As the clock ticked down at on the Army-Navy game at FedExField, I had the rare opportunity to stand on the sidelines near the tunnel as the game ended. On Sundays, this is the tunnel that players take off the field, and standing there when the clock hits zero puts you right in the way.
For college football, this is prime real estate.
With about two minutes to go, it was almost certain that the hometown Navy crowd was going to go home happy, bringing the assembled Midshipmen to a fever pitch. In the end, Navy punted and the ball was down at the 10-yard line with two seconds on the clock.
In a game that featured a combined five-for-nine for 90 yards through the air, how many 90-yard offensive plays do you think they have in the playbook?
This is the final play, spotlighting the Navy mascot, Bill the Goat:
Game over: Navy 27, Army 21. The Midshipmen have now pulled off a decade of dominance, winning the last 10 contests. The chant that rose from the stands was “Ten More Years!”
It was officially time for one of the proudest moments in all of sports: the singing of the alma maters. First the West Point Military Academy:
And then, because there was really too much emotion to show, just the audio for the Naval Academy’s alma mater:
I had been sitting outside in 30-degree temperatures for the entire second half, but that moment gave me a new set of chills.
After the game, the Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo talked about how much it meant to have the game at FedExField, in Navy’s backyard, in the shadow of the Pentagon and Nation’s Capital.
“This game was special–being here in DC was special,” he said. ”I’ve been here for 14 Army-Navy games, but this one was different. This one was special.”
Special thanks to the USAA, West Point, Naval Academy and Redskins for putting on a tremendous show today. This truly is America’s Game.
Tags: 2011, Army-Navy Game, fedexfield, ken niumatalolo, washington redskins
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