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Thursday, October 1, 2009

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND


Welcome to Annapolis! This town looks like Main Street in Disneyland.

I am a West Coast girl, where most structures didn’t exist when my parents were kids. But on the opposite side of the country, in the states where our country began, every building is filled with brick and history.

Today we took a tour of the Naval Academy, the most entertaining nine dollars I’ve ever spent. Here are some ridiculous facts about this beautiful place that invented my favorite color.

If you're a high school senior, you can't just apply to the school. You must have a congressional recommendation letter. The school last year accepted 1200 out of the 15,000 top-of-the-class applicants. Five to eight percent drop out during "Plebe Summer", the summer before freshman year.

Here is a fellow you may know and love: David Robinson. He just retired recently from the San Antonio Spurs.

But here's the deal. The Navy doesn't accept people over 6'6". You tend to bump your head on the little planes and have a recurring concussion. But for David Robinson, they made an exception.

He was an am-MAYYYY-zing athlete, and basketball wasn't even his best sport. Because he was only 5'9" in jr. high, he never played. Instead, he played all other sports and excelled in math and piano. But he just kept growing, until finally, at 6'7" his senior year of high school, he joined the basketball team, and literally towered over the competition.

The Naval Academy knew they had to have him, and so they bent the rule one inch. What's an inch? The funny thing is, when he graduated from the Academy, they measured him again, and he had GROWN EVEN MORE! He now stood at 7'1"!!! Sorry, I abhor multiple exclamation marks, but that height deserves three. Seven foot, one inch!!! Because of that, he was NOT required to complete the five years of active duty. He still worked as a recruiting rock star for the school.

Next slide, please.

Why is the Naval Academy’s mascot a goat? I mean, really? Our nation’s college football teams have some of the fiercest mascots: Cougars, Bears, Panthers, and this school, the school with the men and women who go out and risk their lives for our country… is represented by a billy goat?

Here’s the story: when The Navy played their first Army/Navy football game in 1890 at West Point, the army showed up with a mule. Not to be outdone, the Navy went to a local farm and picked out a goat.

But does the goat have any tie to the Navy?

Actually, yes. Back in the early days, these ships had no refrigeration, and with the tossing and turning of the sea, cows would fall over, but goats, God bless ‘em, hung in there. So goats kept the Navy men alive and well fed during those rough and tough war times.

2 comments:

  1. After your explanation the goat doesn't sound quite so wussy! And 7 foot 1 inch???!!!!!!!!

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  2. Mmm, I suppose goats are used to keeping their footing on wet, rocky hillsides or something.
    Are you sure about that height? 7foot 1"? Sounds amazing.
    I'm 5foot 1.5", imagine I'd have to look up 2 feet to see his eyes!
    Do all teachers of English hate multiple exclamation marks? All the ones I know do!!!!!

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