Friday, December 12, 2008

Army Football...

Another coaching change. Because...that's what will help us win. There is some good and some bad to this. The Good:

At least the Superintendent isn't blaming the cadets any longer as was the case when I was there. Back then, we weren't supportive enough, we weren't loud enough, we weren't "12th man" enough. But now, this is what he has to say
“This was not a hasty or emotional decision, and Stan has been a great member of our community, but winning is particularly important to the military academy and to an Army at war. There is no substitute for victory.”

Which brings me to my second point, which I've said before, and which often gets me angry responses. Yes, the whole military is at War, but no, it has not affected recruiting at USAFA and USNA as it has at West Point. Why? Well...simply put, there are far more soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan than Marines, Navy or Air Force (we're talking officers here, not soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines). If you were a 16 or 17 yr old and wanted to go to a service academy, would you want to go to the one where you're (currently) guaranteed to spend every other year in Iraq or Afghanistan, or the one where you can fly over it every few months?

Professional football. Simply put, Army wont allow it (again). There was a brief experimentation, but we no longer allow it. I don't know if Navy and Air Force do, but if they do, and Army doesn't, then it seems pretty simple that we wont recruit the same caliber of athlete.

Training schedules. Again, my friend on the track team once told me, "People shouldn't be surprised we lose, they should be surprised we occasionally win." Why? Because Army athletes do the same summer training the rest of us do. So, before the season, they have maybe three or four weeks to build before competing. Unless things have changed, Navy and AF allow their athletes to miss out on training and build for longer before the season starts.

Those are all, however, excuses. And there is no substitute for victory. A new coach, a new season. We'll see how Army does next year, when I'll be back in the states and drunk in the stands at the Army/Navy game 2009.


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