Said Bates, “The culture of the program is really set by the tempo of the head coach. And he’s set a great tempo for the program.’’
To add meaning to every victory this season, Addazio challenged the team to learn the words to BC’s fight song, “For Boston.’’ After every win, the Eagles will sing the fight song in their locker room.
“He’s even having us learn the alma mater,’’ White said. “It always used to be you’d be holding your helmet up and we’d be looking up at the screen, reading the words off the screen. It never really meant anything. It was just what we were supposed to do, but it wasn’t any fun when you were losing games.
“But it’s definitely a motivation to learn the fight song and learn the alma mater, because when we win games at home this year it’s going to be awesome to go over to the student section [for the alma mater], then come into the locker room as a team and come together to sing that.’’
When the team raised their voices in a robust rendition of the fight song during a dress rehearsal last week for Saturday’s season opener against Villanova at Alumni Stadium, Addazio was struck by the harmonious chord the team sounded. “That,’’ he said, “was cool.’’
It was yet another attempt to help stitch together a team that was pulled apart at the seams by last season’s 10-loss ordeal.
“This was a fragmented team and sometimes that just has to do with losing,’’ Addazio said. “Winning brings out the best in people and losing brings out the worst. So how do you pull that team together? You’ve got to hold them accountable, you’ve got to really demand, so our offseason program really focused on mental toughness and accountability more than it was on squatting, bench pressing, and power cleaning.’’
In embracing the changes brought about by a new coach, the Eagles took a leap of faith because they were starving for success.
“That’s why so many people are buying into it,’’ White said. “They know all this stuff is to help the team to win. He’s not taking the names off [the jerseys] because he wants all of us to be upset. He’s not making us sing the fight song because that’s something else to learn in the middle of camp. He’s doing it because he needs us all to come together. We need to come together and buy in to what he thinks it takes to win.
“From there on forward, it’s all about winning. We just got to do it now.’’
Michael Vega can be reached at email@example.com