Saturday, July 29, 2006

TOB Logic

This is a few days old, but the Hampton Roads (Va.) Daily Press recently printed a report on the higher-than-average turnover among ACC assistant coaches this past off-season.

TOB, of course, is interviewed, and he does not disappoint--coming up with yet another of his patented self-contradictory and self-indicting quotables.

O'Brien served as a Virginia assistant to George Welsh for 15 seasons, and six of his nine Boston College staff members have been with him for at least eight years.

"It's been important to us especially in terms of recruiting," O'Brien said of the stability. "The (assistants) know the profile of the kids we're looking for. But sometimes you can get stale as a staff. At what point is that? Five years? Six? I don't know."

So here TOB admits that coaching staffs tend to get "stale" (his word) after 5-6 years, yet proclaims the fact that 6 of his 9 assistants have been with him for 8+ as a positive. Of course, most coaching staff's don't even stay together for that long--generally if things are going well the assistants will be given head coaching or (in the case of position coaches and other junior assistants) coordinator jobs in other programs or in the pros and if things are not going well heads will begin to roll--only in a program with a BC-esque culture of mediocrity will a staff remain intact for this long. But nonetheless this bit of TOB Logic is very telling.

Hey Tom, maybe the reason you can't get from 8 to 10 wins is because your staff is stale--so how about freshening it up by FIRING YOUR GROSSLY INCOMPETENT OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR??? Or, for that matter, resigning from your own post??

On a lighter note, this recently came to FHMAM's attention thanks to Six Degrees of Bowden. There's no BC content and it pretty much just left me speechless as I'm sure it will you, so I'll just let you have this clip of a drunk Texas Tech fan after his team beat Oklahoma:

Troy rings some guy's Bell

Looks like Troy Bell's debut in the boxing ring was successful, the ex-BC guard defeating David Oropeza of Rochester, Minnesota in a unanimous decision tonight.

Bring it on, Zbikowski.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A-C-C-ya later, Boise

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the ACC and local organizers are in talks to establish a second bowl (in addition to the Peach--sorry, Chick-Fil-A) in that town.

The proposed game would pit the 8th-choice ACC team against a Big Ten opponent. More importantly, the new bowl would mean the end of the ACC's tie-in with the MPC Smurf Bowl in Boise after the 2006 game. Not a damn moment too soon, if you ask me. There is no fucking excuse for Boise fucking Idaho to even have a bowl game in the first place. Maybe one of the joke conferences like CUSA or the Sun Belt Conference or the Big East will take the ACC's place in Boise, but hopefully the bowl will simply cease to exist.


Kiwi signs with Giants

Kiwi has signed a 5-year deal worth about $7 million with the New York Giants, making him among the first 1st-round picks to sign with their NFL team.

Incidentally, as a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan, what's up with all these BC guys going to teams that I fucking hate?? If it's not Kiwi and Chris Snee getting drafted by the Giants it's Sean Ryan getting drafted by the Cowboys or Dave Kashetta and Derrick Knight signing UDFA contracts with the Redskins and Giants respectively or Will Blackmon going to Green Bay or Jeremy Trueblood, one of my favorite Eagles, signing with Tampa Bay. I can't stand any of those teams, although the hatred I hold in my heart for the Redskins, Giants, and most of all the Cowboys obviously far exceeds that I reserve for the Bucks and Packers. Nonetheless, I'm already starting the bandwagon in the City of Brotherly Love to draft Jamie Silva as an eventual replacement for Brian Dawkins in 2008. The last BC guy to show up for the Eagles was the illustrious Grant Adams, who signed an UDFA contract last year after I thought I'd finally seen the last of him at BC. Luckily for my sanity he was cut at the end of training camp, nonetheless I fully expect Quinton Porter to be the Birds' starting QB by the end of this season following crippling injuries to McNabb, Garcia, and Timmy Chang.

