ARMY/NAVY GAME: THE “GREATEST SPORTING EVENT OF THEM ALL”

Well folks on Saturday December 8th, we get to witness the best sporting event of each and every year, the Army/Navy game. Regardless or each teams record, this is the one game that records don’t matter. It’s two of our greatest groups of men who sacrifice their lives for our country, and although they already have a very busy schedule, they decided to play a sport as well. For all the Seniors on Navy, this will likely be the very last game they ever play on the Football Field.

In a rivalry that was completely one sided and dominated by Navy with 14 straight wins before the last two meetings, both won by Army. Last year in the snow Army held on for a 14-13 win. The prior year Army snapped that horrific 14 game losing skid to it’s hated rival, with a 21-17 victory.

The past matchups since 2011 have all been decided by a Touchdown or less. For the Navy side, 2011 is also the last year they didn’t end up in a Bowl game. It’s been a terrible season for Navy, winning only 3 and losing 9. They simply don’t have the Offense this year to mess up opposing Defenses and they’ve lost 10 fumbles that have really derailed them in a few close losses.

Army, on the other hand is 9-3 and has a shot for a second straight 10 win season and they will be going to a Bowl Game against Houston, later this month. Army almost beat #4 Oklahoma, one of the 4 teams to make it to the Final 4 this year. They lost a heartbreaker, 28-21 in Overtime. Army beat Air Force this year 17-14, and Navy gotten whipped badly by the Flyboys 35-7.

Both teams Offenses are ranked in the bottom tier of all teams with Army at #82, and Navy at #104. Neither hits 100 yards a game passing the ball, so it really always comes down to turnovers as both teams know exactly the Offense they need to stop, better then any other. Army has fumbled only 4 times all year. Navy has lost 10. In these games, it’s always the turnovers that decide most of the final outcomes. What’s fun is usually a “trick play” is thrown in and they often work and make the game really “up for grabs” the entire 4 quarters.

The biggest difference this year to me is Navy QB Perry. He might be fast, but he’s small, rarely breaks a tackle and misreads the Defenses once play starts. To me he is the worst Navy QB in long, long time. Army is 8th in the nation on a key stat to me: (3 and out). Army has only had 13% where they don’t at least get one first down. Navy is way down at #68, not grabbing at least one first down 21% of the time. That’s rough on the Defenses, which usually don’t have great depth. 

This game is being played at Lincoln Field, in Philadelphia. There won’t be an open seat, in what will be 35 degree weather. Luckily the forecast is no snow for this one, and that’s always good, especially for two teams who run the ball almost every play. Hard to run in the snow, and makes for a lesser chance for much scoring. 

Last I want to say “THANK YOU” to all these brave young adult men who play not just for their Football Team, but for sacrificing their lives for our great country. They are the real “HEROES” in every phase of the word.

I always feel great joy for the team who wins as I watch their brothers raise their arms in Victory, but I always feel such sadness for the side that loses, especially for the many of them who are Seniors and most likely never playing another game on the Football Field. One of them tomorrow is a close family friend who will soon marry my closest Cousins daughter. I know they are all excited for this final game he plays and I feel goose bumps every time he gets to carry the ball. I’m hoping he can score one more Touchdown to remember forever.

Army is (-6 1/2) and the Total is (40).  I’ll be passing this one as I like the Army team as a whole much better this year, and feel they should make it three straight wins. But as you can see, kinda like the Steelers and the Ravens in the NFL, no matter what their records are, the game is always super close and usually always decided by around a field goal. 

Please take time out to watch at least some of this game, and honor these great young men who will be leading out country for years ahead.

Gary Greene