Army Navy game an honor to view
December 19, 2017 3:02 AM
by Scott Schettler
Although the Army-Navy game was played nearly two weeks ago, with Army winning 14-13, I am still impressed by what I saw in that game.
If there’s a single game or sporting event that produces the correct winner it’s this annual game. It’s a handicapper’s delight. These two teams are equal in recruiting policies, player amenities, focus and outlooks.
Every kid, every play gives his best with minimal mental mistakes or emotional outbursts. Bad beats and questionable calls that can’t be handicapped into the winner, almost never figure in the payoff of this game. If you backed the loser here you shouldn’t be left with a bad taste.
The game was well worth the wait. Unashamed and proud patriotism were everywhere – hands over hearts for a rousing National Anthem and never a knee to the ground.
As always, I wasn’t agitated by player celebrations or watching delusional coaches with oversized headphones screaming at referees or even their own players. There were no boneheaded or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. No players in full gear pretending they’re fighting.
Injuries were minimal. Hint: these kids are in awesome shape and just might be a bit tougher than civilian teams (my terminology). They are up at 4:30 a.m. daily. They must pass difficult courses, and grades are for real.
When the game was over mutual respect for their brothers on the other team took the place of pumped up egos. In fact, in a post-game interview the first thing out of the winning Army coach was to give his best wishes for recovery to the seriously ill child of a Navy coach.
This game actually means something to a lot of us. Let’s hope kids all over this great country of ours imitate these players instead of what they’re fed on TV. Maybe they could even look forward to and work to play in it someday.
I’ll leave it with the image of the crowd, the fans. No “adults” painted up and dressed in costumes making fools of themselves. Both teams and their followers paid respect to each other and meant it.
I wish neither team had to lose. Take care.