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Hockey Tidbits

Inside College Hockey is reporting that the Eagles, along with BU and UNH, are among the frontrunners to land 16-year-old Toronto centerman Corey Trivino. In other news, future Eagles Nick Petrecki and Jimmy Hayes have been named to the U-18 US National team to take part in the Junior World Cup from August 8-12 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

For those who haven't been keeping up-to-date on hockey recruiting (guilty here), INCH has a rundown of prospects signed to date by BC and every other D1 school.

USCHO also has BC's tentative 2006-07 schedule up; of course, this should be taken with a grain of salt until BC confirms the dates. The Eagles open at home on Oct. 21 against Notre Dame and play Bowling Green a night later before heading to Madison the following weekend for a pair of NCAA Championship rematches against the Badgers. Hockey East opener is Halloween night at Providence, first home conference game is Oct. 4 against the Vermont Home-and-home with BU on the weekend of Dec. 1-2, capping off a brutal 4-game stretch that begins with a trip to Orono on Nov. 19 and a home date with UNH on Nov. 22. Out-of-town Eagles should already be circling the weekend before Thanksgiving for a potential return to Chestnut Hill, as the football team takes on I-95 rival Maryland on the 18th in its last home game of the season followed by a hockey road trip up to Orono for a 2 PM faceoff on Sunday.

(EDIT: Season, home, and conference opener is now listed as Oct. 10 vs. Northeastern.)

Speaking of football (in the context of a hockey post), one of the best things about playing Notre Dame was the hockey game the night before making an entire weekend of it. Although we don't play the "Irish" on the gridiron this year, hopefully this tradition will continue in our future dates--and hell, now that we're not in the Big East anymore, why not throw a basketball game in as well?? Hockey on Friday night, football on Saturday night, hoops on Sunday at noon. That would be a hell of a weekend. After the Surrenderin' French back out of their football series with us in 2010, find someone else to continue the tradition with--Wisconsin, Ohio State, Minnesota, Michigan, or Michigan State. Someone at the Yawkey Center needs to get on this.

Bell Enters the Ring is reporting that former BC guard Troy Bell, who graduated in 2003 as the Eagles' all-time leading scorer, has taken up boxing and is to make his amateur debut tonight at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN (now THAT sounds like a hellofa place).

If Bell, a 185-pound cruiserweight, wins tonight and starts to get the hang of the sweet science, could a grudge match against ND safety Tommy Zbikowski be far behind?? Bell would have to move up a weight class and overcome a severe advantage in experience held by Zbikowski, who fought around 100 amateur bouts before making his pro debut last month. But on the other hand, when's the last time a ND football player beat BC at anything??

Boo Hoo, BU

Yeah, it's July. Yeah, it's just about time for football season.

Nonetheless, no true fan of BC athletics will ever tire of this picture:

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One of my top 5 sporting moments of all time, and something I will never ever forget. Even though that day will likely wind up taking about 30 years off of my life--by paving the way for a road trip to Milwaukee that consisted of 5 days of eating nothing but fast food, getting blackout drunk off of Jack Daniels and PBR almost every night, seeing Peter Harrold clank a would-be-tying shot off the post with 1.8 seconds left in the national championship game--it was well worth it.

BU's fans came to Worcester full of confidence that night, thinking they were going to blow us off the ice as they had in 4 of the 5 prior meetings that year. They left with their tails between their tight leather-clad legs, cranking up rave music in their BMWs (or flogging their camels to produce extra-loud braying) as they exited the arena in a futile attempt to drown out the "Let's go Eagles" chants, honking horns, and Dropkick Murphys renditions of "For Boston" from the small but overjoyed number of Eagles faithful and their cars.

As BC grows into its ACC status and hopefully emerges as an annual national title contender in both football and basketball, it is still important not to forget our roots as a northeast hockey school. Now and always, it Sucks to BU.

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More Defeatism from TOB

Thanks to Atlanta Eagle for bringing to FHMAM's attention the comments from TOB in Stewart Mandel's latest mailbag on CNNSI.

