Dan tells us that the Boston College football team
will advance to the Orange Bowl if they beat Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game and that would be pretty nifty and rare for a New England area college football team.
As a writer, Dan has become so masterful in setting the bar so low that when he writes something that is not over-the-top incendiary, he has quite often lulled me into occasionally concluding “Well, that was not such a bad piece.” No more. This piece was relatively innocuous (as many of his pieces have been lately – the rare times when he actually seems to write) but it was also relatively bad.
First, let’s bring in the tired Belichick reference:
“They are trained in Belichickian ways and we know it's a mistake to look past your next game.”
First of all, is Belichick a consultant for the BC football team? (That would be big news) And why is focusing solely on the next game and refusing to talk about the implications of a win or loss “Belichickian.” Come on…this is one of the oldest clichés in the athletes’ book. What’s funny is that Shaughnessy closes the piece with a quote from one of the players:
"Every young player in high school - they want to go to a BCS bowl. We were close last year. We want to get there this year."
I guess this kid missed the Belichick lecture series?
Two other complaints
- Is this an article about BC getting to the Orange Bowl? Or is it a piece about the history of New England colleges getting into major bowl games? Shaughnessy wanders aimlessly between the two themes. It's a writer's laziness feeding a lack of writing coherence.
- Speaking of meandering. How about this paragraph?
All they have to do is beat a team they've already handled this season. The Eagles defeated Virginia Tech, 28-23, at Chestnut Hill in mid-October, despite turning the ball over five times. Now the Eagles go at the Hokies with a novice quarterback (redshirt sophomore Dominique Davis will be making his second start
in place of the injured Chris Crane) and a top-10 defense (three shutouts) led by junior linebacker Mark Herzlich, the ACC defensive player of the year.
Very odd paragraph when you think about it, esp the part about the novice quarterback. The tone of the paragraph is that this is going to be easy –“All they have to do” sets that tone. He talks about the defense being phenomenal but he strangely packages this around the fact that the team is missing their starting quarterback and replacing him with a guy who has one previous start….as if to imply this is a good thing?
It’s poor writing, pure and simple.