Here’s the thing about the Army football team: it’s reallyreally bad. As far as the score goes, Army has lost to Navy in one of the biggest rivalries in college football for the twelfth consecutive year. But if you look a little more closely, you’ll see that there are a few ways Army actually did win the game this past Saturday.
10. We didn’t wear flair on our uniforms
What is this garbage? This is not Applebee’s.
We don’t want to see your personality, Navy; we already know that it sucks.
9. We didn’t look like drunk toddlers during march-on
This happens every year. Everyone always says that Army wins the march-on, but it is so true. I’m honestly not expecting the midshipmen to look as sharp as the cadets; West Point has the Corps marching for a couple of hours each night (regardless of rain, wind or snow) the week leading up to the game to make sure they look good for the main event.
Based on Navy’s march-on performance, I’d say they prepare by giving everyone a shot of whiskey, injecting their legs with a numbing solution so they can’t walk in a straight line, then making them spin in circles for a few minutes before they get into formation.
Compared to this:
Sloppy, Navy. Sloppy.
8. We didn’t look like sullen teenagers in the stands
To be fair, would you really be interested in hanging out in Lincoln Financial Field for nine hours straight in the snow when you knew you were going to win anyway? Probably not. But I’m not here to be fair. I’m here to talk about how much better Army is than Navy (at everything but football).
It was pretty pitiful how much they didn’t care.
This didn’t happen at the game. But these guys are in the Navy.
I’m glad I’m not in the Navy.
The Army mascot isn’t something majestic, like a bald eagle. Or even something super exciting and exotic, like a dinosaur (this raises the point about why aren’t more mascots big, scary dinosaurs? but that’s another question for another post). But it does look pretty good at games nonetheless.
This demon-animal is Navy’s mascot:
This is a cringe-worthy animal if ever I saw one. In fact, I’m pretty sure every time they showed the Navy goat onscreen at the game, there was a collective cringe from everyone inside Lincoln Financial Field unfortunate enough to see that scraggly, nasty thing blown up to the size of a barn.
Actually, there’s a long history of Navy mascots looking stupid next to Army’s mascots at the Army-Navy Game. Observe:
Sweet pants, Navy.
5. We weren’t bad sports.
If nothing else, losing has certainly taught us sportsmanship. Winning twelve years in a row has apparently only taught the midshipmen how to act like (pardon me) ass clowns on national television.
At the end of the game, when we sang our Alma Mater, despite the freezing rain coming down on their heavy, soaked overcoats, the cadets I saw all stood ramrod straight and sang along. Then, after it was over and we had to listen to the mids sing “Navy Blue and Gold” AGAIN, the cadets remained at attention and gave the appropriate respect to the other service academy.
Stay classy, West Point. Navy, you keep up your traditions; you don’t look at all ridiculous.
(For the record, “Navy Blue and Gold” is my least favorite song. Hearing it sung is more painful than listening to Taylor Swift songs on repeat while someone runs their nails down a chalkboard and a thousand microphones screech with feedback simultaneously.)
4. COL Ragsdale
Colonel Ragsdale loves Army football about as much as I love chocolate chip cookies, naptime, and Oxford commas…which is a lot.
You always win for high spirits when COL Ragsdale is at an Army game.
I plan on making faces like this someday when I’m in labor.
3. General Odierno
Another BAMF that Army gets to claim for their own. General Odierno was at the game on Saturday too, making everyone else on the field look like puny mortals (all football players included) and just generally being awesome. I think what I like best about General Odierno is that he takes the time to meet and speak with Soldiers, officers, cadets, and families and listen to their concerns and suggestions, but he could also turn around and kick a terrorist in the face. That’s what I want to be when I grow up: a well-groomed, friendly, badass motherfucker. I’ll have to settle for being a miniature version though, because I don’t think I’m going to grow another two or three feet in this lifetime.
This is how I know he’s a good dude, because he rocks his ACU fleece with all his stars. I don’t have any stars, but I likewise enjoy wearing my ACU fleece in Arctic temperatures, such as may be found in my office at work.
2. Former Army football players
Another thing that happened at the game that was special (and due entirely to Army being classy and full of badassery) was when these guys stood out on the field and GEN Odierno and SGM Chandler shook their hands while the announcers told the spectators who they were and what they had done. Each one was a combat veteran, and the fewest number of Bronze Stars any one of them had was three. One guy had SIX, and one for valor. Oh yeah, and they were all former Army football players.
Their stories (however brief) made me proud to be a West Pointer, an Army officer, and an American. Also I was glad (again and forever) that I’m not in the Navy.
1. Hot chocolate plus
Technically this point does not apply to Army, but since I’m in the Army and it applies to me, I’m including it, because this was my biggest win of the day (other than not being in the Navy, but that’s a win every day, hallelujah, praise the Lord).
Two years ago, when the game was in D.C., they sold hot chocolate with Bailey’s in the stadium. This year, in Philly, they did not.
But I came prepared.
The only real upside that I found to wearing enough clothing to last me a week at one time just to stay warm was that there was plenty of space to hide miniature bottles of alcohol. Great success.
I alternated the whole game between this:
(click for animation)
I saw four of these at the game on Saturday. I don’t know why the Navy fans think it’s a good idea to wear this horrifying thing on their heads, but I was certainly relieved not to see any mules bobbing through the crowd on the heads of Army fans.
Manfriend summed it up pretty well: “That’s one of those things where you can’t decide if you should put a picture of it online so everyone can see it and know how not-okay it is…or we should burn them all, so no one ever has to see that hat again.”
The really bad news is that this is not a niche item. If it was one of those things that someone had made so there were only two or three of these monstrosities in the world, it might not be so bad. Tragically, however, these little horrors are available for only twenty bucks: it’s true!
We won just by not having any of our fans wear anything this horrendous.
Don’t get me wrong: I hate Navy. I hate their team. I hate their songs. I hate the way they whoop at us. I hate their ugly goats. I really really really want to hurry up and start winning. Not just winning either, but destroying them in the Army-Navy game while still being a bunch of classy ladies and gents.
Admittedly, losing sucks. I’m not here to offer excuses for Army’s poor performance against Navy for a gajillion years in a row. I just want to remind everyone that there are worse things in life…like being in the Navy. Beat ’em.