"The bad part about getting to nine [wins] is now you've got to find a way to get to 10. It was a whole lot easier to get from five to eight than it is to get from eight to 10. And it's not getting any easier by joining [the ACC]. At a school like Virginia or BC, where academics come into play, it's hard enough to maintain that level of consistency. If the stars align, you can have that special year, but it's not going to happen every year ... That was as good a team as we've had [in his nine seasons]," said O'Brien.
Reading this shit just plain makes my blood boil. Yeah, it's hard to get from 8 wins to 10 when you piss away two very winnable games. It's hard to get from 8 to 10 when you run a gameplan worthy of the French Army and grab your ankles in Blacksburg (not saying we would've won that game anyway, but we definitely could've avoided being humiliated). It's hard to get from 8 to 10 when you bench your red-hot sophomore QB who just led your team to victory in one of the most hostile atmospheres in the country in favor of the previous starter who had proved utterly incompetent since returning from injury. It's hard to get from 8 to 10 when you toss away a win in Chapel Hill, and nearly toss away another at home against Wake, by waiting until way too late in the game to put said sophomore back in the game. It's hard to get from 8 to 10 with a proven incompetent, who had never held a coaching job for more than 2 years before coming to BC, as your offensive coordinator and QB coach. It's hard to get from 8 to 10 when your coaching staff and administration acts as if it doesn't really WANT to get from 8 to 10, because that would mean playing in a decent bowl game against a decent opponent and that would mean the possibility of losing and that would mean anger from the whale pants crowd. It's hard to get from 8 to 10 when you punt the ball on 4th and 3 from midfield with 8 minutes left in the game, down 2 scores, when your O-line has been beating the shit out of the opposing front 7 all day.

Seriously, I'm ready to call up Ray Henderson and hire him as the head coach right fucking now. No, he may not have a day of coaching experience, but he's got fucking heart, which is more than the current coaching staff (Willis excluded) can say.

TOB deserves a world of credit from bringing the program from the horrible mid-90s to where it is today, but he is not the guy to take the team to the next level. The time has come to thank him for his service, wish him well, and show him the door.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

2005-06 Football Predictions

@CMU - 38-9 W
I see this one being fairly close through the first half, probably a one-score game at halftime, but BC pulls away in the second. CMU will put up a tough fight early on but BC is simply too talented and that will show through.

Clemson - 24-17 W
I'm not as worried about this one as a lot of people are. Clemson is going to be an excellent team this year but Whitehurst was a huge part of their offense and while I'm hearing good things about Proctor he'll still be getting in synch with the offense this early in the year. Home opener and arguably the biggest game of the year, the crowd will be juiced for this one. Close game but Matty Ice leads a scoring drive to take the lead and the game is iced with a Jamie Silva interception.

BYU - 30-21 W
I'll admit I don't know much about BYU's team this year especially after only seeing them play once last year (vs. ND, I was tailgating at a soccer game in Ohio the day of the BC-BYU game) but based on what I've heard and what I know about BYU football in general they have an excellent aerial attack but a suspect defense. Like the first 2 games, I see this being close for much of the game with the Eagles pulling away at the end.

@NCSU - 27-16 W
I'm not convinced by NCSU. They don't seem to have improved their offense much and their defense was killed by the draft. BC wins fairly comfortably.

Maine - 45-6 W
Maine has been somewhat of a giant killer in recent years, going down south and beating Mississippi State (any BCS conference team aside from Duke is considered a "giant" against a D1AA team) 2 years ago and then giving Nebraska a serious scare in Lincoln last year. That won't happen to BC. Why?? Because this is parent's weekend, ie the biggest game of the year for Gene DeFillippo. An impressive win here keeps the sheep contended and keeps the donations rolling in from the folks whose busy fall Saturday tee times only allow them to watch 2-3 games a year (parent's weekend, the bowl game, and ND if we play them). You know that GDF will lean on TOB to scrounge up every power of motivation that he has, and the boys will be ready for this one.

