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AW, BOSTON COLLEGE, YOU DIDN'T THINK I MEANT IT...

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By Tom O'Brien
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I won't lie to you, baby: I'm disappointed.

Not that I blame you. But I have to say, I'm surprised that you've moved on so quickly, and hurt. I thought our time together meant more than that. I take a little time to clear my head, to rediscover myself, and that's it? I know I said I was gone for good, that we just couldn't be together anymore, but I've found myself asking over and over again these past nine months: what do I really want? Who is Tom O'Brien? And after all that time, I keep coming back to same answer: Tom O'Brien is the coach of the Boston College Eagles. I choose you, BC. When I walked out that door, you didn't really think I meant it, did you?

I call, you ignore it. I send you e-mails, you return them. I find a viable quarterback, you intercept him five times. Who taught you the cover three, BC? Do you remember? Do you remember all those afternoons we were together, the leaves starting to turn, the occasional breeze promising that crisp New England autumn was creeping in like our first cat, St. Pierre, slowly crawling over our sheets on a lazy Saturday morning, and you, so adorable in your hesitation when the quarterback showed lane two action as I commanded set after set of up-downs until both of us just collapsed, exhausted, laughing. But I guess that doesn't mean anything now. I guess I'm just another coach to send away with a methodical 20-point beating these days.

It's really frustrating, you know? I mean, I know there were all those rumors about me and N.C. State, and maybe sometimes even I believed them, as crazy as that sounds now. But let's be honest: we both know what that was. We always joked about the craaaazy things I would do when I finally hit my mid-life crisis, but when it actually happens, neither of us are really prepared for it. Like suddenly I'm a pariah. Like I'm not even the same person. I mean, N.C. State? Seriously, baby: North Carolina State. All those years we spent together, growing together, winning bowl games together. I know we were never exactly conference champions, but we were doing all right, weren't we? We moved out of that dinky little conference, just like we always said we would, right? And we were scared, both of us, because we didn't have the money and it was such a huge step to make all at once, but it was our dream and we stuck together and trusted each other and dammit, we made it work, didn't we? And this is the thanks I get? There's no reason we can't get it back on track, you and me, the two of us.

Oh, Jeff. Jeff. Give me a break, BC. I never thought you'd be the one to fall for the flash. Look, I know Jeff may seem exciting now, but we both know he's good. He comes from old money. He has a sense of entitlement. We both know he's a climber. Do you really think he's going to climb that career ladder with you? Face it, BC, Jeff latched on to you while you were hot, swept you off your feet, and he's going to ride until the next hot thing comes along, something a little closer to his kind, if you know what I mean, and poof!, he's gone. And don't think he'll be back, on his knee, pleading for you, the way I am. He'll never think twice. He's not the kind. I hate to hurt you, baby, but we both know it's the truth.

Maybe you need some time. I know this is a lot to throw at you all at once, after I've been gone so long. But I know we can still have what we used to have. We can make that magic again. It's not too late. Three games? It's not too late. I gave you ten of the best years of my life. Don't you think I deserve better?