As juniors in the 1997-1998 school year, Jeff Bridge and Chris Millette embarked on a mission that would change Boston College Athletics. The two fans started to plan a way to make games at Boston College as exciting as any other game in the country. It was just a small beginning, but grew into the most recognizable thing at Boston College.
The 1998-1999 season was where everything took off. For their senior year, Jeff and Chris had paved the way for the Superfans to break through. They created a "Gold Rush Game," in which the week leading up to an annual football game, Superfan t-shirts were on sale for just a few dollars in the BC Bookstore. And the timing was just right as well, it was the 1998 football season, where a great opportunity presented itself. BC was to host the Thursday night game of the week on ESPN against Virginia Tech. Boston College fans could now show how supportive they were by turning the entire student section into gold on national television. In the student newspaper, The Heights, Jeff and Chris wrote a letter to the students during the week. Some of the excerpts from the letter:
An excerpt from: The Heights, October 5th, 1998, Vol. LXXIX, No. 22, page 14
As we stood at a hockey game and tried to get the quiet, sitting crowd excited, we were told to "sit down and shut up."
The scene had become a much too familiar one. We would watch college games on ESPN and see the crowds going crazy. Kids with painted faces were screaming, yelling, and jumping up and down, exciting their teams while annoying the opponents. Then we would head over to Conte Forum, sit down and cheer for dunks, touchdowns, and the occasional goal. These things would make us upset, but it was the comment at the hockey game that became the final straw...things were going to change.
We began working with UGBC and the Athletic Department in order to create the type of atmosphere that should be prevalent at a school with so much to be excited about. The result: The Superfan.
We thought it would be great if all BC students wore gold to every game. This would be an atmosphere that would create excitement and outgoing fans. With a limited number of gold shirts that we were able to get, we began to outfit the students. Although we had some success, we also found many problems. The most obvious was the limited number of shirts made people believe that the Superfans were some sort of exclusive club or group. There also seemed to be a rivalry created between those with gold shirts and those without - sort of "well, I can't stand up and yell because I don't have a gold shirt."
These things couldn't be farther from the truth. Superfans is not a club, it is a fever and everyone should be a Superfan. The requirements to be a Superfan are as follows:Think how intimidating it will be for other teams to come to Alumni Stadium or into Conte Forum and see a sea of gold. Think about students screaming and yelling, helping BC and distracting the opponent. Think about those people watching ESPN and saying, "Wow, look at how crazy the fans are at BC." Think about years from now when this becomes a tradition. It will be known all over - BC kids wear gold...and go nuts.
Let's show everybody there is no reason to "Sit down and shut up" when you go to BC. Let's go Eagles!
Chris Millette and Jeff Bridge
That night against Virginia Tech was the night it all came together for Jeff and Chris. Through four quarters of pouring rain, the student section was turned into a screaming, dedicated sea of gold for a national audience to see.
The Superfans are now a huge part of Boston College Athletics, and have helped our team on to much success over the past several seasons. Not only do you find huge sections of Superfans at home games, but you also see a multitude of Superfans at many away games.
Lets help continue this tradition for years to come!
Men's Ice Hockey