Observations: No ‘loser’ in Army-Navy football games

By HAL McCOY

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while drinking a Frostop root beer, which was sold at a root beer stand near Nadine’s childhood home in Toledo. I had never heard of it, preferring Stewart’s and A&W when I was a kid. Yes, Frostop is good, but it isn’t Stewart’s.

—Unless one is a graduate of West Point or the Naval Academy, how can anybody root for or against either team in the annual Army-Navy game.

There are no losers in this game. They are all winners, regardless of the score. And this year’s game was a real offensive-challenged yawner with Army prevailing, 17-10.

As always, though, the best part of the game is before the game — when the entire cadet corps from Army and the entire population of Midshipmen march onto the field. One isn’t human if goose bumps aren’t prevalent.

QUOTE: From former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden, when asked if discipline was the key to winning games: “If it was, Army and Navy would be playing for the national championship every year.” (Remember the glory years of Army when the Black Knights of the Hudson employed The Lonesome End, a kid name Bob Carpenter who never went to the huddle?)

—Sanctimonious SEC commissioner Greg Sankey criticized the University of Central Florida for its weak football schedule, especially its non-conference schedule.

First of all, UCF scheduled North Carolina this year, but the game was wiped out by a hurricane, thus saving the weak Tar Heels a dose of embarrassment.

UCF did play Pittsburgh, one of the ACC’s division winners, and beat them. Temple went 6-and-1 in its last seven games and the loss was to UCF. Cincinnati lost only two games, one was to UCF by double digits.

Football schedules are made years in advance and if UCF knew back then how good it would be the last two seasons the Knights probably would have tried to upgrade its non-conference schedule.

Can they do it now, schedule some Power Five teams in the future? Not likely. Who in the Power Five wants to take the chance of losing?

UCF’s only alternative is to somehow switch conferences, get admitted to a Power Five group like the ACC or the Big 12. And good luck with that.

—QUOTE: From anonymous: “We’re the football team your mother warned you about.” (That should be UCF’s slogan.)

—A shocker out of New York: The University of Kentucky was beaten by Myles and Miles by, uh, Seton Hall in the Citi Hoops Classic in Madison Square Garden, 84-83 in overtime.

Myles and Miles? Well, Myles Powell hit a three-pointer with 1.5 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime and Miles Cale buried a three-point with 10 seconds left for the game-winner.

—QUOTE: From Kentucky coach John Calipari: “A successful person never loses. They either win or learn.” (So the trip to Madison Square Garden was highly educational to the Wildcats.)

—The University of Dayton and Wright State both took it to the solar plexus on the road from a quality opponent Saturday night.

The Flyers, completed their string of losses to Top 50 teams, losing at No. 8 Auburn, 82-72. They fell behind early, 19-6, nearly caught up, but mostly chased the Tigers the entire way. The Flyers grounded themselves with 23 turnovers that Auburn converted into 32 point.

After a slow start, Wright State grabbed a mid-half lead before Ken State (8-and-1) finished the first 20 minutes on a 11-0 run the final eight minutes to fall behind, 39-34.

The Raiders began strong in the second half and led, 69-64. Mark Hughes was called for a personal foul, mumbled some choice words at the official and was called for a technical.

Kent State converted three of the four free throws it was awarded and launched a string of nine straight possessions on which it scored to pull away to a 83-76 win.

—The bowl season is about to begin and most of the early ones that involve .500 teams or teams one or two games over .500 are laughable because of their names and all the empty seats that will be noticeable during telecasts.

Examples: The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the Cheez-It Bowl, the Dollar General Bowl, the Gasparilla Bowl, the Quick Lane Bowl, the First Responder Bowl, the Camellia Bowl, the Camping World Bowl, the Belk Bowl. (When are we going to see the Toilet Bowl out of Flushing, N.Y.?)

—One of the reasons they say they can’t, or won’t, expand the national championship playoffs to eight teams is that the extra week of games is a hardship on the academics, the extra time away from the classroom for the players.

Does that mean that FCS schools and Division III schools think less of academics? They utilize the eight-team system and North Dakota State is in the FCS championship game nearly every year. And Mount Union is is in the championship game in Division III nearly every year.

—Not only are the Cleveland Cavaliers an awful basketball team, they compound their poor image by wearing the NBA’s ugliest uniforms, those terrible orange and blue home jerseys that look as if they swiped them from the 1970s Houston Astros.

—How can any coach justify beating another team in high school basketball 133-50? That’s what Trotwood-Madison did to West Carrollton on Friday night. When sportsmanship was discussed in Coaching 101, the T-M staff must have been too busy scribbling notes on how to run up the score on immensely outmanned teams. What were they trying to prove? All they did was completely shatter their own self-respect.

QUOTE: From legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne: “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.” (Is it time for a sportsmanship sermon at Trotwood?)

4 thoughts on “Observations: No ‘loser’ in Army-Navy football games

  • December 9, 2018 at 11:31 am
    Permalink

    You mentioned the Belk Bowl. Belk is chain of department stores in the South. Do you know who the CEO is? None other than former Reds’ prospect Tim Belk.

    Reply
  • December 9, 2018 at 12:48 pm
    Permalink

    Great perspective and article.
    Remember when we were carhops at
    Steffy’s Root Beer Stand?

    Reply
  • December 9, 2018 at 4:09 pm
    Permalink

    Army v. Navy.

    General Douglas McArthur’s oft referred “long grey line” of West Point Alum (and where he considered “home”)

    And:

    A fast footballer with good hands we now know as “Cadet”, General, President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    If I recall correctly, not saying I do, I think it was on the West Point football field where Ike sustained a leg/knee injury ?

    Three places where tradition and history still survive, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis Md. and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway IN.

    Reply
  • December 9, 2018 at 6:05 pm
    Permalink

    Was in Navy and Army so finally i get to pick after game.Only down part of game was a 5 time draft dodger Trump making a political show.He doesn’t belong in same stadium with any military person or veteran.Would never serve for this JOKE on America.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.