There are a variety of subjects I could write about this week. I could write about the weather, and how much we all hate this wintery mix. It’s raining! Then it’s snowing! Then it’s windy! Then it’s cold! This isn’t the lottery, Mother Nature: pick one, not four.
I could write about politics, and last night’s State of the Union. Great speech or bad speech? Set the course for the next two years or the next six? More partisan bickering or a brawl on the Hill?
I could write about any number of things. But as a Boston University student and, more importantly, a sports fan, I am just beating around the bush of the bad memory in my brain:
We got beaten by BC on Friday night, 3-2. The Eagles swept the regular-season series.
I have a bad taste in my mouth after writing that. It feels like I just swallowed poison. Let’s see how it feels if I quote a headline from SBNation’s BC Interruption blog:
Still doesn’t feel good. Feels worse, actually.
I’d like to be able to write this and say, “No, I didn’t see this loss and the sweep coming.” I didn’t think that BU would lose Friday night. I thought the team would pull together and win, and then begin a long march through the rest of its schedule, over the foothills of the Beanpot, the peaks of the Hockey East tournament and the Himalayas of the Frozen Four.
Everything in that last paragraph is a lie, plain and simple. I didn’t think the Terriers would win. Walking into Agganis Arena, I felt like a condemned man walking to his execution, an execution that would happen right at center ice and be broadcast on regional sports television.
We are now five days removed from that horrible Friday night. Actually, no, it was not entirely horrible. The first period was horrible. Falling behind by three points was horrible. As BC coach Jerry York said, “The first period was one of our best periods all year.” Ouch.
In contrast, the second and third periods were glorious hockey, BU-BC as it should be. It was a battle, and the team that is actually from Boston won the back portions of the game. Unfortunately, to quote BU coach Jack Parker, “we’re not interested in moral victories.”
This game made me think back to a column I wrote in December, the last time BU played BC. Those were simpler times, when the only sweep BC had on BU was a weekend sweep, not a full-out regular-season sweep. What did younger, wiser, kinder Shep say then? What expert advice and analysis could I offer then? This tidbit:
“The Terriers are like the New York Jets. They’re good, but they aren’t that good.”
Wow, I was smart last month. It’s as if I predicted the future. After this past weekend’s matchups, I think that analogy still rings incredibly true. When you break down how both the Terriers and the Jets played this week, they seem strikingly alike. On Friday, the Terriers started out down for the count. The team had no idea what they were doing. As Jack Parker said, “There was a lot of disconnect out there in that first period…a lot of guys got more jumpy and they couldn’t complete a pass.”
On Sunday, the Jets came out for the first half against the Steelers at Heinz Field and looked exactly the same as the Terriers had in the first period two nights before. New York’s first-half performance bore a resemblance to a Jimmy Fallon sketch, as if the team had just met five minutes before kickoff, and had to get a name, uniforms and design a play right before the game started. They appeared to have never played the game of football before.
But as the respective games progressed, things got better and better for both the hockey team from Boston and the football team from New York. The Terriers owned the second period and played an acceptable third period. The Jets gave Big Ben and the Terrible Towels a run for their money, only to be squashed by a one-in-a-million Steeler completion and the subsequent kneel-down in the final minute of play.
Ultimately, we know the road has ended for the Jets. For the Terriers, however, the road still winds off into the distance. Can they pull through? Time will tell. With the foothill that is the Beanpot and another contest with the team from Chestnut Hill lurking on the horizon, things don’t look good. The road is getting shorter. Time for BU to put its foot on the gas, and go.