I’m not sure what made me think about the Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Boston College Eagles series last week, but as a result of whatever prompted it, I threw out the following questions on my various social media feeds:
As far as rivalries go, what are your thoughts on the Notre Dame vs. Boston College rivalry? Love it? Hate it? Best game? Worst? (ducks)
Well, I wasn’t exactly expecting what I got out of that. Apparently, the masses don’t feel that ND vs. BC is a rivalry. And more people than not are 100% uninterested in playing BC, ever.
“Not a rivalry. Boston College is that gnat that ruins good things but accomplishes nothing of their own. They’re a pest.” C. Walters
“Rivalry for BC, not for ND.” H. Gallagher
“BC to ND is the Mets to the Yankees ... the little brother that every once in a while beats us, whom we need to remind that we are the big brother.” V. Sebastiano
“Big brother vs illegitimate half brother.” D. Gregory
“BC is in my Top 10 of most hated schools ... behind Michigan, USC, Stanford, Miami, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Clemson and Purdue ... so, not real high.” K. Hilgendorf
“In my humble opinion, it is a nice cute semi-rivalry. BC bites ND once in a while, typically resulting in the exposure of a poorly coached team (e.g. Bob Davie, Ty Willingham, Charlie Weis).” G. Pal
While the overwhelming response was to drop BC from our schedule, permanently ... there were some people who enjoy the match-up.
“Classic. Two of America’s Irish Teams. The Holy War! Most of Notre Dame rivalries are one sided anyway.” K. Brejcha
“They always give us a tough game, love the rivalry.” T. Anslinger
“Love it. Best game had to be the Flutie Liberty Bowl game.” G. Faust
And of course, the pain of 1993 still runs immeasurably deep.
“Still not over ‘93. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that horrible defeat.” D. Belesi
“I’ve never gotten over the loss in 1993.” K. West
“If it wasn’t for 1993, I wouldn’t care about BC, but that literally is the worst moment in my history as a ND fan.” V. Sebastiano
As far as my favorite ND vs. BC memories go, I did enjoy being at the game at Fenway Park. I had never been to Fenway before, so that itself was cool, but the game was really nothing to write home about. The 1993 game really did scar me, as far as playing BC goes. Every time we play BC, I have flashbacks of sitting in Notre Dame stadium (with my friend who was from Boston), and screaming at the defense (while everyone around me was prematurely celebrating our win) as BC drove down the field and scored the winning field goal. That right there is the stuff nightmares are made of. And then in the first home game of the ‘94 season, against Michigan, we lost the very same way. But I digress.
I had the chance to speak with Charles Stafford about that game that no one wants to mention, and the culmination of that ‘93 season. Here’s what he had to say:
“I’m not going to make myself sad, but I really thought that we had achieved that elusive national championship in 1993. Every year before that 1993 season, they would have split the polls and had co-champions. But not for us. Not for us. It’s funny, we played Florida State again during my fifth year at Notre Dame, and we had a luncheon the Friday before the game. They had fake football helmets sitting on all of the tables as centerpieces. Each helmet was painted with ND colors on one side, and Florida State colors on the other side. And so I took the helmet from my table and had Coach Holtz sign the ND side, and Coach Bowden sign the Florida State side. Yep, I was that guy, ‘Hey coach, I realize we’re going to play you tomorrow, but can you sign this for me.’ Yeah, I didn’t care. So I have a helmet in my house to this day that has both coaches’ signatures on it. And I still think that was such a great idea. And then I think, one day my kid is going to be smiling when he sells this. <laughs> And I’m going to be shaking my head somewhere.” (excerpt from Triumphs from ND)
So, what say you? Is ND vs. BC a rivalry? Or just another series we play?
Do you have a good ND vs. BC memory? Please share it with me and help me get rid of this nightmare that plays on repeat in my head.
Here are a few more comments from Twitter ...
Cheers & GO IRISH!
1993. WORST— Shawn Wooden (@ShawnWooden) July 5, 2019
Well if by 'worst' you mean "most painful", I think that's an easy one.— Tim Ring (@timringTV) July 5, 2019
BC has a Navy feel to it... if that makes sense.. ♂️— John Gauer (@jvgauer) July 6, 2019
I don’t consider it a rivalry, but I think I respect BC more than most ND fans. It’s more of a big brother/little brother Catholic thing.— Matt Guye (@MattGuye) July 6, 2019
This could have been a great rivalry. It's just been mishandled. Sure we have better national rivals but each of those schools have another true rival (sc-ucla, Mich-OSU, fsu-uf). As the 2 catholic schools that play in the FBS this could have been something if embraced correctly— Gregg Shaffer (@EastoftheBend) July 6, 2019
They can go to hell— Always Irish ☘️ (@jkznd4) July 6, 2019
Not even sure I’d call that a rivalry. They have only played 24 times.— Eric (@bburgeric) July 6, 2019
Zzzzzzzzz— SHAMPOO IS BETTER (@DomenGolder) July 6, 2019
I'm ND '95 and BC (PhD) '08. The BC "rivalry" means very little to me as a Domer, but in my five years as a BC doc student, I was amazed at how much it means to the BC undergrads. It's the only football rivalry they care about: they LIVE to beat big brother.— Mike Egan (@notre_dame_95) July 5, 2019