Va Tech - 17-13 W
BC will win this one and get our hopes up. VT looks to have a down year and Beamer needs to prove that he can keep the program at an elite level even without any more Vicks. I actually don't see VT remaining an elite program long-term; they'll still be good, but not at the level they've been for the last 8 years or so. My bet is that long-term they drop back to ACC's 2nd tier along with BC, Clemson, NC State, and Georgia Tech; and it starts here. The Hokies still have a good defense but, in what will become an annual BC-VT Thursday night tradition, drop this one.

@FSU - 35-20 L
...And we come crashing back to Earth. BC CAN win this one, but Matty Ice and the boys will have to do it in spite of TOB's scared playcalling. Our best chance is to pound it out on the ground, hold onto the ball, turn it into a defensive struggle and get some key turnovers. We're definitely capable of pulling out the "W" but under TOB's "guidance" I don't see it happening unfortunately.

Buffalo - 52-0 W
Buffalo is fucking terrible.

@Wake - 28-27 W
It seems that most of the top-level ACC teams have one lower-to-mid-level team that always gives them trouble, often beating them and always giving them a good scare. Miami has UNC (1-1 in ACC play and they were lucky to win last year), FSU has NC State (3-3 since 2000), and we have Wake. I think they're going to give us problems most years, it's just one of those things. Luckily I don't see them upsetting us this year, even in Winston-Salem. Losing Chris Barclay won't hurt the Deacs as much as a lot of people think it will, as he was more a product of their system; nonetheless, the Eagles will have an answer for most of what Wake throws at them. It'll be tough, but a last-minute defensive stand will pull out the victory.

Duke - 38-3 W
Duke is fucking terrible.

Maryland - 26-24 L
TOB special. With FSU's ACC slate completed at 5-3 (L's to Miami, Clemson, NC State) and Clemson likewise finished at 6-2, a win here brings the Eagles to 6-1 and, based on the tiebreaker over the Tigers, clinches the Atlantic title and a spot in the ACC Championship game.....what do you think is going to happen?? It won't be as bad as Syracuse, but it'll be just as heartbreaking. On BC's Senior Day, the Terps come into town and steal the show, winning the Battle of I-95 and provoking "we are what we are" damage control from TOB. Much rejoicing in Tidewater country as BC now needs to go into the Orange Bowl and beat Miami in order to force a rematch with the 'Canes in Jacksonville.

@Miami - 35-17 L
Another TOB special. BC storms out to an early 14-0 lead before retreating into its shell. Down 21-14 with 5 seconds left in the first half and the ball on Miami's 2-inch line and BC's O-line kicking the 'Canes up and down the field, TOB elects to kick the field goal. BC doesn't even come close to scoring in the 2nd half and Miami runs away with it. To rub salt in the wound, Clemson beats Miami in the ACC Championship game.

Purdue - 31-21 W (Music City Bowl)
Another year, another crappy bowl win over a mediocre opponent. Hooray.


Welcome to Tom O'Brien's BC Eagles--motto, "Ever to be Perpetually Mediocre".

Brokeback Domer

From EDSBS comes some insight into the "extra-curricular activities" of Touchdown Jesus himself, the high school junior who may as well be awarded the 2008-10 Heisman Trophies right now, Mr. Jimmy Clausen.

The next Joe Montana?? More likely the next David Kopay.

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Welcome to For Here Men Are Men, one of the few sites on the Internet devoted to discussion of Boston College athletics. Here you will not find typical BC "we are what we are" sentiment; instead we at FHMAM will call for the university to develop into a true powerhouse and live up to its model, "Ever to Excel", on the playing fields/courts/rinks just as it already does in the classroom. Updates will come whenever possible and whenever there is news to report or discuss. Thank you and be sure to watch this space.

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