Sunday, October 12, 2014

Reflecting on Yesterday's Game vs. Rice

It's one thing to say that Army's defensive line is overmatched against most FBS schools' offensive lines.  It's something else entirely to see it live.  This was the first game we've been to this season, so maybe (hopefully) this Rice team was a little larger on the O-Line than Army's other opponents will be this year, but the size differential was striking.  Army's interior D-Line must have given up fifty pounds per man.  Even Rice's wide receivers looked like NFL tight ends against Army's secondary.  Army defenders were frequently in the right position to make plays on ball carriers, but they missed a bunch of tackles because the guys they were trying to bring down looked like ogres.

I don't know how well you'll be able to see it in this shot, but I tried to capture the difference with my phone.  Please excuse the camera angle.

Army vs. Rice at Michie Stadium, October 11, 2014.
Army has blown a couple of leads in games this season, and that's led them to lose games they should have won.  However, that is not what happened yesterday.  Yesterday the Army team got flat run-over by a bigger, more physical squad.  I don't think that there was anything that they could have done to fix the problem via improved play, nor do I think that superior coaching was somehow going to save the victory.  Yes, my man Angel Santiago lost a fumble at the start of the third quarter, and yes, we saw the occasional breakdowns in pass coverage across the middle of the field, but more than that, we saw guys out there competing as best they could against bigger, faster opponents.  

It is what it is.

First quarter.
Note Hannah's hat.  Garryowen!
I have to say, though, that I still thoroughly enjoyed the game.  I got to catch up with a couple of my classmates, and the girls and I wandered around Trophy Point for a while, and all-in-all I just enjoyed being at the Academy.  It's amazing because I can remember the feeling of dread I used to get as a cadet coming back on-post after having been away for a few days, but going up there now is a little like going home.  

Overlooking the Plain and the new library.
Trophy Point.
Sally and Emma.
"Take a picture of us pretending to fire the canons!"
Emma really wanted to fire this canon.
Consider: until Sally and I moved to Stratford, I'd never lived anywhere for as long as I was at the Academy.  Prior to that, the longest I'd ever stayed in one place was that time Dad got stationed in Washington, DC, for three years--back when I was 10.  Even afterwards, I only spent three years at Ft. Stewart before bouncing around like a nomad from December 1998 to September 2001.  I went from Ft. Stewart to Ft. Knox to Ft. Leavenworth back to Ft. Knox, then home to Tennessee for a month, to Korea for a year, home for another six weeks, to Boston for two months, to Hartford for three months, home for six weeks, and then up to a corporate apartment in Jersey City for a month.  Even after coming up to New York, I still moved from that apartment in Jersey City to Hoboken to Fairfield and then finally to Stratford in 2007.

Couple selfie.
I was here for four years and never once noticed how striking the view is.

My point is this: when I say that it feels like West Point is where I'm from, that's not rah-rah bravado.  Yesterday, I felt like I was walking around the neighborhood where I grew up, and in a certain sense, that's exactly the truth of it.  I have more, deeper ties to the Academy from my early life than to any other place on earth.


  1. That's amazing and I think all in all, not a bad place to call 'home.'

    1. It was definitely a fun day. I kind of walked around with the memory of it for the next few hours, and that was really nice.