In October of 1968 (some 41 years ago) my Cub Scout Troop 314 in Dundalk visited the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. I was spell bound as we toured this magnificent facility. I vividly remember the Middies in formation on their football practice field shouting “GO NAVY, BEAT ARMY!”
In November of 1968 I watched my first Army-Navy game. From that day forward, I was hooked. I must admit, I don’t follow college football very closely. There is something about that the Army-Navy game that has me watching every year. Since 1968, I have missed maybe five games. If I can’t watch the game live, I video tape it. Yes, I still have a video tape player.
In 1982 and again in 1986, I was fortunate enough to see two Army-Navy games in person at the old Vet in Philadelphia. Both games were kind of yawners, however watching the pomp and circumstance made it all worthwhile. Regardless of the game itself, all the things that go into the game make it worth watching.
Yesterday my son had a 5pm indoor soccer game. I coach his team. During the day we cleaned and decorated the house. I videotaped the game. Finally I was able to watch the game “delayed” at 6:30pm. There is something special about screaming and cheering for a game that had been over for hours. There is also something special about being able to fast forward commercials. It was another classic game.
Going into yesterday, Navy had won seven of the meetings in a row. Army was playing for many reasons. They wanted to beat Navy and get that monkey off their back, and they needed a win to be bowl eligible for the first time in years. The thing about this game is that Navy could be 10-0and Army could be 0-10. It doesn’t matter though. All bets are off in this rivalry game.
Army gave Navy a scare in the first half. The Army defense forced two turnovers. They kept Army in the game. The Army offense could only muster 3 points. The Navy defense on the other hand was on the field most of the first half. The Navy O couldn’t muster much of anything. It was Army 3, Navy 0 at the half.
In the second half, the cream rose to the top. The Navy D totally shut Army down in the second half. They created a turn over that led to a Navy field goal. The Navy offense scored 17 unanswered points and won 17-3. Army has failed to score a touchdown against Navy since the fourth quarter of the 2006 game.
It was another classic game. I love to watch this game. It is football at its purest. You have a bunch of scholarly young men who are playing for the love of the game. They have no future in professional football. Unlike the spooled, over paid professional athletes of today, they will eventually graduate from their respective academies and serve our county. They probably will end up putting their lives on the line to defend our country. These men don’t get favors in regards to their studies. They take real college courses and carry a load of 18 credits a semester. They are the real heroes of our country.
90-84-1 Against the Spread