In this week’s edition of “Conversations with Clayton,” I talk with A.J. Black, the football editor and recruiting analyst at BC Interruption, SB Nation’s Boston College athletics site. Also known as “BC Hysteria” from his days as an independent blogger, Black and I discuss BC Football’s chances in 2017, the state of the ACC, and Mike Tyson’s Punchout.
Clayton Trutor (CT): How did you get involved with sports writing?
A.J. Black (AJB): I have always been interested in writing, and so I just started writing for a blog with some friends that had similar interests. On the blog I started to develop a niche writing about Boston College, and Brian Favat of BC Interruption found me on my blog and brought me over to BCI. And I've been there ever since!
CT: What advice would you give to someone interested in getting involved with the sports media.
AJB: Just get yourself out there. Make a name for yourself. Do something that no one else is doing. There are thousands of people who can write a generic game recap, so what can you do that is different and fresh?
CT: What's the outlook for BC football in 2017? How does Steve Addazio's future look?
AJB: It depends on who you ask. There are some major questions facing Boston College this season, and if Addazio can't answer them it will be a mess. Will first time starting quarterback Darius Wade be able to manage the offense, will the offensive line click, will the offense be more than run run, pass punt? I think BC will be alright this season, and I have vacillated between being bowl eligible and 5-7. I think they are more likely to go 6-6 and make a bowl.
CT: How strong will the ACC Atlantic be this season?
AJB: They are going to very strong this season, and dare I say it, they may be the best division in the country. Clemson is going to be good, probably not National Title good, but still Top 10. Florida State is going to be very good, and probably will win the conference. Louisville still has Lamar Jackson, which makes them a threat against everyone, and I really like the "mid card" of the ACC including Wake Forest, NC State, BC and Syracuse. Just going to be good games all around I believe.
CT: If you could wave a magic wand and bring back a Big East football conference that includes BC, would you do it?
CT: Where would BC football be in 2017 if Jeff Jagodzinski had not been fired for interviewing for the Jets job?
AJB: Probably in the same spot or maybe a little better. Listen I love Jagz, but he isn't the master coach everyone is making him out to be. He was a subpar recruiter, who got lucky with Matt Ryan, a killer offensive line, and Steve Logan one of the most under rated offensive coordinators in the country. He is currently a WR coach at a HIGH SCHOOL, which says a lot about where his stock has gone, and people can blame that on BC "blackballing" him or whatever, but that is a load of crap. There is a reason Jagz hasn't got another college gig, and I don't know what that is, but the shiny halo figure people make out of him is warped. I think eventually his lousy recruiting would have caught up to him, and BC would be in a similar position that they are in now.
CT: Three things people don’t know about Boston:
AJB: The North End is a great area to get some excellent Italian food and cannolis (Go to Modern's); Trillium Brewery has a new beer garden that you have to try, they are easily the best brewery in the state; check out the Museum of Fine Arts if you are into that. Some incredible exhibits that include some of the best artists in history.
CT: Three things people don't know about Boston College:
AJB: Amy Poehler graduated here (her parents used to sit next to me at football games), it originally was located in another part of Boston, and our fight song is the oldest in the country.
CT: When you think of Cincinnati, you think of ____________
AJB: Skyline Chili
CT: Describe your greatest video game victory of all time.
AJB: Beating Mike Tyson in Punchout. It took weeks of torture to get through it, but when I did it was so glorious.
Follow A.J. Black and BC Interruption on Twitter: @BCHysteria @bcinterruption
For more of the same, follow me on Twitter: @ClaytonTrutor