Why Beating Navy Meant So Much to Me:
Army hasn’t beaten Navy in football since I was a Cow (junior in college) back in December of 2001. The world changed so much just 3 months before that game on 9/11/01. We were cadets, we were pissed off, and we just wanted to get revenge. Little did we know then what the price would be.
After graduation, I never made it to my unit. I discharged from the army medically. I was so fired up to go do my part as an infantry officer and I wasn’t going to get to. I felt guilt, anger, frustration, etc. Then as the days and years passed, more and more of my friends, classmates, company-mates, and former teammates were brutally injured or kill in combat.
All 9–11 era grads keep a number in their head. We all have that number of close friends that have been killed. In fact, I think about it every day. My number is 13.
Winning that football game gave some sense of soothing and closure to the thoughts of “well last time we won, my friends were all ok.”
In fact, some of my non-military friends reacted with some sort of shock when I said that the last time we won, all my friends were alive. I didn’t say that to be gruesome. I said it because it was a load off my back.
It’s just a football game. I know. It doesn’t bring back anyone we have lost. It doesn’t heal anyone who is injured, but it certainly helps to bring us all together and that sense of pride, has a soothing and healing power.
We needed that one.