Saturday, February 20, 2010

So THAT'S who keeps sending me hate mail

I have always found it sad that many who went to a Service Academy seem to almost feel regret about it - regret that they did not go to a big land-grant university football powerhouse. You know the type - the sports nut that lives a fair bit of their lives vicariously through the success or failure of their sports team. They feel they must have a college team that lets them put a big flag on their front lawn like that d@mn Georgia fan across the street.

We all know marriages that have been destroyed by it. We all know student-athletes who were used by a system that looked at them more as athlete-students. If you went to a major land-grant university, like I did, you saw it in spades. The all-American in your sports history class who was a functional illiterate - when he made it to class. The second and third order effect from the sports nut alumni and the pressure they put on universities.

Well, that mindset is the reason so much pressure is put on the USNA to sell its intellectual and honor soul in order to play D1 football. Playing Brown, Harvard, or Yale just isn't enough for the sports nut. No, it isn't - how do I put it - "compensatory" enough.

Here is a classic example of what it will do to very smart, very professional, and very immature adults. In this case - and adult of some stature.

I have modified the email in order to protect the innocent and guilty.

Here is what started it all.
The Atlantic Coast Conference and the University of Maryland announced the 2010 football schedule Thursday, a slate highlighted by seven home games, including a season-opening tilt vs. Navy on Labor Day in Baltimore.

The Terps will open the season on Monday, Sept. 6 against the Midshipmen at M&T Bank Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN (4 p.m. ET).
OK. Navy at war. Nation at war. Football is just a game. This is a Service Academy. OK - just wanted to make sure I have my priorities straight.

..... and now the email from Sporto;
Last night I learned (from a Maryland sports press release) that the Navy-Maryland game was shifted to the Monday of Labor Day weekend and will be part of a double header on ESPN (the other game is VA Tech-Boise State).

I blew my top due to the late notification and the fact that Navy didn't announce the change. I dialed Marriott to change my Baltimore hotel reservations and found out that it would cost me $50 a night more for my same room (including Military discount!). My second round of blowing my top scared my old, hard of hearing dogs out of the room.

Now that I've calmed down, I called the NAAA and spoke to my Classmate, [...].

FYI, here's the straight skinny: the game is a Maryland home game and, as such, Maryland had control of the site negotiations and the press releases. There's a conflict with the original Saturday game date of Sept 4th with the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles are playing at Camden Yard on that same date and shifting the times of either and/or both the Navy-MD and Orioles games was insufficient to meet a Baltimore City regulation of having a minimum of 3 1/2 hours between events due to parking. It was close, but again, Maryland had the lead with the negotiations and couldn't come to an agreement. [...] said that Navy wanted the Saturday date as we have a home game the following Saturday (GA Southern). Now we have a short week due to the shift.

[...] also said that Navy could not release the game date change until Maryland announced it. The web site was changed, but we were prohibited form an official announcement. I believe that an announcement will be made shortly.

Wanted to get all of this to you ASAP. I felt that those of you who have made plans to attend the game and now need to change those plans would like to know the what has happened.
Goodness knows, with all that is going on - we shouldn't let $50 distract us from important Navy business.


Byron said...

"<span> like that d@mn Georgia fan across the street." Now I KNOW you're a Gator alum :) </span>

MR T's Haircut said...


Grumpy Old Ham said...

<span>"I blew my top due to the late notification"</span>

YGBSM.  The game is over six months from now.  Call the Waahhhbulance...

Late notification is getting 60 days' notice of assignment to a 1 year remote tour...guess some people really do forget what's important.  Asshat.

Whisper said...

Sal, your UGA hating has further elevated your status in my feed reader.  Congratulations.

Go Jackets!

OldRetSWO said...

Some people get worked up over nothing, like the people who get road rage over being passed.  This is a HUMAN ISSUE, not a Navy Issue. 
Noting much happening here, move along

DM05 said...

With the Land Grant dumb star athlete recruited & doing something stupid or smokin some hooch, it might be a short newspaper blurb and an alum offering a post-atheletics job in the big company.
For the USNA player recruited primarily for athletics, leapfrogged over more qualified candidates and then popping positive? Sweep it under the rug to appease the nuts (er, fans) you've described, and then push them on the fleet as 'leaders'. It's indeed a human condition, but with Navy the results can be more disastrous. It's clear where Navy priorities are; winning games.

AW1 Tim said...

Life is too short for that crap. What happened to Adapt, Improvise, etc........ ?

Skippy-san said...

There is a reason they keep selling "A house divided" license plates here in AL..............

Old Gator Sailor said...

I'm with you.  The Service Academies represent what college ball should be about - students engaged in athletics, not the other way around.  I've watched members of my own family who played D-1 sports for state schools get treated like crap all in the name of more money for alums' fevered dreams of football and basketball dynasties. 

The true student-athletes who compete in "minor sports" at the D-1 level generally do it for love of the game and they are a joy to watch.  They also train just as hard as those in the "major sports" and get far, far less for it, but they retain their self-respect when they receive their diplomas.

I love watching the academies play each other, particularly the annual Army-Navy football game.  To me, that epitomizes that to which the "powerhouses" should aspire, real college students with smarts engaging in athletic competition.

The class the Mids and Cadets display on and off the field sets them so far above the strutting dopes one sees in other college games and more often in the pros.

house said...

Are you serious? You must be new to this site.

sid said...

My tax dollars are going to this carnival on the Severn...Why?