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Monday, November 9, 2009

Not Me! Monday! - Navy Game

Here's what I'm NOT doing this Monday: Going to Kabul.

My friend, Coogan, is in the Air Force and was just deployed to Afghanistan last week. There's something so much more real about the war when someone you know heads over there. You're like, "Wait. You're supposed to play rec soccer with me this Tuesday." Or, "Didn't you just get married? Why would they send you now?" Or more stupid things like, "You're too pretty to go to war."
Seriously, does she looks like she belongs in Kabul? But then, who does? I'm so proud of the men and women who fight for us, and because of Coogan, this has been on my mind a lot more lately. So with that said, it's very appropriate to take you back to our roommate trip to Annapolis.

One of the highlights of our trip to Annapolis was going to the Navy-Air Force Football game. Here is the football from the very first Navy-Army game in 1890 where The Midshipmen won 24-0. Check out the size and shape of these first footballs!

Nowadays the footballs look very different:Before the game, the Naval Academy marches together into the stadium while onlookers throw candy at them. I don't know why they have this candy-throwing tradition. Maybe it's because in the early 70's when everyone was anti-military, the people used to throw rocks at them. Maybe it's because they're not allowed to have such yummy treats at The Academy.

But apparently Annapolis doesn't have a lot of crime to complain about, as this "candy throwing" has become such a controversial issue, it was actually banned for a year in 2006. Here's the full article.

It's nice to be in a city where "littering" is ranked as the "top story" in the newspaper.

Since we're talking about candy, let's learn a Navy slang word:
Geedunk refers to a can of soda or a candy bar.

But when a midshipman serves for a specific period of time, he/she gets The National Defense Service Medal, and the Navy people have nicknamed it, "The Geedunk Medal".

I have NO idea how that relates to a Pepsi or Snickers.
But there ya go.
I took a picture of these boys, and then teared up because I referred to them as "boys". They really are little boys, aren't they? This reminds me of the time we did the "Mud Run" at Camp Pendleton, and those Marines looked like they should be riding bicycles and playing video games, not fighting and putting their lives at risk just so I can run through my entire life without fear, and be whatever the heck I want to be in this country. I freaking LOVE our military.
Favorite part of every pregame: The Flyover.

These boys make me so proud. Look at them so unified:
Here's a closer picture. In most stadiums, the home team's past bowl games or victories or past amazing players are displayed. Look at a closer picture of the stadium:
At this stadium, they display all the past battles.

As you enter the stadium, the dedication plaque reads:

"This Stadium is dedicated to those who have served and will serve as upholders of the traditions and renown of the Navy and Marine Corps of the United States. May it be a perpetual reminder that the Navy and Marine Corps are organizations of men trained to live nobly and serve courageously in peace, champions of our integrity; in war, defenders of our freedom."

We all bought tickets for the lawn. At this stadium, you can buy tickets for the hill behind the end zone. You lay a blanket down, and have a picnic. There's no net behind the goal posts, so you might catch a field goal!
The Navy won the game in OT 16-13. It was quite an exciting finish. Here's the weird part. The teams are rivals, but they really like each other. It was the most respectful ambiance I've ever experienced inside of a stadium. After the game, both teams run to each side and sing their anthem in total reverence. Here are two short clips edited together, so you can get a brief feel for the pride of these young men and women.

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  1. My first thought was ...but she's a girl..going to war? Next was, like yours, she's far too pretty to go to war.
    I pray that she comes home safe to you; it must be very difficult knowing that your friend is out there, something I've no experience of, and no wish to. I have huge admiration for these brave young people.
    The account of the game was very enjoyable! Now that's an experience I would wish to have!

  2. Thank you so much, Mimi. She's one of the "coolest" girls I know -- like Uma Thurman in the movie "Beautiful Girls". Thanks for reading. I'm always excited to read your comments! :)