By: Matthew Jacobson (Online Sports Editor)
I was given a press box pass to the Boston College Eagles vs the University of Louisville Cardinals game.
I walked with a scout to the Kansas City Chiefs because we both got lost trying to get to the press box. We both tried to walk through the main entrances of the Conte Forum, the basketball and hockey arena, and Alumni Stadium, the football stadium. Instead, we had to walk in between the two and enter through a side entrance in the Forum, then take an elevator controlled by an operator, and walk past the suites to get to the press box in the football stadium.
Once I entered I was surrounded by at least 40 people, including writers, National Football League referees, team scouts, and caterers and I knew for sure that I was the youngest person in that press box. After, I grabbed a Boston College and a Louisville record book I was seated in one of the four unreserved seats in the second row, where I plugged in my phone and laptop to get set up for notes I would have to take throughout the game. I sat next to an NFL referee scout and a Boston College tech guy, who I spoke to throughout the game.
There was so much free food being served. Pulled pork sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, chips, New England Clam Chowder and popcorn with sides of pickles, carrots, and celery. And of course, there was a drink selection of water, coke, sprite, diet coke, and decaf coffee. Being the picky eater I am, I just had a lot of pretzels and water to hold me until dinner.
Ten minutes prior to the game, I noticed that the windows were almost soundproof to make sure everyone was not distracted by the screaming fans outside.
As the game started, it did not look good for Louisville after punting on the first three possessions and Boston College scoring on their first two drives. Everyone could not stop talking about how bad Louisville was and how funny it was to watch. Then the Eagles fumbled twice giving the Cardinals the ball both times and scoring touchdowns on both possessions. Boston College was able to block the first extra point to keep the lead at the end the first quarter 14-13.
Everyone received a score sheet after every quarter to analyze the stats from the game and get it online as soon as possible.
In the second quarter, everyone was shocked when Louisville scored a touchdown to take the lead, as they have only won two games compared to Boston Colleges four up to that point. Then, late in the quarter, the Eagles blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone, scoring a touchdown to retake the lead. Everyone was amazed because that is not how teams normally score. The next Eagle drive, Boston College’s kicker Colton Lichtenberg was able to convert a 38-yard field goal to end the half with the maroon and gold up 24-20.
The score stayed the same throughout the third quarter, but Boston College was able to score the first points of the second half early in the fourth on a rushing touchdown. Later that quarter, they scored another touchdown to put the game out of reach with under four minutes remaining in the game, and eventually won the game 38-20.
This is when I crammed my belongings into my computer bag and raced down to the Yawkey Athletic Center where the post-game Boston College interviews were being held. I was the first person there and was let up in an elevator to the football teams film room. I was able to sit where ever I wanted because it was all open seating, but I decided to sit three rows back to let the professionals do their job.
The first interview was with the head coach Steve Addazio who summarized the game about what he liked, what he did not like, and took questions after. Then, one by one, it was the player’s turn. Quarterback Anthony Brown held the first player interview, followed by defensive end Zack Allen, and running back David Bailey. They went straight to answering questions from the press, unlike the coach. They discussed their overall performance, the locker room vibes throughout and after the game, and their next game against a ranked Miami team.
After the interviews, I went back to the parking garage where I parked my car, very intrigued about what I had just done the past four hours, and drove back home knowing I had a story to tell.