dating back to the time of Demigod Doug Flutie. Notre Dame’s “Shamrock Series” uniform is a monochromatic Irish green, with the exception of its golden helmets.
While this isn’t the most exciting news for many, including myself, due to the fact that it’s a superficial detail for a game that is probably attracting fans for the on-field action rather than the appearance of it all, there was one thing that stood out in Notre Dame’s uniform announcement.
A tweet sent by the official Notre Dame Football Twitter account read, “Heritage. Titles. Fenway Park.” Of course Notre Dame is referencing both the history behind its storied program and behind Boston’s beloved Fenway. The next line, however, is the part that really stood out, “WE ARE THE GREEN MONSTER."
Notre Dame is making a bold statement, declaring that it is in alignment with the most notorious structural highlight of Fenway Park, if not Major League Baseball as a whole.
The Fighting Irish had the audacity to come into our city, our Boston, and call themselves “The Green Monster.” Not only is that a presumptuous comparison (given the Green Monster’s reputation), but it is also a minor dig at our
school city as a whole.
The Irish will be considered the home team in this match up, seeing as it is another installment in their Shamrock Series –Notre Dame’s way of trying to garner a solid viewership since they are unaffiliated with any conference (in football only, it is in the ACC in every other sport). Notre Dames play a game of the series annually at a neutral site to both teams, but considered a home game for the Irish.
The Shamrock Series is the only reason that we are playing Notre Dame this year. The only way for ND football to play six ACC teams in the 2015-2016 season was to make one of them a Shamrock game.
Now, although it is at a neutral site, a game being played in Boston against a team from South Bend, Indiana–roughly 900 miles from Fenway–should automatically be a home field advantage for the Eagles, who are a whopping four miles away. But it seems that the situation is going to be a tad bit different.
Already, BC fans are at a disadvantage. The ticketing alone favors the Fighting Irish, as the tickets sold through the Notre Dame website show the lowest price for lottery tickets as $175 for end zone seats and $225 for sideline seats. BC’s lowest priced seats are $400, Notre Dame’s two prices combined.
Notre Dame's lottery seems to be run slightly different from BC’s as well. According to the Notre Dame website, those who can enter the lottery are “contributing Alumni, current undergraduate Parents, dues-paying Monogram winners, and donors.”
Everyone is placed in a lottery, unlike BC, where the big donors are automatically awarded their tickets. So, the limited quantity of 5,000 (of the 37,400 total available seats at Fenway) tickets that BC was given is reduced even more for the lottery.
To make matters worse, the two teams are going to be sharing a sideline, so there will truly be no home field advantage. How can BC fans stand behind the Notre Dame bench and heckle the players if some of their own team will end up as collateral damage?
It is frustrating that while this game is in our backyard, that home field advantage will be nonexistent, and BC fans are going to have a limited opportunity to go out and show support. Blame it on whoever or whatever you want: the ACC, Notre Dame's athletic department, BC's athletic department, the schools themselves, or anyone involved in planning the game.
It has become clear in recent months that this game really will be at a "neutral site," and maybe even give Notre Dame the home field advantage.
BC did not take advantage of this opportunity to play in front of a home crowd in a rare game at one of the nation's most storied ballparks. Instead, we are forced–with the exception of the lucky 5,000 BC fans who get to buy the $400 allotted tickets, and others who spend an exuberant amount on Stubhub–across the street to the House of Blues watch party, the bars surrounding Fenway, or our dorm's lounges to cheer on our Eagles who are so close yet so far from us.
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