It was a warm Saturday afternoon (remember those Boston?) when we decided to jump on the T and head down towards BC. The car we jumped on was filled with white and red jerseys of fellow Terriers on their way to cheer our boys on: you see, this game was particularly important because for the last couple of years BU decided to take it easy on the Eagles and had lost a couple of games against them, losing the last three games these sides had played, but this was the year when BU was to make it right again. So there we were, finally getting off at the last stop, right across from the BC campus. We made our way inside, not knowing what to expect: would it be a horde of belligerent fans, jeering at us on our way to the arena (did BC even have an arena?); would there be Eagles mascots all over the place to try and intimidate the visiting fans? Soon enough it became quite obvious that BC fans are actually pretty decent losers and don’t take it out on the winning fans when their team gets utterly owned by a superior side, but I jump ahead. After walking around the campus (which, by the way, should have better signs to guide visitors around), we found our way into the arena. Fortunately our seats were almost exactly next to the BU student section, providing us with an excellent vantage point to take in the whole rivalry experience.
The game (which I won’t describe for two reasons: first of all, at the time of watching this game my knowledge of hockey was close to 0, and number two, despite attending a number of hockey games since then, my knowledge of hockey has only slightly improved), was filled with excitement and chants from both student sections. Besides the family safe songs of “safe school, backup school,” or the traditional and exciting, “GO-B-U! Let’s GO BU!” the most entertaining cheers were some of the ones I can’t write on this blog, due their colorful language. The experience during the game was unlike anything I had ever experienced: you could feel the student spirit in the atmosphere. The BC band and student section (unsuccessfully) cheering their boys on and trying to silence us were faced with dismay when they realized they couldn’t; the shouts of excitement at every BU goal coming from the fans in scarlet were an ice bucket on an arena that had failed to intimidate our Terriers or their fans. The way the arena bounced as the BU students jumped with every goal our team scored, or the deafening sound of pure joy when we won the game are memories that will stick with me forever. But the most amazing thing was realizing the connection shared between the student section and the team, which is just a reflection of the way BU students are connected to their university here.
It took me a while to realize that’s what the rivalry is about: it’s not about hating the other side, it’s about being a part of yours, loving it, and cheering it on despite and against all odds. BU won the game 5-3, but the thing I’ll take away with me is the way the student section made me feel: proud to be there, proud to be a Terrier, and very proud of choosing BU for my semester abroad.