Beat Navy week is officially over and it ended in the best possible way: Army victory! The streak is firmly established with 3 straight years of the Cadets besting the Middies. Plus, the CIC is undisputedly ours for the second year in a row. Now we get to look forward to over a year of piss-poor Squid excuses and tired references to a 14-year streak. Don’t worry, Squids don’t understand how math or how the sequential nature of time works. Navy won 3-years in a row before they won 14. So continue to celebrate this momentous victory as we all daydream about our decade of dominance. It was fun to watch!
My answer to any Navy excuse this year: pic.twitter.com/RRMehSutuA
— Brett Toth (@bretttoth78) December 9, 2018
This game, in typical Army/Navy fashion was not flashy and far from a shootout. It was an absolute knock-down-drag-out brawl. Don’t be fooled by the warm and fuzzy Army/Navy promos. These teams hate each other. There is respect (but mostly hate). And it showed on Saturday night. Defense and turnovers were paramount as both teams struggled to consistently move the ball down the field. Ultimately, Army played better on all sides of the ball. The Squids fought well but the better team won. There’s no question about it. A more comprehensive game recap, written by the insightful Danno Cabeza, can be found here.
Before forging ahead, I’d like to take this opportunity to commemorate one year of As For Football. AFF started on a whim by the entrepreneurial old grad, Rob Wright, after the Army/Navy Showdown in the Snow last year. It came from two old grads joking during Army football games about nostalgic awards and aspirations of well-received podcasts. We couldn’t have predicted the amount of growth we saw this season nor the outpouring of support and encouragement from the Army Faithful. So, thank you for reading, listening, watching, and following. We are having a blast covering our Brave Ole’ Army Team.
Rob’s Take from Lincoln Financial Field:
After getting in after Midnight on Friday we got some sleep to head out early and hit the tailgate scene. One important thing to note was the lack of Navy fans that I noticed at all times except at the Stadium (and boy they cleared out quick). Whether I was at the Airport or Hotel, Midshipman fans were in hiding. I didn’t have to share many awkward looks with rival fans except at Lincoln Financial. I literally saw one guy with a Navy hat in the Atlanta Airport. Even during the worst years of Army Football, I couldn’t go anywhere without seeing the iconic “A”.
Full disclosure, this was the first Army Navy Game that I’ve been too since I was on the sidelines in 2013. We started Saturday out strong by hitting fan sourced tailgates through Instagram. Unfortunately we missed a few people. “Flying an Army Flag in Lot X” is a lot harder to find than you think! Apologies to those we didn’t make it too, but thanks to everyone who reached out. One of the most encouraging things was all the feedback I received over the weekend. Black Flags were all over the place and so were our T-Shirts. More on that later. After stopping at the Merulla tailgate for an extended period we visited a few more and went over to the College Gameday set before entering the game.
Security was tight with POTUS in attendance, so it took a frustratingly long time to get inside. After getting to my seat with my Dad, Sister, and Brother-in-law, a group text started rolling with some of my old Company Mates (Go Roothawgs). They ask for a “real-feel” of the game, which brings me to my main point. There was never a doubt about the outcome on Saturday. I text back that “Navy had no chance in this Stadium.” The Army Team and fan faithful knew we were going to win and the Squids knew they were going to lose. That was the energy all weekend. That was why I couldn’t find any Midshipmen all weekend. That’s the new normal. Settle in Navy…enjoy the cruise!
After the game, obviously everyone was in a good mood and that was only improving as the night progressed. I reunited with a ton of classmates and teammates at the Drunk Old Grad after party. Also hopped around to a few other locations and connected with several current players including an As For Football favorite, James “Hammersticks” Nachtigal. Spent some time with John Abercrombie, Jeff Panara, Austin Schuffert, Ray Wright, and Cole Christiansen among others throughout the night. Circling back to comments earlier, it was very encouraging to hear the outpouring of support over the weekend. We seriously appreciate everyone that reads, listens, or watches our content. We strive to make you laugh and also give you the best analysis of Army Football available. Thanks again for the support. All For the Corps!
Kelvin Hopkins Jr. – Hawai’i CTLT
We have been consistently praising you all season. Why? Because it is well-deserved. What stood out to me most on Saturday was you incredible toughness at the QB position. A triple-option QB must be one of the toughest, grittiest dudes on the field. You meet this description. I’m pretty sure you got hit on just about every play because frankly, sometimes it seemed like Navy wanted to hurt you. However, you took it in stride. It is reassuring knowing you will be leading this team next season. We want you to get some R&R in beautiful Hawai’i this summer as you shadow some unsuspecting LT during CTLT. After hearing his comprehensive view of the Army, hit the beach, surf and relax while the rest of the team grinds it out at Fort Bragg. We will need you ready for next year!
McClinton, Gibson, Reynolds, Brinson – DENTAC Parking
So over the last few weeks we have been giving out the Turnover Chain to players with Takeaways as a replacement for the actual chain that we had made for the Bad Boys! This game would have been the perfect opportunity to break out the Turnover Chain and reward your efforts for creating turnovers against the Squids (especially at critical points in the game). The two interceptions and two fumbles proved to be essential in what turned out to be a defensively dominated game. One turnover was in the Redzone. One was a tipped sideline grab. Another stopped a 4th down attempt to set up the game winning drive. It is hard to keep this commendation concise because each turnover deserves its own superlative, but with so many to choose from we opted to give you all a group award. Because you all were in the right place at the right time (in the right Big Red One Uniform) we are giving you DENTAC Parking. This will serve to help you continue to be on time to classes, formations, trains , and flights. No more jogging up to A Lot to go get your car and drive to Fishkill.
