Boston College: Former players, season ticket holders & everyone inbetween looking forward to a return to Alumni Stadium

For hundreds if not thousands of BC football fans, going to Alumni Stadium every Saturday has become a routine that’s been part of their lives for years, and not having the ability to do so last season was truly hard to deal with.

Whether it’s the alumni, former players, or just families, friends, neighbors or coworkers, showing up to Alumni Stadium every Saturday (and the occasional Friday night) has become much more than just going to a football game. It’s a chance to reconnect, reminisce and embrace everything that Division 1 football has to offer.

As of this Saturday, all restrictions in Massachusetts are being lifted, which means barring any unforeseen circumstances, September 4th will be the first time Jeff Hafley gets to lead the Eagles out of the tunnel in front of 40,000 people.

Players, coaches and the staff will obviously be thrilled to showcase the new culture that’s continuing to evolve and the first time “Mr. Brightside” is played you may be able to hear the student section singing from New Hampshire, but there are so may other stories revolving around what that day will mean.

Let’s take a small group of friends of mine from Waltham for example. For roughly four or five years now, the two Mikes, Anthony and Jeff have been season ticket holders, tailgating rain or shine even through the tough Adazzio years. Then, there’s Sean, who’s been going to games for years. Sean’s father Ed Logue played guard and tackle for the Eagles before graduating in 1978, finishing 6-5 his senior year with some 8-3 seasons thrown in. After leaving the state for 16 years for work, Logue returned in 2005 and has been a season ticket holder since.

“We had some very good teams with lots of talent, many of whom went on to the NFL, Mike Kruczek, Mike Espositio, Don Macek, Al Krevis, Steve Schinder, Tommy Lynch, Pete Cronan, Tim Sheriwn, Mike Mayock, and many others,” Logue said.

For all of them, going to BC games has become a regular part of the week from September through November, and Logue has made sure to try and continue passing it down through the family as well.

“Many of my former teammates and other football alums have been going to all the games. To say last year sucked is an understatement,” Logue added. “What Coach Hafley did last year with that team and how they performed was outstanding, they really deserved people in the stands.

“My grandson is probably most excited to get back in Alumni Stadium. My seats are on the 50 right behind the bench in the 3rd row. He loves sitting down there and seeing it up close. It’s a great take, where else can you see Clemson, Notre Dame, and other major college football powers play? I hope more people find out exactly what BC has in Coach H and this team.”

We’ve all seen just how impressive the Eagles’ social media team has been throughout the pandemic promoting the program, but the people dealing with tickets have been flying under the radar too, making sure big time programs all around the country have full stadiums in September.

“I’ve had the same account manager since I first got the tickets in 2018,” said Mike Merrifield, one of the Mikes from Waltham I referenced above. “It’s been a painless process since the first year. I get a call around the same time every year asking if I want to renew, and everything’s already on file. It’s five minutes and everything is good to go.”

Perhaps missed most of all has been the tailgating. While BC may not be in the same stratosphere as the SEC or other ACC schools, the Eagles tailgate on a beautiful September or October afternoon is still one hell of a party.

“I’m very excited to go this year, especially the first tailgate,” Merrifield added.

“I’m very excited to go back,” added Mike Kennen, the other Mike from Waltham referenced above. “It’ll be nice to see Phil Jurkovec and the offense in person.”

Coach Hafley and his staff have also done a phenomenal job making sure the alumni are fully invested and involved with the program, especially former players like Logue.

“I have been lucky enough to spend some time with Coach Hafley and some of his staff. I am more than impressed by all of them and the approach they take to dealing with the players and teaching the game,” he said.

“The atmosphere over there is so positive that it is contagious. I love it. He has been having monthly Zoom calls with the football alumni keeping us in the loop on what they are doing and how they are doing. A staff member does a presentation each meeting and goes into detail and shows video of what they are doing. It has been tremendous to see and they are making significant progress. Their new strength and conditioning coach is going to pay huge dividends and they have seen that already in spring ball. I am very bullish on this staff and team.”

There are probably thousands of stories just like this one. A group of friends making Boston College football a part of their weekly lives. Maybe there’s a group of friends who meets up for brunch before heading into a tailgate. Maybe there’s another who goes and plays a quick 18 before heading into the parking lots. Maybe there’s even a group that has been meeting at the same house to fill up the coolers for 30 years.

Whatever the story may be, the return of former players, season ticket holders or just the casual fan experiencing Chestnut Hill for the first time will make the 2021 season at The Heights one we all remember forever.

Welcome home.