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Fans Head South to Get Frozen

Couldn’t hitch a ride to D.C.? Don’t worry, you’ll be well represented


The moment BU hockey fans have been waiting for has arrived, months of systematic superstitions steadfastly adhered to now coming to fruition — the Frozen Four.

For Belinda Smith, it’s been visceral: she feels every play, every penalty in her gut.

“I had a bucket next to me the entire time during the UNH game, because I felt so nervous and nauseous,” she says. “The BU fan is not a fair-weather fan.”

Ticket in hand, Smith (SED’09) boarded a Greyhound bus today at 1 a.m. for a 12-hour trip to Washington, D.C. She’ll make it in time to get her requisite pretzel and put on her jersey before Miami of Ohio plays against Bemidji State at 5 p.m. She won’t be alone by the time BU faces off against UVM at 8:30 p.m.

Chris Jordan (COM’09) and Brandon Epstein (SMG’09) are flying down today. Jordan will meet up with friends, head to the DC Alumni event at the Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, then on to the game.

“I’ve basically been scheduling everything around BU hockey since I was a freshman,” Jordan says. “I studied abroad in the fall during my junior year, because I couldn’t imagine missing the Beanpot.”

Epstein is feeling a new kind of freedom. He works in communications for the Athletics Department. “The only drawback of my job is you can’t cheer in the press box,” he says. “This time, I’m going as a fan. I’m definitely going to go all-out tonight.” He might even sneak in his favorite Beanpot cheer for old time’s sake: “Rough ’em up, rough ’em up, BC sucks.”

Jesus and the Hot Dog don’t have as much game day preparation as usual — for one thing, these diehard, albeit unofficial, team mascots have less laundry to do.

“We are very ritualistic in what we wear. We haven’t washed our clothes since the Hockey East,” says Brian Fadem (COM’10), aka the Hot Dog, who along with Ross Lichtenberg (SAR’10), aka Jesus, was on a bus that left for D.C. this morning at 5:30. “About 15 minutes before the game starts we’ll put on our costumes, we’ll sit in the same order, with Jesus to my left, and then we’ll hope for the best.”

Some might call it a form of intimidation, having Jesus as a big enough booster to show up in DC (and sit next to a Hot Dog), but for BU hockey disciples, it’s just one more step toward ultimate fandom.

Follow Frozen Four coverage on
BU Today, or click here.

Edward A. Brown can be reached at ebrown@bu.edu. Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at kcornuel@bu.edu.


4 Comments on Fans Head South to Get Frozen

  • Allison on 04.09.2009 at 1:58 am

    Very nice article, except for the atrocious mistitling, referencing Ugly Yellow Shirt (Not Jersey!) Fans Who Must Not Be Named

  • Anonymous on 04.09.2009 at 10:04 am

    I am one of the fans heading south right now and I saw that you made a false reference to us being “superfans” in the BU Today email link to this article. BC did not make the frozen four and I am positive that I do not own any yellow t-shirts.

  • amlaskow on 04.09.2009 at 2:00 pm

    I wanted to pass along the thoughts of SED professor and world-renowned sports psychologist Len Zaichkowsky. Here he offers advice to the hockey team as they prepare for the games this week:

    1. Enjoy the moment.
    Smile be happy and have FUN! Without enjoyment success is not likely to happen. The reason is that you are succumbing to pressure; pressure that is self-induced because of your own expectations: expectations of coaches, parents, friends, showing pro scouts what you can do, expectations of the BU community, alumni, and in some cases like Olympic games-expectations of the country. This self-induced pressure results in less than optimal play.

    2. Several factors contribute to pressure.
    The most usual suspect is “overanalysis/overthinking”. The brain should be “quiet” rather than busy. Read and react to situations that have been well practiced; over-thinking results in slow decision making. Do not be afraid to make a mistake. See these “big games” as an OPPORTUNITY to shine not as pressure. You want to be on the ice in crucial situations. Pressure also brings out the loss of EMOTIONAL CONTROL. The thinking part of the brain is connected to the emotional system which is also tied to the motor system. Bad decision and mistakes often lead to anger, retaliation and a “bad” penalty or poor execution. Tennis has a wonderful term for this called “Unforced Errors.”

    3.Stay POSITIVE at all times even if the team is off to a slow start.
    Your self-talk should be “Enjoy and Win this Shift.” Be smiling and show positive body language, rather than showing disappointment. Negative self-talk such as “Don’t turn over the puck” will usually result in turning over the puck. Our current brain scanning research with athletes has demonstrated the power of being positive and happy in motor performance. These are the “mentally tough” individuals. Uncertainty, fear and disappointment shut down the motor system and result in poor performance.

    RESULT: A Team or Collective “enjoying of the off-ice and on-ice moments” will result in another National Championship.

    Zaichkowsky has worked with Terrier Hockey (including coaching staff) since 1985 and last spent time consulting with the team when they won the national championship in the years of Drury, Grier, Pandolfo, etc. His University and professional sport consulting has prevented him from consulting with the current Terrier team that is going to this year’s Frozen Four. The advice he is sharing is not directed specifically to the Terriers but would be very similar advice he has given to professional teams going into “big games” such as his work with the Spanish World Cup Soccer and European Championship team.

    Check him out online: http://www.goterriers.com/genrel/zaichkowsky_drlen00.html < http://www.goterriers.com/genrel/zaichkowsky_drlen00.html>

  • amlaskow on 04.09.2009 at 2:58 pm

    Note from BU Today’s editors:

    An earlier version of this article carried the headline: “Superfans Head South to Get Frozen.” Our loyal readers were quick to remind us that this was a super mistake; the term “superfans” is used to describe “fans” from a rival institution along Comm Ave, whose name shall not be uttered.

    Of course, none of them have the pleasure of joining us at the Frozen Four in D.C. And so we won’t bother to “supersize” again.

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