By Rob McIlvaine
“This week is the calm before the storm as we gear up for the 112th Army-Navy Game,” said Boo Corrigan, director of Athletics at the United States Military Academy.
“For the senior class, this is our last chance to beat Navy. We’re all well aware of that,” said Andrew Rodriguez, one of three team captains for the Black Knights.
“And in talking with the younger guys, it always seems like you’re going to have more chances, but time goes so fast, so you have to take advantage of every opportunity you get, and we feel like we have a good opportunity to win this year,” Rodriguez said.
The game will be broadcast nationally by CBS on Dec.10th from FedEx Field in Landover, Md., so the fans will have plenty of opportunities to take advantage, too.
Fans can visit www.goARMYsports.com for a chance to bid on several Army-Navy related auctions, including premium seating, tickets to the annual gala and pregame on-field access. The different packages begin to expire on Dec. 2, so Corrigan said be sure to check them out soon.
Proceeds from the official auction site benefit the Army Athletic Association and are directly helping cadet-athletes in all 25 varsity sports.
SPIRIT POSTER CONTEST
Submissions for the “Go Army, Beat Navy” poster contest are being accepted until 4 p.m. Dec. 6. Submissions can be either from individuals or organizations, and they must have a registration number by emailing SpiritPosterContest@conus.army.mil.
Contestants should provide their name, organization name, telephone number and email address when requesting the registration number.
Submissions can be sent to the Office of the Chief, Public Affairs, but because the deadline is so close, electronic Spirit Poster submissions will be accepted. Email a photograph of the poster along with the registration number to SpiritPosterContest@conus.army.mil. Files must not exceed 1 megabyte.
In either case, the posters — not to exceed 22″ X 28″ — will be displayed on the Army Facebook page.
Voting on Spirit Posters will open on the Army Facebook page at 9 a.m. on Dec. 7 and will close at 6 p.m. on Dec. 8. Votes are indicated as a “like” or a “comment” on the Army Facebook page.
In conjunction with Army Facebook votes, the director of the Army Staff will also vote on Spirit Posters and will determine the final winning poster.
The winning Spirit Poster owner(s)/organization will be notified of the win via email or telephone by 2 p.m. on Dec. 9. The winning Spirit Poster image will become the Army Facebook profile picture for Dec. 9-12. The winner will also receive a small memento from the Army.
Any questions regarding this contest can be directed to SpiritPosterContest@conus.army.mil.
‘A GAME OF HONOR’ TV SHOW
This season, Showtime Sports and CBS Sports teamed up for a two-hour docudrama featuring both the Army and Navy teams.
Titled “A Game of Honor,” the show will capture an all-access look at both teams’ unique season-long journey.
The production team on “A Game of Honor,” — which premieres Dec. 21 on Showtime — had behind-the-scenes access to both academies and their respective football teams for six months leading up to the Army-Navy game, and will continue to have that access during the game and immediately following.
“It’s been interesting,” said Steve Erzinger, another team captain. “A lot of the young guys will come in and their eyes will be bright-eyed. But it’s just like anything else, when (the production crew are) kind of in and out of your face, sometime it’s a little awkward. But it’s been fun and exciting. Our team has handled it well, they haven’t gotten all crazy under the cameras and stuff like that.
“People would think that it might be a distraction, but it really hasn’t and it’s kind of a good opportunity to show what our team, and West Point in general, stands for, so I’m excited to do the show,” Erzinger said.
ARMY EXCITED BY POTENTIAL WIN
He said the West Point community and the Army is excited that hopefully this year will bring back a win and end their losing streak.
Army has a record of 3-8 this year and has been beaten in the last three games: By Air Force on Nov. 5, Rutgers on Nov. 12, and Temple on Nov. 19.
If they win, head coach Rich Ellerson, in his third season at West Point, will move into a tie for 13th place on the Army career wins list. He lost to Navy in the last two seasons.
“This has been a tough year,” said Ellerson. “We had expectations, tough schedule, injuries, you name it, we had it. We had some good days, we had some bad days, but throughout that, these guys have stayed together, these guys have continued to improve, these guys have established a way to play. They’re not going to complain. They’re not going to quit on each other. They’re not going to quit on what we’re doing. They’re going to get better. And I think we have a chance to be a better football team than we’ve been all year.”
“Even though the team did not play the week before the game, our football program received some good off-the-field news,” Corrigan said.
Head coach Rich Ellerson’s program was recognized by the American Football Coaches Association for having a graduation rate of better than 90 percent. Army was one of 17 schools in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision to earn that distinction.