I don't ever try and talk about anything on this blog except BC Hockey because I intended for it just to be about hockey, hockey, hockey, 24/7 but sometimes you get dealt a couple of curveballs. Two nights ago, my grandfather, a BC hockey alumnus and as big a supporter of the Eagles as you can imagine, passed away.
For those of you that do not know me or my grandfather, and I'm sure that is a large majority of you, then you may find this post irrelevant but the fact of the matter is that I would not have any of the passion I have for Boston College and it's hockey program if it wasn't for my grandfather. He was the strongest, kindest man I knew and even tough he graduated long before Coach York took the helm and revitalized the program, I believe my grandfather epitomized everything each graduate of this program should be when they enter the real world. The hallmark of any Jesuit institution is to be a man or woman for others and I don't think I ever came across anyone that lived by that slogan as much as he did. His family meant more to him than anything in the world and he did more for me than anyone could imagine.
From ages 2-14, I went to every single BC game with this man, including our favorite event, the Beanpot. You all probably know how much I talk about that tournament and how much it means to me but that's only because the chief never passed up on an opportunity to talk about how much winning a Beanpot championship meant to him but he could never actually remember who they beat in the finals because he said Snooks Kelley sat him the whole game. I'll never forget sitting with him at the top of the balcony for the 2010 finals between BC and the defending National Champs, BU. After the second period, the good guys were up 4-1 and he said "Mike, it's over, let's go get some ice cream and celebrate". I just sat their chewing on my nails like they were a pack of Juicy Fruit. BC got in some penalty trouble late and all of the sudden BU made it a one goal game with under a minute left, and they still had a two man advantage with the PP and net empty. I'm standing up tossing my arms up in the air complaining about the officials while he just stayed slumped down in his seat and chuckled, "It's over, relax". At last the final buzzer sounded, we embraced, and he goes "it was over after the second period, never a doubt". I just rolled my eyes and laughed.
I could sit here for hours and talk about all the BC Hockey memories I shared with my grandfather but when it's all said and done, I know he loved his grandson and his Eagles more than anything in the world and I am truly thankful for the awesome times we got to spend together. I know that he will always be watching from above, cheering on his family, his grandson, and his beloved Eagles.
Rest in peace, Papa. I love you.