In the earliest stages of Boston College’s 2013 football season, video of Head Coach Steve Addazio’s first pregame speech to his team surfaced.
“We’ve got an opportunity to write a new script,” the coach said. “To write a new script from off an old tablet.”
That was always the goal this season, from the day Addazio became the coach almost one year ago. Make amends for past shortcomings and get the Boston College football program back to respectability.
“Throughout the country, they know it as tough football — high-character, classy, physical, tough, rugged football program.”
Boston College football has always been about those lunch-pail players who will work harder than the other team and play smart. This school is never going to be a warm-weather football machine like Alabama or Florida State where five-star, Top 100 recruits will gravitate to them. What Boston College is supposedly lacking in premier talent is to be made up with grit, determination, and teamwork.
That, after all, is what Addazio was trying to rekindle. In the past few years, the Eagles lost their way. Where they sit today — a winning record and bowl-eligibility — seemed almost like a fantasy at this point in 2012. Now, they have re-found that physicality, toughness, and refusal to quit that made them a difficult team to play in the past.
“We’re playing as a team — we’re a hundred and whatever strong. We’re BC — it’s not just about eleven on the field at one time. This program’s not built on that. This program’s built on the whole family. Together, fighting for each other.”
In an early-season press conference, the coach himself described the locker room he inherited as being “fragmented.” The team culture had gotten so low that some didn’t even know the words to the fight song. That’s not Boston College football or what it’s meant to be, and Addazio and his coaches set about to fixing that and selling every young man in maroon and gold on the idea of the team. If they were going to fail, they would do so as a team, with no eye towards individual blame or retribution. More optimistically, if they were going to succeed, they would also do so as a team, sharing in each other’s successes as brothers in arms working towards the same end and representing the same special place.
All the men who wear that uniform represent themselves, their university, and all the players who came before them. They are a part of something bigger than themselves.
“You’re accountable to your teammates. You don’t give in and you don’t lack effort because you’re accountable to your teammates.”
This Boston College team, winners of three in a row and bowl-eligible for the first time in three years, have been accountable to each other and have exemplified the teamwork that we expect from them. They have fought for each other and admirably so, even in situations where the odds were not necessarily in their favor. Motivation and a positive attitude count for a great deal in this game; when you don’t have it, you suffer. When you do, you thrive.
“The team! The team! The team! The team! The family! The family! The family! BC! BC! BC!”
There’s no mistaking why Boston College fans are proud on Sunday morning. This team has come together as a family and have rewritten the script, just as Coach Addazio has been imploring them to do from the start. There is still much work to be done and there will be no satisfaction until they are holding a bowl trophy in December, but Boston College football’s pride is back. This is a team and a family of whom we Boston Collegians can be proud.