Steve Englert is an assistant coach at Boston College. Each week, he will provide a journal of the previous week's happenings from Chestnut Hill.






April 8, 2003

Curt Gowdy Brings Snow Back to Northeast


Boy, did I Curt Gowdy us with the weather up here in New England.


Curt Gowdy is the old baseball announcer who would put the hex or jinx on players all the time with his commentaries at inopportune times. He'd say, "So and So hasn't given up a hit in 30 consecutive innings." First pitch: Boom! Home run. Or, "This guy has been really hot offensively as of late." Next time up: Punch out. You get the idea. The guy had a knack for saying something positive, and then all would go bad.


So, last week in this space I said the worm had turned with the weather, and spring was finally here.'s back! #$%#!%$ snow.


It started during BP in our mid-week game with Central Connecticut, and the flakes continued periodically throughout the game. Someone get me a bottle of Jack! The game was like being in an old NFL film. Just picture Steve Sabol with his old, gravelly voice: "Here we are at the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field." I was ready for Vince Lombardi to come charging out of the bullpen with Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer and the rest of the Green Bay Packers on his heels.


Our guys were really pumped to play. The new saying around here, thrown out there by coach Hughes, is "Be resilient." The team has kept on plugging, practicing at all hours of the day, at any available field, hitting facility or parking lot. We have really stayed positive with all of the straight road games, our home-field situation and all the snow, sleet and rain. Any time the players want to start feeling sorry for themselves, they can just think of those guys putting their lives on the line every day, fighting in Iraq.


We decided to give it a go for an inning or two and see how the conditions affected the game. The goal from the start was to play small ball and get up early, expecting the game to be shortened. We started with great tempo amid the flakes and moved right along, executing the game plan, jumping out to a 4-0 lead. The game was played in its entirety, without much adversity from the weather, and we came away with a 4-1 win. We had a lot of fun, and our guys did not mind the conditions at all. It is a game that will be talked about for years down the road.


At the conclusion of the game, managers on both teams handed out pads and helmets, and we played four quarters of smashmouth football. We used a strong running game to keep Central Connecticut's air attack off the field and won a hard-fought 14-7 battle. It was the first football/baseball doubledip in the history of Boston College. Really? No, not really. I'm just trying to fill space with all the cancellations going on in our schedule. It is kind of difficult to be colorful and entertaining talking about a team lift.


"Upon stretching, the team went right into the incline bench, then over to the lat pull-down station and finally onto squats, where our bullpen catcher popped his groin."                


Last Thursday's Big East doubleheader vs. Villanova at Northeastern had an early start to try and beat the ominous weather headed our way in the afternoon. We hit at 8 a.m. (Be resilient) for a 10 a.m. start. The first game lasted an hour and fifty minutes, with pitchers on both sides carving. Nova's timely hitting ended our five-game winning streak and beat us 3-1. We could not generate anything offensively, leaving several runners stranded. It was a very disappointing loss, especially since we limited the opposition to just three hits.


Putting the loss behind us quickly, we came out of the box strong for the second game. The bats woke up, and we dropped a couple of bombs in a 6-4 win, leaving us 3-2 in the conference. We were very fortunate in getting the two games in, for Mother Nature was ticked off again and sent a lot of frozen flurries our way shortly after, canceling Friday's two-game set with Notre Dame.


This week's entry will be concluded with an intentional – or reverse – Curt Gowdy. My old golf partner, Chris Finwood down in Auburn, and I would pull this one on the course all the time. Our opposition would be standing over a 3-foot putt, and we'd say something like: "This guy never misses from this range." Lip out. Or, "You guys have been down the middle all day." Shank in the woods. He and I would laugh all the way to free libations at the 19th hole.


So, the Boston weather has been bad, and it is going to stay that way until June, and we'll be lucky to get in any more games. Here's to you, Curt.


(Editor’s note: At Virginia Tech, the “Curt Gowdy” was known by phrases like “Don’t Curt me” or "He Curted me" in the mid-1990s according to former catcher Braxton Bell. At Richmond, the term “Gowdy” with an emphasis on “DEE” in a little higher pitch. A running joke at UR, slick-fielding shortstop John Dorman, now an assistant at Marist had two of the more memorable Gowdies. One came when we were playing at Virginia – before the Cavaliers replaced the worn-out football turf infield with the gorgeous grass of today. Dorman had just made his third error in about three innings. He turned to me at third base, smiled and said: “There’s no way I make another error.” Next batter grounds to short, and BOOT. The almost-always reliable Dorman could only start laughing, knowing it simply wasn’t his day. Another Dorman classic came when we were beating always-tough Old Dominion by seven or eight runs in the eighth inning. Dorman turned to catcher/infielder Mike Walton and said: “Good thing this one’s in the bag.” The Monarchs rallied to force extra innings, where the eventually won. The “in the bag” quote is still brought up regularly by Spiders alums today – Sean Ryan)


Steve Englert


Previous Entries

Eagles' Wins Rise with Temperature (4/1/03)

Return to Florida Not as Rewarding (3/25/03)

Weather or Not... Eagles Battling Elements (3/18/03)

Wins Bring Fun in the Sun (3/11/03)

Hanging with Nomar and the Gang (3/4/03)

Working the Kinks Out (2/25/03)


(photo courtesy of BC Media Relations Office)