I turned on CBS just in time to watch the opening credits. They showed just a few moments of the midshipmen and cadet march-on (no, I didn't see my former students), and then the two teams ran onto the field through cordons. Army is sporting new uniforms--camouflage pants and helmets, black t-shirt-looking jerseys, with duty-honor-country written across the shoulder blades where names might otherwise be.
What brought tears to my eyes, though, was when President Bush was introduced to the crowd, marching out of the tunnel escorted by the Cadet First Captain and the Naval Academy Brigade Commander. The crowd roared. The President seemed very relaxed, proud to be on that field, and he showed off good form with a place-kick that had been set up for him, causing another roar. There at center field for the coin toss, he was clearly the most popular man in the world.
Military people respect this man, and with good reason. The decency and genuine affability with which he answered a few questions on the sideline, and the obvious genuine respect he has for our military members, showed why.
9:18 PST. Navy breaks a 65-yard run for a touchdown. Not an auspicious start for Army.
9:31 Bad snap for a Navy punt! Well over the punter's head and into the end zone! Sadly, though, the punter got to the ball and got off a punt. Army's ball.
9:46 Navy 23-yard field goal.
9:53 Army has tried to throw a couple times in the last few plays, and it's not working. Neither is rushing. I fear this is going to be a very long game.
10:12 Trench warfare now. Neither side is doing much.
10:26 TD pass for Navy, and now it's 17-0 with 3:17 left in the first half.
10:31 Army returns the kick to Navy's 27 yard line!
10:35 Army tries a fake field goal and doesn't even make the first down.
10:37 Navy calls a timeout with 1 second remaining in the half on their side of the 50. When the teams went to the line of scrimmage, Army took its first timeout. Whatever Navy had planned, Army disrupted it with that timeout--a fullback run up the middle ended the half.
11:02 Army, with 84 yards total offense, kicks off to start the 2nd half.
11:08 Navy has a former player on the Philadelphia Eagles? I'm sure that's what the commentators said. Also, Navy is 7/10 on 3rd down conversions.
11:11 Navy gets a first down on 4th and 2 inside the 20. When is Army going to show up to this game?
11:13 Capping an 8 minute drive, Navy scores another touchdown. Army hasn't yet touched the ball in the 2nd half.
11:21 Army turns the ball over at the Navy 35.
11:24 Navy tries to convert another 4th and 2, showing they have no fear or even respect for the Army defense. Army holds, though.
11:46 Navy splits the uprights on a 36 yard field goal, making it 27-0.
12:11 Navy intercepts an Army pass and runs it back for a touchdown with 31 seconds left in the game. It's now 34-0.
12:17 It had been 30 years since there's been a shutout in this series (Navy won that one, too, 28-0), but today ended that streak. 34-0. This is disgusting. I'm ashamed of my team.
Update: I wish I could say that this makes things better, but at least it's funny!