I got the chance to meet Medal of Honor recipient CPT Florent Groberg this week at a function at work. It’s not every day you get to listen to and shake hands with an honest-to-God American hero. I found his story intensely inspiring. As a lot of these guys tend to do, Groberg made me want to do more, to BE more. Here’s a man who tackled a suicide bomber in an effort to save the men behind and around him, and really, all he wants now is to be a better American.
Hell yeah. It was an amazing story.
Groberg’s big issue, the challenge that he left all of us with in that room, was closing the Civil-Military divide. I’ve been pretty passionate about that in my own life, too. I mean, I don’t know how many of you have read or are reading my memoir, but amongst the reasons I decided to share that story once I had it written was out a simple desire to talk more openly about my life and my family. It occurred to me after a while that I didn’t have a lot of purely civilian friends because I flat hadn’t been letting people in. That was my fault, and honestly, I’m trying not to be that guy anymore. No one likes that guy. That’s a problem.
One of the simple realities of modern life is that we live in a divided nation at a time of great societal division. We don’t have much in common across the full spectrum of American life. It’s not uncommon to see guys on Twitter say, “College football is the best thing going in this country.” Y’know, that might actually be true.
The guys at As For Football have long since realized that we’re not going to get where we want to go just by reaching out to the 52,000 current members of the Long Gray Line. Add in 4,000+ current members of the Corps of Cadets, and we’re still basically nowhere. Even if we got EVERYONE and their ENTIRE FAMILIES subscribed to our YouTube channel, that would still be maybe a half-million people. That wouldn’t budge the needle on Google’s performance metrics.
We love Army Football, but just reaching out to immediate members of the West Point family… that’s never gonna be enough.
But one of the reasons that I started talking and writing about Army Football in the first place was because I realized that it was a common point of connection. Not the Army but college football in general. It was a way to start the conversation, to create points of commonality with strangers. That’s been good for me.
So. My challenge to you this week is to talk about Army Football. Of course, it’s easier when your team is good. Beyond beyond that, though, reach out and expand your circle. I don’t think that’s asking too much.
Let me know how it goes.
Speaking of the YouTube channel, if you missed the podcast yesterday, you’re in luck. The video came out late last night. I’ve pasted it below, but we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe to the channel itself. It’s not that much different from what you heard yesterday, but you can see my ugly mug, and it’s got actual footage of the first down play we highlighted with Jordan Asberry.
Check it out and subscribe:
Let’s talk about some games. The week started with midweek MACtion.
Kent State at Buffalo
Ohio at Miami (OH)
Buffalo blew out Kent State this week while Miami (OH) beat archrival Ohio. Both of those help Army. If the RedHawks can pull off one more upset, this time against Northern Illinois, then it becomes very likely that at least six of Army’s nine FBS opponents to date will make bowl games. If Air Force also wins out, that number rises to seven of nine.
Saturday, November 10
12:00 PM – Lafayette at Army (CBS Sports)
This is the big game. I’ll be there with my daughter Hannah, and with any luck, we’ll come back with some great-looking pictures.
12:00 PM – Navy at #12 UCF (ESPN2)
12:00 PM – TCU at #13 West Virginia (FS1)
12:00 PM – South Carolina at #11 Florida (ESPN)
12:00 PM – Akron at Eastern Michigan (ESPN3)
There are a bunch of games at noon. Those listed above stood out to me.
Navy is gonna get smoked.
TCU at West Virginia is interesting mostly because of my man-crush on QB Will Grier. Really want Grier to come to the Giants. No idea how his skillset translates to the NFL, but I want an accurate quarterback with big game experience, and that’s Grier.
SC at Florida is interesting just because it’s the SEC. My friend’s husband did ROTC at South Carolina before joining the Field Artillery. Eventually, he became a Fairfield, Connecticut, police officer, which is how I came to know him. Good dude.
Finally, Army fans ought to pull for EMU to win out and earn a bid to a decent bowl game. MAC success helps Army’s strength of schedule quite a bit this year.
Danno’s Picks: South Carolina at Florida Under 55 and UCF (-25.5).
3:30 PM – #9 Kentucky at Tennessee (SEC Network)
3:00 PM – Liberty at #25 Virginia (ACC Network)
3:30 PM – Baylor at #24 Iowa State (FS1)
3:30 PM – New Mexico at Air Force (CBS Sports)
All four of these are potentially compelling matchups. It’s a shame that two of them are on basically local networks.
The Vols need to win two of their last three to get bowl eligible and keep the dream alive. They’ve got Kentucky, Mizzou, and Vandy remaining. If they play to their potential, they can absolutely beat the Wildcats, and if that happens, Army vs. Tennessee at the Independence Bowl becomes a real possibility. Say it with me, folks. We can make it happen!
Liberty has a quick-strike offense but an underperforming defense. Virginia has a defense but not a lot of offense. We’ll see. A win here over an ACC opponent would really help the Flames’ legitimacy and virtually assure them of a six-win season. They probably still miss a bowl unless something weird happens–and it might–but either way, Army needs a victory.
Baylor at Iowa State is interesting mostly because it pits two potential bowl opponents. A postseason matchup with Iowa State is probably one of the most likely scenarios.
Finally, I’m torn on the Air Force game. On the one hand, it helps Army’s strength of schedule if the Zoomies win out and make the postseason. But it probably helps Army’s recruiting more if they miss for a second straight season. So… Beat Air Force!
Danno’s Picks: Give me Liberty (+24) against a Virginia team that looks like it’s crashing back to Earth. I actually think the Flames might win–really. I’ll also take Tennessee (+4.5) at home and New Mexico at Air Force Over 55.5.
That Tennessee bet might be a wish and a prayer. Man, I hope the Vols don’t burn me this week.
7:00 PM – Miami at Georgia Tech (ESPN2)
7:00 PM – Temple at Houston (CBS Sports)
7:00 PM – South Florida at Cincinnati (ESPNU)
7:00 PM – Auburn at #6 Georgia (ESPN)
8:00 PM – #2 Clemson at #22 Boston College (ABC)
Wow! All five of these evening games are potentially terrific.
Georgia Tech and Miami both need one more win to go bowling, and Tech—amazingly—still has an outside shot at the ACC Coastal title. It’s a fascinating matchup. Miami has one of the best pass rushes in all of college football, so everybody in the ACC has run right at them. Tech’s gonna do that, too.
Temple at Houston! Can the Owls pull off an upset? They looked so good against UCF last week.
USF at Cincinnati! This might be the game of the day. Which of these teams is for real?
Georgia is a 14-point home favorite against Auburn. *sigh*
Similarly, Clemson is a 20-point road favorite against BC. BC has been playing good football, but I don’t think many folks are expecting them to knock off the Tigers.
Danno’s Picks: I’ll take Georgia Tech (-3.5) over Miami, USF (+12) at Houston, and Boston College (+20) as a home underdog against Clemson. I don’t think BC will win, but it’s a good spot for them to cover.
That’s all I’ve got.