Published: December 8, 2011
Most people believe its favorite football players are heroes, even if they do not deserve to be because of transgressions off the field.
For those fans, it does not matter, as long as that player throws the winning touchdown pass or a crush a receiver crossing the middle of the field. There is game, however, where the players are heroes, but it will not be for what they do on the football field.
At 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, the best rivalry in sports Army versus Navy, will meet for the 112th time.
The Navy Midshipmen have been on a roll in the series winning the last nine meetings between the two teams.
Usually at this time, Navy would be getting prepared for a bowl game like it has since 2003. However, for both teams this will be the last game of the season since neither team is bowl eligible.
It is cliche but the records truly do not matter when these two get together.
Actually, to tell you the truth the final score does not matter except for the two teams involved. For them, it means everything to them.
In the week leading up to the game, you will see former presidents, other Congressional members, and the countless others that attended either academy be brought to tears when saying “Go Navy, Beat Army”, or “Go Army, Beat Navy.”
As for the rest of us, we know they will have a bigger reasonability after they beat the crap out of each other for 60 minutes next week while playing at the Washington Redskins home stadium in Landover, Md.
For the players their football career will be over after Saturday, but they will come together as a part of the United States military defending us from enemies here and aboard.
This is college football is its purest form.
During the game, you will hardly hear any talk about the BCS, the off-field issues surrounding the sport, or who will be the top picks in the upcoming NFL draft.
You will also not see any cheap shots, taunting or any other extra stuff.
Because, what is different about these two teams, if a player does any of that, they would be in serious trouble.
Just ask Navy Senior Fullback Alexander Feich.
On Oct. 1, Navy lost a nail biter to the other military rival, Air Force, 35-34 in overtime.
During the game, the referee made a conversional call against the Midshipmen that might have cost them the win.
After the loss, Feich felt that way and said in the postgame press conference, the call was “pitiful,” according to the Washington Times and it was caught on tape for the upcoming documentary, “A Game of Honor” that will be shown on Showtime on Dec. 21.
Feich was suspended for a game by the academy for that comment.
If it was a player from another school that made a comment like that, the coaches and fans of that team would blame the media like always for making the player look bad instead of talking responsibly like Feich and the rest of the Midshipmen did in this case.
Right now, Feich is the second leading rusher for the Midshipmen, and he could play a factor on Saturday.
As tradition, expect a lot of smash-mouth football Saturday, in a way it’s preparing them for the front lines of war.
Both teams are ranked in the top four in rushing offense in the nation.
Army is No. 1 while Navy is fourth.
Of course, Army and Navy players do not have the same experience like most college students do in terms of simple things.
For them, every single minute from the time they wake up to the time the lights turn off for the night is spent learning how to become better and smarter students and soldiers.
Their superiors will weed out the ones who can not handle the tough demands of becoming a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Every minor detail is checked and double checked to see if they have what it takes to defend this nation.
To get a true sense of what they go through, there is a couple of things you should check out.
In 1997, the best sports author in the world, John Feinstein, came out with a book called “A Civil War: Army vs. Navy,” that followed both teams throughout the 1995 season on and off the field.
You will learn a lot about what the players deal with while trying to beat each other at the end of the season, and at the same time learning how to defend the U.S.A. It is an excellent read.
If you want something more up-to-date, CBS Sports has been doing the same thing like Feinstein did more than 15 years ago.
The network has been following both teams during the season for the film mentioned above that will be shown on Showtime on Dec. 21.
You will not only see the locker room after a game, but you will also see an in-depth look at basic training using camera angles that will make you feel like you are part of the action.
Some people believe that their favorite players are heroes, but the real heroes will be playing on Saturday.