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Boston College Football plays the annual “Red Bandanna Game” in honor of 9/11 hero Welles Crowther

CBS News Boston


CHESTNUT HILL – Boston College Football played its annual “Red Bandanna Game” Saturday in honor of 9/11 hero Welles Crowther. An Eagles comeback fell just short against No. 3 Florida State, with the Seminoles winning 31-29.

The tribute has taken place every year since 2014 around September 11 in memory of former BC lacrosse player Welles Crowther, who died while rescuing others in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. As many as a dozen survivors credited him with saving them, identifying him by the red bandana he wore.

Former President Barack Obama speaks at the dedication of the national September 11 Memorial Museum in New York, May 15, 2014. An image of 911 hero Welles Crowther is shown on a screen.


BC coach Jeff Hafley said the team spends a week this offseason talking about Crowther and what the game means to the program so that when they put on the bandana-trimmed uniforms, it carries the right weight.

FSU vs. Boston College
Boston College Eagles head coach Jeff Hafley looks on during the first half of the game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium on September 16, 2023 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

“They understand the importance of the Red Bandanna game,” Hafley said. “Reminds them of what happened on September 11th, and of course we teach them about Welles and others and why we wear those jerseys. You know, it’s not just to put on a new look. It’s much bigger than that.’

BC defeated No. 9 Southern California in the first Red Bandanna Game in 2014. Overall, the Eagles are 4-6 in the tribute game.

The Seminoles also understand its importance.

“I talked to our team a little bit about that … just out of respect for Welles, and just the family, and everything that he embodied,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “So this will be an emotional match. I’m sure it will be a great atmosphere.”

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