The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘Army’

Note to Self: Be Rational

I’m writing this the day after the Army-Navy game, which is the game that causes me the most tension every year (maybe if one of my NFL teams made it to the Super Bowl I might feel the same … but I doubt it).

My dad went to West Point, so Army-Navy has been a feature of my life, and while Army is now on a 3 game win streak (WHOOO!) Navy had ripped off 14 in a row, winning from 2002 – 2015. That’s a fair chunk of time, and so, so many of those were absolute heartbreakers (as is the case for Navy now). It seems no matter how good one team does in the season, the other team will be right there with them for this game.

On the morning of the Army-Navy game I took a shower and while I was in the shower I began thinking about what I should wear that day. Should I wear my Army shirt? Wait. Did I wear it last year? What did I wear last year? Should I repeat that outfit?

I kept having to repeat myself that my actions have no bearing on the game. Seriously. It’s ridiculous.

But, perhaps not dressing a particular way for the game is what helped Army win so …

P.S. The obligatory and happily said – GO ARMY! BEAT NAVY!



Hello Darkness My Old Friend

This weekend I welcome college football back into my life. Saturday SMU will play North Texas, a game that SHOULD be a game SMU wins, but you just never know.

The next weekend SMU plays again, this time against Baylor. A game I will describe as “missable” since I am pretty sure SMU will be a tune up for Baylor. However, West Point will be starting its football season with a game against Rice. This is a game that West Point could win, and so I will be listening with anguish, grief, agony, you name it (that is, unless Rice jumps out to a 40 point lead).

The very next day, the NFL has its first weekend of action.

Oh yes, it is an exciting time … but also terrible.

If SMU or Army are playing a game they could win and they perform poorly, or they hang in there with a tougher opponent but snatch defeat from the jaws of victory … well, it is heart-wrenching.

I recently thought out loud to my wife, “I wonder if I’d be happier if I never watched sports.” She thinks I’m nuts. But it’s like a great book, you root for a character even if they always come up short, you celebrate their occasional victories with joy but you grit your teeth and brace for the worst while hoping for the best.

Come on SMU, come on West Point, defy expectations!

(As for the NFL side I tend to be less emotional … but the Cardinals and Texans do have their own little keys to my heart.)

Top 5 Things I’d Like to See Happen Tomorrow

1. Army beating Navy.

2. (Or) Navy running out onto the field, stopping suddenly, collectively saying, “oh my gosh it’s like … super frigid out. Hot chocolate on the bus!!!” Then they all leave the field. Result, Army victory.

3. (Or) Army crushing Navy. A fumble every time a Navy player touches the ball. Minimum 156-0 final score.

4. (Or) I travel back in time, decide to play football instead of the skinny people sport of cross country, people see that I’m the greatest of all time (at worst top 4), I for who knows what reason decide to play college ball at West Point, fast forward to this year (even though I’m 30 and couldn’t still be a student) and I end up playing every down on offense, defense and special teams (like how I played using Barry Sanders in NFL Quarterback Club ’98 … with injuries turned off) and I lead the team to victory.

5. (Or…) If the awful should happen, I suddenly develop a total lack of care so that my fiancé is not miserable due to me being randomly annoyed/upset/frustrated/sad all day.

Experts of Small Talk

As a fan of two teams who are no strangers to getting beat (SMU and Army), I have come to know the time-killing small talk of football commentators quite well.

In a good game, the play-by-play and color commentary people will talk about the plays that are happening, momentum in the game, how the crowd is loving the game, the excitement of the competition, etc.

In a poorly played game that is close, they talk about the poor execution, the coaches, if one of the people commenting on the game used to play football he will talk about times he messed up, how important focus is, etc.

No matter what type of game it is the announcers will tell cheesy little human interest piece stories about players. The difference between a good game and a not good game is the length of these human interest pieces.

Top Five Signs You’re Watching a Blowout

5. Statistics are shown for the sole purpose of highlighting the depths of the inept play of the losing team (SMU’s offense this year for 500, Alex).

4. You learn not just about the players, but also about their siblings and even their pets.

3. The announcers become tourist ambassadors for the town – talking about the zoo or the skyline. Not just mentioning it, but actually talking about it.

2. The announcers end up talking more about athletes from other teams or games than the athletes in the game you are watching.

1. A 30-second commercial for a fast food place seems to have character development, emotional depth, and is more fascinating than the game by far.


