Army vs. Navy: A Serviceman's Memories of the Nation's Game
Every year football fans eagerly await the biggest game of the season.
That game could be a rivalry game, bowl game or the national championship game. For me, the game I look forward to watching is the game between Army vs. Navy.
This game is always filled with drama and honor as two proud service academies take to the field.
More Than a Game
The average football fan despises the series between the Black Nights and the Midshipmen.
The game can be slow with basic play-calling, as both service academies implement a run-option-oriented offense. So for the average fan, this game is boring and has little impact on the college football scene.
However, I am here to tell you that the Army vs. Navy game is more than just a football game.
I am currently an active duty member of the United State Armed Forces. I have served proudly for over 16 years and traveled all over the world.
One of my fondest memories is watching the Army vs. Navy game while deployed to Iraq.
When deployed to a remote location, all of the attention is focused on the mission. It helps divert attention from being in a foreign land and away from family and friends.
When I gathered to watch the big game with my fellow co-workers, it became a time to take a break from the high-tempo work operations and enjoy football.
Escaping in the Game
I was in Iraq, but watching the game made me feel at home again.
I was with friends and we were all cheering a football game and for those three hours we could escape from everything around us and just enjoy the game.
The outcome of the game didn’t matter as much as appreciating the game. For three hours on a Saturday, we enjoyed a football game.
This game was being played by our brothers-in-arms for fun and for the love of the game.
The game allowed us to become rejuvenated with pride and passion for what we do every day, and for that I am forever grateful to the game.
On the field this Saturday there may not be one name that you recognize or that will ever grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, but don’t be mistaken, they are all heroes.
They are not playing for million dollar contracts or draft status, but instead they are playing for one another, for the team.
For many of these men, this will be the last game that they will ever play in a professional setting. The last game before they travel to distant lands to defend our great country.
This is the time to root for the home team.
Transcends the Game
The Army vs. Navy game is bigger than college football.
The game is played with the focus on the tradition and the honor of the game.
The game does not focus on BCS rankings or the Heisman Trophy. The game is about discipline and integrity, and personal fouls and elaborate touchdown celebrations are uncommon.
The players may not be flashy, but something can be learned from the way they approach the game.
December 10th, 2011
Next week there is only one college football game on the schedule.
That game features the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen and the future defenders of our country.
This is a special game that deserves the spotlight on Saturday.
Take time to sit back and enjoy the game, and maybe you will see a glimpse of what makes this one of the best games of the year.
James Brown is a B/R Featured Columnist and can be followed on Twitter. Feel free to contact James at firstname.lastname@example.org.