Boston College Rivalry
Historically, Holy Cross' major rival has been the Eagles of Boston College, especially in football. In 1896, Holy Cross and Boston College played the first football game between the two schools starting one of the most storied rivalries in college football. For much of the early to mid 20th century, BC and The Cross drew some of New England's largest sports crowds.
To accommodate larger crowds, the Holy Cross game was routinely held at larger venues off campus, with the 1916 matchup taking place at the newly constructed Fenway Park. A record 54,000 attended the 1922 game at Braves Field, home of the Boston Braves baseball team. On November 28, 1942, Holy Cross beat BC in a huge upset by a score of 55-12, a result that proved fortunate for the losing Eagles. The BC team had booked their victory party for a popular Boston nightclub, but canceled after the upset loss. As a result, the Eagles were not among the nearly 500 who died or the hundreds more who were injured when the nightclub caught fire that night.
By the late 1970s the Holy Cross game had become more of a tradition than a rivalry, as Holy Cross football began to ceased as a major power. By 1980, the game was no longer part of the student ticket package, and was mostly attended by alumni. In 1986 Holy Cross changed the direction of its football program, joining the Division 1-AA Patriot League, and terminated the series. BC had won 17 of the last 20 games.
The last basketball game between the two schools was played on January 17, 2006, a 63-53 win for Boston College at Worcester's DCU Center. Later that year, BC's athletic director, Gene DeFilippo, caused a minor controversy when he announced that the school would not schedule any more basketball games against Holy Cross, claiming that it was not beneficial for BC.
The two schools renewed their rivalry in basketball on November 22, 2010 as part of the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight, a national effort to bring attention to Jesuit education. In a game held at BC's Conte Forum, Boston College posted a 69-56 victory, the Eagles' 16th in their last 17 games against Holy Cross. On November 18, 2011, the Crusaders defeated the Eagles 86-64 in Worcester.
Read more about this topic: Holy Cross Crusaders
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