Sunday, September 16, 2018

Quick Thoughts: Army Stands Tall Against Mighty Hawaii

I’m writing this on my phone as the church band practices this morning, but I probably won’t get a chance to post it until later this afternoon. My daughter Hannah is part of the Worship Team as, like, the Junior Singer. She sings a lot of backup, but they usually build at least one song around her, too. Alas, today she was just backup.  Anyway, she gets to sing, and that matters.  She’s not quite an elite talent, but she can usually get the congregation on its feet. That counts.

Army had a good game yesterday. I didn’t realize how well QB Kelvin Hopkins had played until I looked at the stats. He was 6/10 passing with a couple of critical downfield conversions and no interceptions. Notably, he threw the ball away when it wasn’t there, and he didn’t take a sack. I thought the pass blocking looked pretty good for the most part, even on obvious passing downs. That’s a big improvement for this Army team.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Final thoughts on Hawai'i and a few other things

In an oft underwhelming slate of home games, Army Football has a rare sizzler today.  The Black Knights are hosting the hottest team in college football, the Rainbow Warriors from the University of Hawai'i.  Army's actually favored in the game, and if you look at the stats, you can see why.  Bottom line, Army is very good at home, and the 'Bows look primed for a regression after a 5,000 mile plane trip.  I broke this down in some detail earlier in the week.


Hawai'i is undefeated, and they've looked absolutely bulletproof through three games.  A few websites are picking Army to win based on the betting line, but all the guys on CBS Sports Network picked Hawai'i, and I don't think anyone will be surprised if that's the way it goes.  I certainly wouldn't bet money on Army giving points.

I'm excited regardless.  You can tell because it's 6 am, and I'm sitting here writing this instead of sleeping.  Granted, I got in bed early last night, but I woke up just after five this morning thinking, "Is it time yet?"


I really enjoy football at Michie Stadium.  My daughter Emma and I are headed up, and I honestly can't wait.

Friday, September 14, 2018

5 Things on a Friday: Ridin’ the Storm Out

Something happened on Wednesday.  The blog went viral in some way that hasn’t happened previously.  I think that a West Pointer somewhere--I’m guessing from a class in the mid- to late-1970s--saw my preview of the Hawai’i game on Facebook and sent it out to a bunch of his buddies in a monster email blast.  It propagated from there.  Alas, the event came without much in the way of statistics from Blogger’s traffic tracking pages, so there are a few other possibilities.  But some kind of email chain seems most likely.
Regardless, hello new readers!
Experience suggests that most of you will not stick around long, and that’s okay.  As I tell my own classmates, our friendship is not contingent on your reading my stuff.  The blog’s traffic has been growing over the years, but this isn’t a Get Rich Quick scheme.  It’s the way I entertain myself while I’m on Metro-North going back and forth from New York City.  
The blog is intentionally organized as a salad bar.  You take what you want and ignore the rest.  There is no one else on earth who also likes all the stuff that I like.  I get that.  You don’t have to like my stuff; you don’t have to like me.  It’s fine, really.  
Writing isn’t my career.  Some people build little ships in little bottles.  I write a blog.  It is what it is.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

#SBRLLR: Firstie (Part 5)

My dad retired from the Marine Corps at about the same time that the West Point Class of 1995 hit Branch Night.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Army Football Preview: Hawai’i

After a big win at home against Liberty last week, the Black Knights are back at Michie this weekend for an unexpected Death Match against the resurgent Rainbow Warriors from the University of Hawai’i.  Hawai’i has vaporized everyone they’ve played with the power of their rebuilt run-and-shoot offense, but for better or worse, this is a game that Army badly needs to win.  
With the way the schedule shakes out, the Black Knights will need five wins before the Lafayette game to ensure bowl eligibility.  This is because only one FCS game counts towards the requisite six, and Army-Navy happens after bowl invitations have already been issued.  With tough road games against Oklahoma, Buffalo, and an Eastern Michigan team that has finally learned to finish, Army’s margin for error has become razor thin.  The Black Knights therefore need to win now in order to hit the meat of their schedule on the upswing and to give themselves just the slightest bit of breathing room going forward.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Quick Thoughts: Army Rolls Over Liberty

After last week's opener at Duke, yesterday's contest against Liberty University was just what Army fans needed to see.  Certainly, it was what I needed to see.  The Black Knights rang up 27 first downs and 510 yards of total offense, including almost 450 yards rushing.  Army got just over 250 yards from the fullback position alone.  The team has a couple of things to clean up this week, but there were a lot of good performances, too.

A few quick thoughts are below.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

#SBRLLR: Firstie (Part 4)

R___ was my favorite college girlfriend.  We were both committed athletes and both cadets, and if I hadn’t been such a pigheaded asshole about the nature of our relationship, I’m quite sure that it could’ve lasted.  As it was, we spent a lot of time together, dating in a traditional sense, going to local restaurants and just talking.  I enjoyed her company tremendously.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Army Football Preview: Liberty

I tried to be upbeat Saturday morning after the loss to Duke, but I’m starting to think that I might not have been concerned enough.  Yeah, Army lost to a tough opponent on the road, and it was a bad spot.  There were maybe a few signs of life from the offense.  So what?  The defense was actively terrible, and more to the point, the rest of the early schedule suddenly looks considerably more challenging than it did just a few weeks ago.  I’m a little concerned.
Most fans were counting on a 2-2 start with the road game at Buffalo essentially deciding what kind of season we’re facing.  I know a few folks were talking “perfect season” before the Duke game, but I never thought that, and anyway, did you see Oklahoma on Saturday?  The Sooners just masterblasted FAU.   Worse, we’ve now seen Hawaii twice, and they look phenomenal.  Otherworldly, even.   And this week’s opponent, Liberty?  The Flames just dropped 52 on Old Dominion.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Quick Thoughts: Army at Duke

Climb down off the ledge, Army fans.  Trust me, no one was more disappointed by last night's contest than I was, but it's not as bad as it looks.  Really, there are some positives here--along with a few basic takeaways.