December 06, 2003

Shame, Shame

Consider these words from Army-Navy Game Tradition:

One of the most poignant moments in every game occurs after the final whistle when the two teams and the thousands of midshipmen and cadets in the stands stand at attention while the alma mater of each school is played by their respective bands. Win or lose, during those few moments players and students from both schools stand at attention in total respect for each other.

Many who are annual attendees declare that it is the most emotional moment of the day and one they would never miss. For those few moments, the final score is put aside and the camaraderie that connects the men and women in the blue coats and the gray coats is transcendent. It is something that lives forever.

Wife and I just watched this moment ourselves, and each year, we sit in silence as both teams exhibit true honor, class, and sportsmanship.

Compare it to these words from CBS SportsLine:

Normally, Florida and Florida State get the fight out of the way beforehand. Not this time.

Fights are nothing new in this bitter Sunshine State rivalry, but this one was different, in that it came after the game, not before. And it took police with pepper spray, not a bunch of coaches, to break it up.

No. 9 Florida State’s 38-34 win over No. 11 Florida on Saturday was an emotional one, and when the Gators saw the Seminoles stomping on their `F’ at midfield to celebrate, they took offense. Nor were they thrilled to see FSU players doing the Gator Chomp with a real gator jaw …

… In 1998, five players were ejected before the start of the game in Tallahassee including Florida’s starting cornerback Tony George. During that dustup, Florida quarterback Doug Johnson fired a football toward Bowden, but missed.

The year before, they came close to a pregame fight, but a full-fledged rumble was avoided when officials steered riled-up players to their benches.

I could give a damn about his 340+ wins. What, exactly, is it that Bobby Bowden has to be proud of? Certainly not his graduation rate, which has averaged 53% since 1993 (and which was 40 percent in 1994). In the interest of fairness: I was unable to find grad rates for my Utes, but I can point to this with pride.

(Oh … and say what you will about Notre Dame, but know that they graduate 81%.)

Posted by Avocare at December 6, 2003 08:20 PM | TrackBack

F*ck Notre Dame.

Posted by: j at December 6, 2003 11:35 PM

Yep, FSU football players and coaches can definitely learn something from the sportsmanship displayed in the Army-Navy game. Granted, using FSU football and learn in the same sentence.

Posted by: kt at December 7, 2003 05:42 PM

I was at the Vet on the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor for the Army-Navy game, and I agree. The cadets and midshipmen singing the alma maders, while a crowd of 60,000+ formerly noisey fans go silent, is about the most inspiring moment in all of sports that I have witnessed.

Posted by: TOAD at December 8, 2003 11:36 AM
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