It has already been quite a week at Boston College, and it’s one that could end in several days with one of its own setting the all-time wins record in college hockey. That would be an exclamation point on a stretch which started with the hiring of Steve Addazio as BC’s next head football coach.
There are certainly a variety of opinions about Addazio, his staff choices, and everything in between as he begins his long journey towards what we hope is a successful rebuild of the program. The debate has been very spirited to say the least, but through it all, the fanbase does want him to succeed for the sake of the school’s reputation and the kids in maroon and gold.
On Wednesday, Addazio introduced himself to the Boston College community and gave a fiery speech, which was hardly unexpected knowing his style but nevertheless won him converts. So far, reviews from those who have interacted with him personally have been highly favorable, and without having done the same, I can say that despite whatever reservations I have had about the hire and all things surrounding it, I find Addazio to be a genuinely likable, passionate guy that I honestly believe will do his best. I can also see why he has gained a reputation as a good recruiter, given how well he speaks.
At some point, however, we all will have to distinguish the rhetoric from the record, because ultimately, the latter is the only thing that matters. All the fiery speeches in the world will not make up for losing football games, and just because we may like Addazio as a person does not mean he doesn’t have to win. That’s how we ended up with Frank Spaziani for as long as we did.
Now, I’m not saying that Addazio will be Spaziani, because frankly (no pun intended) I think Addazio is a better coach, but I only have one criterion for the new coach, and that’s winning football games. Other issues, such as student development, are outside the view of the fans and are matters of a personal nature to the players, but that is a concern of Addazio’s. As for the fans, we will judge Addazio’s tenure by how many games he wins, and this would be true of any hire Brad Bates may have made.
Personality definitely has its place. Nobody will argue that Steve Addazio doesn’t have any, that’s for sure. He can use this to his benefit and ours, selling the program to recruits and getting his team fired up to play, amongst other things. Addazio will bring an energy to the sideline that was sorely lacking. It is, however, far less important than the win-loss totals. I care less about how passionate Addazio is in the locker room and more about how that team in the locker room performs on the field.
I’m sure that as a man, Addazio will be a fine representative of the character of Boston College. He says all the right things, but it is entirely just to weigh his performance on how he actually does. As far as how he chooses to motivate the team, I don’t care if he puts on a purple Pat Benatar spandex unitard and sings “I Am The Warrior” before every game, as long as he wins.
Wins are my only concern. If Addazio gets them — and we should of course give him a fair chance and not call for his head the first time BC loses a game — the fan support will follow. Winning fixes everything, but now, it’s up to him to do it.