Special props to Jaylon McClinton and Mike Reynolds. Both of you got in on two turnovers. Jaylon picked off Abey and forced Lewis to fumble. Mike tipped Abey’s pass up to McClinton and made a spectacular interception along the sideline.
ACC Officiating Crew – CIF Issued Officiating Gear
Admittedly, you let both teams play in this contentious matchup which saw its fair-share of extracurriculars. But, the second “halftime” of a review was inexcusable. Not only did we have to watch you talk on a headset for 10 minutes but you re-spotted the ball based on a terrible camera angle only to reverse the call! Seriously?! I was reminded of my Firstie CIF turn-in where I waited an hour just to be turned back for having a hint of Buckner wilderness on my TA-50. Sorry I actually used my gear! You are now required to get your officiating uniforms and equipment from USMA CIF. Since you guys love making people wait you all should get along just fine.
Scott Flanick – Express Mess Hall Service
In this chippy game, you made your limited snaps count! We absolutely loved seeing you lay out #14 Micah Farrar. He’s going to be feeling that hit well into Navy’s bowlless offseason! You earned the express Mess Hall Service. What does that mean? Well, in true Mess Hall fashion, those wonderful workers will get your table served first no matter what. They will push those steaming Mess Hall carts at full speed through chairs, tables and careless floaters. Plebes will learn to keep their heads on a swivel around your table. If not, their concussion can be blamed on Plebe boxing. Enjoy the “fast-food.”
Abey and West – Honorary Buckner OPFOR
Just as we had Bennett Moehring to thank last year, we offer immense gratitude for your contributions to the Beat Navy campaign. Your terrible ball security truly tipped the scales in this tightly contested matchup. We would like to extend an invitation to join the Buckner OPFOR this summer. Your ability to put up a fight while allowing the good guys to win is perfect to train the future leaders of the Army. You understand that you’re not the focus. Plus, we won’t tell anyone that you secretly wanted to go to West Point but couldn’t quite make it in.
Don’t give up the ball?! Navy’s not good at that are they?
— As For Football (@asforfootball) December 8, 2018
Ken Niumatalolo – Goldcoats Service for Life
You know what sucks? Goldcoats (and Navy Football). Mouse Frozen? Wipe it! Key Missing? Wipe it! Battery not Charging? Wipe it! No matter what your issue is, Goldcoates will wipe your hard drive quicker than you can say “My SOSH paper is on that!” Like Goldcoats, after your first loss to Navy you panicked and wiped the hard drive. The malcom Perry Experiment didn’t work last year and it all but ruined your season this year. Newsflash Ken…your not doing anything wrong, Army is just better. In order to encourage you to continue making drastic changes each year, you have been awarded Goldcoats service for life! They will gladly wipe your hard drive so you can start building a new playbook for next year. Your ticket number is 128930.
Army Defense – Permanent SAMI Exemption
The Army defense played an outstanding game on Saturday. They consistently shut down the run, took away the ball, and played an overall clean game. It makes it even harder to hear that Coach Bateman is moving to Chapel Hill next year. But, let’s not dwell on that. Let’s award the outstanding Bateman Bad Boys for coming out on top in a defensive battle. No more SAMI! Yes, you heard that right. The Commandant approved a permanent SAMI exemption for you guys. So keep that door closed, sleep in and enjoy while everyone else is inspected, gigged and harassed for dust and smudges.
Army Team – Michie Stadium Player Lounge
This team is something special! This is the first time Army has won 10 games and the CIC in back to back seasons. We are truly witnessing a modern golden era for Army football. Coach Monken is solidifying his spot in the Army Hall of Fame with every game. So what can you give a team that is headed to a bowl game in Texas, is nationally ranked and is headed to the White House for the second year in a row? Well, have you seen the plans for the Michie Stadium renovation? They’re pretty sweet. The Team’s performance this year has inspired the addition of a legitimate Player’s Lounge. It’s a place where Plebes and Firsties alike can find refuge from Academy life. So don’t worry, we will start working the plans while you guys start looking at Houston.
Navy Defense – 3 Free Sessions at the Center for Enhanced Performance
I have to give you guys some respect. You held a dominating Army offense to well below their averages. You are the reason this game was so close. With that being said, y’all seemed to be playing with a lot of pent up anger. Trust me, I get it. Losing is not fun. But you will get used to it. These are merely the early stages of acceptance. Soon you will move from scathing resentment (which stems from residual arrogance) to resigned acceptance as the fourth best service academy. To help you with this transition, we have scheduled 3 sessions (one for each Army victory) at the Center for Enhanced Performance. Take a seat in the egg chair, focus on your breathing, and picture losing to Army over and over. It will keep your pride in check as you fully understand Navy’s role in this new era of Army dominance.
Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl! Forget about TEE’s! We’re going bowling in Texas and the matchup looks promising. Stay tuned. Bowlmania and podcast will be dropping this week. If you missed last week you can check it out here (and in lots of places including iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Overcast, Facebook, and Youtube). Please subscribe like, comment, share, and rate!
Beat HOUSTON! Rest.