119th Meeting of Army Navy : Post-Game Report
By Ken Podolak

December 12, 2018

Navy’s luck ran out after winning the coin toss by President Donald Trump, but it took until the final minutes of the game to determine the outcome. That is the way competition-based programs usually play it. The Black Knights outlasting the Midshipmen 17 – 10.Similar programs with similar strengths and weaknesses put on a show before a packed Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With a complete roster of traditions on display, each celebrated with true desire and commitment.

I now understand a little better how my father came to be a twenty-two-year-old enlistee in the United States Navy in the early 1940’s. With the world in an uproar and our country under attack it would take his effort and the efforts of thousands more like him to re-establish sanity and order. He was a football player too and I know that some of the lessons learned with his buddies on the football field carried over to his buddies on board ship in the South Pacific and perhaps those lessons helped him get through those tough moments. He passed those lessons to my brother and I, and we to our sons, which is why it was my pleasure to attend today’s event with my youngest son as my co-correspondent and to reflect on my Dad’s journey and the thousands like him.

Navy’s game plan developed a little too late in the game to change the tide today but staying on the field and competing with a stronger Army team yielded a respectable showing although I know they don’t feel that way yet. There will be other days, we learn from today and carry on. Some of the more important lessons we learn aren’t noticed until long after the defining moment of those lessons.

Army was all business through out the day beginning with their pre-game field walk throughs, warm-ups, and throughout the game. They looked like a top 25 team and played like one too. Sticking to their game plan paid off with the in in the contest. The post-game press conference for Army reflected what we saw on the field, specifically that the journey from 2-9 just a few short years ago to 10-2 today was accomplished by discipline and dedication of team and staff with respect and recognition for the competition displayed during the game.All participants reflected on value of teamwork and the journey. The immediate journey continues to the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl and the Houston Cougars….and then for the seniors the real game begins. Hats off to the Army today.

This article is dedicated to the memory of the following Armed Services Members.

Edward A. Podolak, retired USN Tin Can Sailor

Leo T. Haggerty, retired USN Submariner

Domenic Campisi, retired Army Staff Sergeant

Frances Baillargeon-Campisi, retired WAC

Robert E. Grow, retired USN Radioman