Game Review: Temple Owls vs Army Black Knights 10/2/2010, Noon
Weather: 60’s and sunny; Ticket Price: $64
“Now Back in the Day….” by Tree
There is not a venue with more patriotism than Michie Stadium. With all the military tradition, I could not help but swell with pride when we pulled up to West Point. Okay, so that’s a little over the top. It is, however, an impressive entrance. The field is nestled in the woods and fits the campus beautifully. Pregame, the cadets march in and paratroopers deliver the game ball. The stadium is small – seats 38,115, but provides great sight lines and the fans are polite and respectful. It is a great place to take the kids to – they won’t get bored with a cannon going off every time the Black Knights score.
I was lucky enough to go to the game with an alum and former player. It was homecoming and he secured some sort of special base pass, so it was very easy to get in and out. We didn’t get any special parking and they ran shuttles from the field to the lot (still all on campus). As you might guess, the whole thing ran pretty much like clockwork. It was bench seating so stadium chairs are an option.
The game was a tight one, with Army leading almost the entire way until Temple caught them at the end. That just seems like that is the way for the military academies. I root for them knowing that they aren’t going to the pros, because they are undersized, and well, because if they win, the commandant is probably going to give everyone a weekend pass. However, deep in my heart, I know they are going to run out of gas and not last four quarters. That being said, their games are usually pretty exciting since they run the option. When it is running well, they can rack up the points and make better teams look over-matched. When it is going poorly, they turn the ball over a ton. So either way, it isn’t boring. And that is what happened. Army played great the entire game but in the end they lost by a touchdown.
Personal Notes from the Game:
It was my first trip to West Point and it was a beautiful fall day. I was really impressed with the campus. We spent the night before in New York City, just hanging out, grabbing a slice, and roaming around the city. How my buddy Q found a parking spot in Times Square on a Friday night, I will never know. Q played a couple years for the Knights and did graduate from West Point so he had some great stories. His description of the dorm bathroom walls is now forever etched in my brain (all guys, limited dating opportunities, natural bodily function, etc.) I mentioned what a great campus it was and he did note that they “were a little busy” and really didn’t get to exactly enjoy the bucolic ambiance of West Point. At the game, we met up with a coworker who played at Annapolis. He and Q traded insults all afternoon.
One other thing sticks out in my mind. We picked up Q’s uncle on Saturday morning. An elderly black man, he could certainly ramble. Of course even good natured rambling can wear after a while. It was all new to me, but for Q, I think he had heard the stories a few more times than I. What sticks with me is what this guy must have gone through in his life and he wasn’t bitter at all. He was born in the deep South, and migrated North. The amount of crap he had to endure in his lifetime must have been endless. And then, he lives long enough to see his nephew graduate from West Point and see a black president in the White House.
For some reason, putting that all together – West Point, the traditions, the cadets, and traveling with a black man who lived the race transformation in the country – made me feel pretty damn good about the old U.S. of A. Someone get me a tissue!
If only Army could have resurrected Glen Davis….