By Michael Simzak
Throughout the week leading up to the Army- Navy game, the Army football players loudly repeated the mantra that the 2015 vintage of Black Knights football was undefeated against Navy. This despite the fact that the last time any Army team actually beat Navy, stock in Enron was still trading.
Despite the one sided nature of this rivalry for the last two decades, with Navy having won 17 of the last 20 games including 14 straight, “America’s Game” continues to garner national appreciation. But then again this game always has been more about the product that comes off the field and not the product that is actually on it. That product is second to none.
With every Army-Navy game I am reminded of a saying one of my former officers had, “Guys know when they’re getting good leadership.” Each year listening and watching the Cadets and Midshipmen, I am reminded how much that is true and reassured that out nation’s military will have some truly great leaders in the future.
Once again the game on the field did not go the way of the Black Knights of the
Hudson and no mantras, no coach speak, no amount of rebranding can cover up the fact that there is a growing gap between the ascendant Navy program and an Army team that continues to struggle to find an identity and figure out how to win. In a game that is more about the Jims and Joes than X’s and O’s, Navy’s Joes were better and KNOW how to win while Army’s Jims THINK they could win and we all know that KNOWING is half the battle.
Once again, with an opportunity to win the game, Army football, coaches and players alike, failed to execute. As a result, once again, Army lost and the streak was extended to 14 years.