Boston College’s 37-31 upset of ninth-ranked USC couldn’t have come on a more special night, and the Eagles’ football team went above and beyond afterward to make it even more remarkable.
BC rode a wave of emotion en route to its unexpected victory, dedicating the game to Welles Crowther, a former Eagles lacrosse player who lost his life while saving many others during the 9/11 attacks in New York. Fans sported Crowther’s trademark bandanas at Alumni Stadium, and the team paid tribute by wearing special uniforms with red bandana accents on their helmets, cleats and gloves.
The Eagles, who watched the ESPN documentary, “The Man In the Red Bandana” beforehand, didn’t just honor Crowther’s legacy during the game. After the win, head coach Steve Addazio gave the game ball to Crowther’s parents, Allison and Jefferson, and let them speak to the team.
BC cornerback Manny Asprilla then presented Jefferson with his cleats after he noticed him checking out the distinctive shoes.
“I just shook his hand and gave him the cleats,” Asprilla told ESPNBoston.com. “He was surprised at first, like ‘Oh, this is for me?’ I said ‘Yeah,’ shook his hand and then I went to his wife and did the same, shook her hand.
“I just felt like, not that I didn’t need them or deserve them, but me having them after a couple years (the meaning) would just die away,” Asprilla continued. “What the red bandana cleats stood for, I felt like they would have a longer emotional effect on him and his family, so I just decided he deserved the cleats.”
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@pattillmanfnd