*I come here from the "dark side." I have spent the majority of my writing career covering Notre Dame, but I have been a lifelong BC fan since my sister married a BC fanatic. A few years later, another one of my sisters attended BC. Actually, my passion for BC originated in the few times I was able to see Michael Adams play basketball. He was the most exciting college player I had seen to that point (no pun intended) in my life.
*I love the breakdown of the 2010 football schedule as far as the home and away opponents. Now, if the ACC schedule is favorable in terms of just where each game falls, I see another run at the ACC Championship in the offing. Avoiding the Hurricanes in the regular season is a break in and of itself (not that BC wants or needs to "duck" anybody, but as an objective observation, having Miami off the slate is a break).
*I have followed recruiting for years, and I often disagree with the gurus on certain players, and in all candor, I have been wrong as many times as I have been right about these players. However, I think the recruiting world is sleeping on BC QB-commit Chase Rettig. At best, his upside has been given the ceiling of "solid." He is that right now. I believe this kid has something extra that simply can't be quantified, but that is beside the point. He has a big-time arm and already is developing a knack for avoiding the rush while keeping his focus downfield.
For the most part, his critics believe that his biggest weakness is that he needs to be more consistent. Which high school QB heading to big-time college football doesn't? I am ready to go out on a limb right off the bat here and predict that Rettig leaves BC as a 1st Round NFL Pick.
*There is really nothing I can add to the incredible story of Mark Herzlich that hasn't been written to this point. For me, it literally defies description. However, it isn't just a great story in a vacuum. The first thought I had when I learned of Herzlich's diagnosis was of Jay McGillis and his family. I believed in my soul that Jay would be looking out for Mark, but I still feared a similar ending to their stories. It has never felt so good to be wrong.
I attended the first Jay McGillis Spring Game and BC could not have done a better job honoring the young man and his family. It was a day of sadness in many respects, of course, but it was also a day of great hope and commitment for the BC faithful. Very few moments occur during which you feel a bond between yourself and bunch of strangers, but that is how I felt that day. Every time I hear Herzlich's name come over the PA System at Alumni Field this fall, I will smile to myself and think of Jay McGillis.
*I am a sucker for a gimmick under just about any circumstance, but how could any hockey fan resist the fun of the Fenway hockey? I was walking around Copley on New Year's Eve and the Philly fans were out in force but the ribbing was in total fun. It felt like a big celebration of hockey rather than the renewal of a fairly bitter rivalry.
Then, the BU-BC was a blast for me. The quality of hockey takes a hit for the day, undoubtedly, but the game of hockey receives a huge boost. I loved it and hope to attend next year's event, as I was in Wrigley for that game as well, so I have a bit of a streak going.
I choose to forget what happened in the postseason.
*Finally, Al Skinner did a good job for BC during his tenure, but it was time for a change, and I was frankly pleasantly surprised that he was relieved of his duties. Even back in the days when the team was rolling, the general belief was that Skinner was more of a CEO than a coach or even recruiter. His assistants did virtually all of the work during practices, and recently, Skinner's game coaching was listless.
Coach Donahue should do an excellent job, and hopefully no other senior will go through another Senior Day like this year's. I was in the building and felt like a high school atmosphere. Everybody associated with the program deserves better.