Military Sports

Army-Navy 2015: An Army fan's survival guide

You're sick of hearing about the ship helmets.

That mid who makes those funny videos is at it again, and you've been sent that "Star Wars" parody dozens of times.

You're still coming to terms with the rebranding, Army has ... wait, Army West Point has won only twice all season, and now the Black Knights are three-touchdown underdogs entering Saturday's rivalry game in Philadelphia (3 p.m., CBS).

1. Finding focus. Army's last game, a 31-21 loss to Rutgers, came three weeks ago. That's given the Black Knights three weeks to prepare for the Mids in relative seclusion on the bank of the Hudson River.

Navy spent the end of its season on the fringe of the national college football spotlight, with senior quarterback Keenan Reynolds drawing enough attention as a Heisman Trophy candidate that the school pledged to fly him via helicopter from Philadelphia to New York after Saturday's game should he be invited to the ceremony.

But while Army West Point began putting game plans in place for rivalry weekend, Navy began preparing for a de facto American Athletic Conference division title game Nov. 27 at Houston. Which it lost. Also, they had to call off the helo.

2. Nothing lasts forever.

He's also, according to Bill Wagner at The (Annapolis) Capital, heading to Brigham Young University two days after the Army-Navy game to meet with school officials regarding their open head coaching position. Wagner points out that Niumatalolo's son is a linebacker at the school and that the coach is a Mormon — a requirement the university has set for the job.

The coach is not fielding questions on his future this close to the biggest game of his season. Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told Wagner the issue was an "unnecessary distraction." For Army fans, any distraction would be welcome.

First, here's the U.S. Military Academy's cinematic answer, featuring cameos from school leadership and, more importantly, ESPN Fan Hall of Fame member Daniel "The Crazy Colonel" Ragsdale:

Third, this soldier's short spot includes a line that probably needs a home in official service doctrine, discussing the Army's goal of "winning wars, and looking good while we save babies."

stealing from Rob Lowe4. About those helmets ...
high-profileThey settled on the pants: Different colors for different jobs, plus different designs to help viewers watching the games on black-and-white televisions.
looked garish5. On-field faith (not this kind).
  • class="prestoapp-ckeditor">Army coach Jeff Monken makes his case to The Associated Press.
  • class="prestoapp-ckeditor">What you need to know about Chris Carter, the West Point freshman who could start under center tomorrow.
  • class="prestoapp-ckeditor">USA Today's Paul Myerberg on the team's youth movement, close calls and strength in the face of another losing season.
  • class="prestoapp-ckeditor">The path to victory, per The Washington Post, may be through third-down success on defense.
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