That was a very disheartening loss on Saturday. I’ve been an Army Football fan for a long time, and by now I suppose I should know better, but man, I let myself buy in big-time coming into this weekend’s game. Army Athletics has been squawking non-stop since hiring Jeff Monken to coach the football team, and I let myself get way excited by the prospects. I even did up the blog in Army’s colors Saturday morning. This is me trying to show team spirit.
Army took a lead into halftime, but they fumbled twice late in the second half, and they had a bunch of lack-attention-to-detail penalties on top of that. They may’ve changed the coach and done some things to start changing the program, but this is still the same Army Team that’s lost to Navy twelve years in row. To my untrained eyes, the team seems to be playing with more emotion. They certainly seem to be more resilient in the face of early setbacks. However, they’re still sloppy, and they’re still turning the ball over at exactly the wrong times, and that’s still costing them games. Worse, this is the first time I can ever remember seeing an Army Team that was penalty prone, and that too has become a serious problem. I suspect that this is the downside of playing with too much emotion.
Unfortunately, this weekend’s game was one that Army needed badly if they want to make something out of their season. Having dropped the game in such ignoble fashion against a team that’s got a true freshman at quarterback and an offensive line that’s been highly questionable at best, it’s now nearly impossible to imagine a situation in which Army finishes better than 3-9 again. They need six wins prior to Navy to make it into a bowl game. I’d give them decent odds against Yale, Fordham, and Western Kentucky, and UConn looks terrible. But I don’t know that UConn looks worse than Wake Forest had prior to Saturday, and anyway, it’s not like Yale is necessarily going to be some pushover. Yale has only played one game, but they won it in a shootout, and their passing offense looks potent. Playing in the Ivy League, they’re liable to be familiar with the triple-option, too. If Army isn’t sharp this weekend, their season could go right off the rails.
The rest of my weekend wasn’t bad.
After trying to come back to triathlon too quickly following my hospital stay, I wound up having to ratchet my training back down last week. The upside of that was that I felt better in the water Saturday morning than I have in weeks. I put in a short swim/run brick, and yeah, it’s frustrating having to constantly pull back and keep things light and easy, but my body responded well. I’m going to try to up my total workload this week without upping the tempo. Hopefully that’ll give me the beginnings of a training base. I want to start training hard again in December, so for now all I really need to do is get healthy and train-to-train. If that means taking it easy and slowly going long, then that’s what it means. I prefer going fast, but more than that, I prefer being healthy.
We went over to a neighbor’s house Saturday night for grilled hotdogs and extravagant deserts. I can’t remember what all we ate, but it was quite a spread. Our neighbor made lavender-vanilla ice cream among other things. It was impressive as Hell.
Sunday was an easy day. I took the kids to church while Sally went to the YMCA to work at Superhero Day. Then we met her a little before noon, and I handed out fliers for the Y’s triathlon club. A few folks showed interest, and I would welcome them with open arms, but my experience suggests that there are lots of folks who’d like to be triathletes… right up until it comes time to train for a triathlon. We’re trying to embrace duathlon and other aspects of the multi-sport lifestyle in order to make ourselves more inclusive, but I don’t know that the problem is that we have too much swimming. I think the problem is that most folks don’t like to get up on Saturday mornings to work out.
We can and will help you get ready for your first triathlon, but you still have to do all the work yourself. We can coach, help fix your form, and give you encouragement, but you have to get yourself out of bed, and you have to carve time out of your schedule for training. We are a group of like-minded athletes who primarily provide a community of support. That has value. However, we are not drill instructors, and if I’m being honest, I have no desire to be a drill instructor. I coach self-motivated adults, and frankly, I don’t see how someone who’s not self-motivated can succeed as a multi-sport athlete.
I watched the Giant game Sunday afternoon and then turned on the second half of the Bronco-Seahawk game while grilling dinner last night. That was fun, and I thought dinner came out really well.
Unlike the Army Team, New York seems to have righted the ship. They beat Houston badly yesterday, and while I’d agree that the Texans have a crappy offense, they have a good defense and had already won two games. The Giants nevertheless moved the ball on them with ease, both on the ground and through the air. It still sucks to start 1-2, but at least now I feel like there’s some hope for this year’s Giant team. The Giants look like they’re moving in the right direction.