Sunday, December 9, 2012

America's Game #GoArmy

I'm not a sports person.  I can typically tell you which sports team belongs in the NFL, MLB, NHL, or NBA, and I know the basic rules.  (Well, less in hockey, and I still haven't figured out "off-sides" in soccer.)

But one day a year, I'm a die-hard sports fan.  And that is the day of the Army-Navy football game, a.k.a. America's game.

My father, uncle (on my mother's side), and myself are all West Point graduates.  No matter how good either team has been in the regular season, Army-Navy is rarely an obvious game to watch.  There's something about this rivalry that makes each side want it so badly, miracles can happen.

So one day a year, I'm riveted to the screen.

Trent Steelman, saluting after his touchdown
It hasn't always been easy to watch.  Going into this recent match-up, we'd suffered embarrassing losses for the past decade.  But last year, we were within single digits.  And this year, as heartbreaking as it was, we were within a play.  We were leading into the 4th quarter, but came up short in the end.  It was one of the longest 15 minutes of my life.

After the game, I stood up to sing my Alma Mater with the team on screen.   Tears streamed down my face as I watched Army's Senior QB, Trent Steelman, sobbing on-screen.  He was so close, and he wanted it so badly.  I wanted it for him, for all of us.  We deserved it.  But I wasn't embarrassed, I was proud.

At the end of the day, I think about the seniors on both teams, who will join the armed forces in May, undoubtedly deploying to harm's way.  Truthfully, this football game was the easy part of their journey.

We'll get them next year.  BEAT NAVY!  I maybe a sports fan one day a year, but I have a fantastic team.

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