football game at Navy is more than just a score...that is the
conclusion that Towanda and I came up with after yesterdays opener.
Despite the frustrating loss-it was a beautiful day full of many
The opening ceremonies unveiled a new addition to the Navy Stadium-that
of the name Enduring Freedom added to the list of battles commerated
on the stadium walls. The name was unveiled a a number of Fleet
Commanders(I lost count). As my son said after he took their pictures
with the Navy goat-"I just met a whole constellation!"
blinded by all the stars. A flyby highlighted the opening ceremonies-made
even more exciting by the banner towing airplane that was definitely
in the wrong place at the wrong time. Apparently at one mile out
our Navy pilots sighted the aricraft and decided to fly under
it....it was really amazing.It was a beautiful sunny day and the
Brigade looked great as they marched on the field. As they streamed
into the stadium my husband commented on how the Plebes look so
relaxed and had lost that "scared rabbit " look from
earlier in the summer. And they got to do pushups..which was a
good thing. It was just too bad they did not get to do more.
spent our time sitting on the hill at the end of the stadium.
There are activities there for the younger children-and of course
the classic find a piece of cardboard and slide down the hill
activity. Around the refreshment area Mids milled around enjoying
the opportunity to hang out.
Of course it would have been better if Navy had won-but the level
of respect from the NC State fans and team was apparent. Our football
players have a bigger goal in mind-to fight in a bigger battle.
The most touching moment was at the end of the game when it is
traditional to sing Navy Blue and Gold. The players lined up on
field and all the Mids began to sing with hands on their hearts.
Then I noticed that a number of the NC State players also had
their hands on their hearts! As my son's sponsor dad, a 57 grad,
said "It brought a tear to my eye."
Afterwards it was a flurry of tailgaters to choose from-and then
downtown Annapolis filled with white uniforms. Ben and Jerry's
did a brisk business. I enjoyed watching plebes flanked by parents
who had the opportunity to come for a visit. We managed to watch
the last match of the Navy Volleyball team win their tournament
for the first time in seven years-Yeah! Then as we were leaving
the Yard the incoming stream of plebes made it apparent that liberty
was almost over-a great day, despite the disappointment on the