This weekend Boston College and Missouri face off for the first time in the two program's history. It is an unusual matchup against two schools that don't have much in common. Tigers head coach Eli Drinkwitz doesn't see the value of playing the Eagles.
"If I had my pick of it, I would love to play a regional matchup that was maybe more of a rivalry game. That would be maybe a little bit more exciting for recruits to watch from a TV perspective or, you know, maybe we're playing in front of your family. I don't know the last time Missouri signed a kid from the great state of Massachusetts. It’s been a while."
It seems like Drinkwitz isn't necessarily taking shots at Boston College, but his disinterest in playing in the "great state of Massachusetts." While nothing he said it especially egregious, it still seems like something that coaches usually avoid saying to the press during game week. Critiquing a matchup, and in turn bashing the home state (listen to the tone of his voice) isn't something that is typical. Coaches prefer to keep things bland, preaching respect, which is what BC coach Jeff Hafley and Drinkwitz (during the rest of his presser) did.
But Drinkwitz's comment lit a fuse on social media. Hafley said it was sent to him "500 times". During his Wednesday's press conference he was asked about Mizzou's coach's comments.
"If he really didn’t want to come to Boston, he should have called me up & asked me, and I would have gotten on a plane and flew out to Missouri to play." Hafley's opinion reflected his thoughts on scheduling, he went on to say that BC went to play at Temple, and at UMass, and that they would have gone on the road to play Colgate, it didn't matter to him.
While Hafley said Drinkwitz's comments were not a big of a deal to him, he is going to treat Missouri just like any other game on their schedule. However there are a handful of Boston College players that might have heard Drinkwitz's comments, and might feel a little differently. Boston College has multiple starters from "the great state of Massachusetts" including center Alec Lindstrom, safety Jason Maitre and tight end Joey Luchetti.
Drinkwitz tried to walk back his comments on Wednesday saying "That was no way meant to make an insult about this game. We are excited about this game." But the damage has already been done. Even if he didn't mean to, Mizzou has given the Eagles a comment to throw up on the bulletin board, something to give them a little added motivation when the teams face off on Saturday. In a game that seems very even on paper, that edge is a big deal.
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