This post has been brought to you by the SMU v Texas A&M game on ABC. Source for table below.

SMU Offense (after 2 games)

Scoring offense

6 points

125th in FBS

Rushing offense

-7 YPG

125th in FBS

Passing offense

178.5 YPG

105th in FBS

Total offense

171.5 YPG

125th in FBS

First downs


125th in FBS

Sacks allowed


125th in FBS

Turnover +/-

-3 (5 turnovers, 2 takeaways

125th in FBS


As a Military Brat, and especially as the son of a West Pointer, Go, Army, Beat Navy was a common phrase in my house. This Saturday Army will be taking on Navy and I’m hoping for the correct outcome. Here are some spirit videos with the usual blend of humor.





U.S. Army – Wrecker of Love

The end of sixth grade was coming fast, and with it, a move. This time I’d be going from Leavenworth, Kansas to West Point, New York.
School would finish, I’d go to Arizona to see family on summer break, and then on to NY. Life was going to roll on by pretty quick for a while – but not before an important life event.
My first girlfriend.

At school with about a week of school left I was stopped by a girl.
Would I want to go out with her best friend?!
I did some quick thinking. The obvious answer was: no.
I didn’t want to go out with anybody.
I’d found girls pretty, or at least appealing since I was young. I’d just never wanted to date a girl. Really, I didn’t mind not talking to them. I liked it a lot if they found me funny, and I liked to imagine dating girls – but reality is much harder to control than my imagination, so I stuck with that.
I had no confidence. I was a romantic conspiracy theorist. Why did that girl just smile at me? Oh, it’s a joke! That’s so mean! Any thing that should’ve been perceived as a girl having a crush on me I saw as some attempt for me to lower my guard, only to then be made fun of.
But if this girl wanted to date me until I moved, whatever floats her boat.
Thus began my romantic life!

You’d think – with me ‘going steady’ (that’s just funny to me), that my life would change a lot.
I’d have to sit with the girl at lunch, or nearby her at class, or walk with her in the hallways – but no, none of this happened. Looking back, I probably was supposed to do these things.
I assumed our relationship was just in title, not in deed. So she could say, “yeah, that’s my boyfriend over there … He’s so … Oh … Don’t look at him, he’s trying to figure out how much of his peanut butter sandwich he can fit in his mouth at once. Gross.”
Unfortunately, I didn’t know until then that middle school girls love the telephone.
“Hello … may I ask who’s calling? … Oh! … One second! … BRAD!”
Who would call me? I thought, Why is my mom grinning?
“Hey Brad!”
What? First, who calls me? Second, a girl?!

I came to realize it was the “girlfriend.” And her friend who had asked me out.
I got the cordless and headed to my room. Once I was in my room I was sure a family member (possibly several, led by my mother) would creep up and eavesdrop. Fuel for making fun of me.
I didn’t want to be talking on the phone – it cut into my video game time. Or TV time. Or playing with my dog. Or anything-but-talking-on-the-phone time.

One day the two called and they sang me a song. Yes, they sang to me. At the conclusion of the phone call I applied my best charm to say, “Yeah … well … it stinks about my going to New York, huh?”
“Ya know, New York …”
“You’re going on a trip to New York!!”
“Ha, no! I’m moving … there …”
Uh oh. Had I forgotten …
“… What?”

I had forgotten to tell everyone but my closest friends that I was moving. And my closest friends didn’t include a single female. I hadn’t thought much of it but this was especially bad because we lived off-Post in Kansas so my friends didn’t up and move like clockwork. What a weird concept!

My budding love came to a screeching halt. All blame, of course, goes to the U.S. Army.
How dare you, wrecker of love!

Happy Birthday to … Dad

October is a big birthday month in my family. I decided to do a little post for some of the birthday boys and girls I know.

I remember my dad telling this story – and I may not have it 100% right, but the gist will be right.

My dad went to the United States Military Academy and I don’t recall any of the correct acronyms for the positions he said. Whoops. There was a fella (not the correct title) who was a fancy pants (correct title) who was above my dad. I got the impression my dad was not a terribly big fan of this guy.

Nevertheless, my dad survived West Point and began his military career.

Years later my dad was at an event and this higher ranking officer was there.

When my dad went to shake the man’s hand the man said, “I remember you, a smartass with potential.”

My dad, naturally, replied, “nice to see you too, sir.”

Happy bday to the guy who gave me my smartass gene!

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