Well, here’s one response to the Navy’s iPhone parody.
Two falcon mascots (The Birds?) are featured in this 2014 Air Force v. Navy Spirit Video dubbed “Calamari – The Bird.” The mascots recreated Childish Gambino’s “Freaks and Geeks” rap with a few lyrics of their own. A preview:
Alright you navy kids are asinine, we steal yo’ chicks to pass the time
Mass appeal, flying time, you ride your ships, I’m sinkin’ mine
Navy thinks their good, but beware Air Force is better
AF swag so cold, best not leave your sweater yeah
Air Force do it big, and these sailors ain’t nothin’
Yeah, this flight suit suits me, goin’ squid huntin’
Lockheed Martin and Boeing also get a shout out. And yes, an iPhone also makes an appearance.
Check out the video below:Read More
The newly released iPhone 6 is getting all sorts of attention these days. And the Navy is using it to their advantage.
In this Siri iPhone parody video, the “Go Navy, beat Air Force” spirit is in full swing before the Midshipmen take on the Falcons this Saturday at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
Watch Siri’s sassy behavior shut down the conversation below:Read More
If your idea of college football history is watching an ESPN special on the Miami Hurricanes of the 1980s or enjoying the occasional Dish Network commercial, sit this post out.
The iconic Yale Bowl, which hosted the nation’s greatest college football teams years before the NFL existed, is celebrating its centennial this season, and the Army Black Knights — which also boast plenty of black-and-white photos in their media guide — will pay a visit Saturday, continuing a football series that’s even older than the stadium.
Here’s a half-dozen ways the Bulldogs and Black Knights have been linked over the decades, information you can use to stump West Pointers and Ivy Leaguers alike:
• Army hosted Yale for the first time in 1893, losing 28-0. The Bulldogs went 10-1 and claimed a national championship that season. Princeton also claims a share of the crown, having finished the year unbeaten and defeating Yale in the season finale. Thankfully, it only took big-time college football a scant 121 years to come up with a playoff system to avoid such problems.
• Later that year, Army played only the second road game in school history, falling at Navy 6-4. The team wouldn’t hit the road again until 1921, visiting the Yale Bowl. Army lost, 14-7.
• After a 7-7 tie at Yale the next year, Army returned to the Bowl in 1923 for what Yale says was the most-watched game in stadium history. About 80,000 fans saw Army lose 31-10.
• The 1931 Army-Yale game ended in a 6-6 tie, a score that’s not even mentioned in most accounts of the contest. While attempting to get past the long-since-outlawed “flying wedge” blocking formation used by Yale on a kickoff return, Cadet Richard Sheridan broke his neck. He was stretchered off the field and taken to what was then New Haven Hospital. He died less than two days later. Learn more about the incident and its aftermath here.
• The series continued at irregular intervals through 1943, picked up again for two years in 1954, then went dormant until 1985, when Army downed the Bulldogs 59-16 at West Point. Army won again the next season, won 33-18 in its last trip to the Yale Bowl in 1988, and beat the Bulldogs 39-13 in 1996 at West Point, the last time the two legendary programs squared off.
• In a series that predates the divisions, subdivisions, conferences and TV-directed scheduling practices that have cropped up since, Yale holds the overall edge at 21-16, with eight ties. Before any rival academy fans gloat, the Bulldogs are 5-4-1 vs. the Midshipmen all-time and beat Air Force 17-16 in 1980 in the schools’ only meeting.
Saturday’s game starts at 1 p.m. and will air on Fox College Sports Atlantic.Read More
With less than a minute to play in Saturday’s game at Wake Forest, and with his team down by a field goal, senior Army linebacker Stephen Ricciardi may have gotten a bit desperate. First the video, then some background:
The setup: The Black Knights led 21-14 going into the fourth quarter at Wake, but two late scoring drives gave the home team a 24-21 edge, and an Army fumble gave Wake the ball back with about four minutes to play.
Army called its last timeout with 2:34 left, stopping the clock before a critical 3rd-and-8. But Wake Forest picked up 13 yards on a draw play, earning a first down and the right to run the clock down to next to nothing.
As the video shows, Ricciardi appeared to channel his inner soccer star, or perhaps basketball star, trying to draw a clock-stopping penalty when none existed. At least he didn’t play dead. And he did get a starring role on several sports websites.Read More
Former West Point star Josh McNary will make his first NFL start tonight as his Indianapolis Colts face the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football. As far as this blogger can tell, it’s the first time a West Point grad has started an NFL game on the defensive side of the ball since the 1950s.
An inside linebacker, McNary will be filling in for injured starter Jerrell Freeman.
Last week McNary recorded two tackles in the Colts’ season-opening loss to Denver. As a rookie in 2013, McNary appeared in the Colts’ last five regular season games and two playoff contests.
McNary is one of only three military veterans currently on an NFL roster or practice squad. Ali Villanueva, a former teammate of McNary’s at West Point, is on the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad. Ben Garland, an Air Force Academy graduate, is on the Denver Broncos 53-man roster but has been inactive the first two weeks of the season.
While McNary appears to be the first defensive starter from Army in many decades, Collin Mooney, a 2009 West Point grad, started four games for the Tennessee Titans last year at fullback.Read More
If you’re a service-academy football fan who doesn’t keep up with the pro game, or even if you just decided to spend your Labor Day doing something other than refreshing the NFL.com practice-squad page over and over, here’s a brief recap of where some academy standouts found themselves as NFL teams trimmed down to the 53-man roster limit:
Ben Garland (Air Force): The former standout defensive lineman for the Falcons made the Denver Broncos roster, but not on defense. Garland, who was promoted to captain in the Colorado Air National Guard in May, switched to offensive guard last year. He first signed with the Broncos in 2010 as a defensive lineman, then spent two years in active service and two more on the practice squad.
The move may not have made headlines, but it did get into some rare media air — the Twitter feed of Sports Illustrated/NBC icon Peter King:
Ben Garland I: Just talked to Air Force officer/former college DL/Denver G Garland, one of best stories of the cut-to-53 day.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 31, 2014
Ben Garland II: Asked him he'd celebrate making it. "Hot tub. Cold tub. Then watch Indy tape. I'm not about to give up this opportunity."— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) August 31, 2014
Josh McNary (Army): McNary saw action in five games for the Indianapolis Colts last season, recording 14 tackles, including 10 solo stops. He’s back with Indy this year and should be a special-teams mainstay while providing depth at linebacker. The Indianapolis Star reported that McNary’s status as a “younger, cheaper option” to other defenders may have helped his chances; the Star also had high praise for the linebacker in this patriotic profile.
Alejandro Villanueva (Army): This Black Knight-turned-Ranger is now an Eagle-turned-Steeler. He’s also made the move from defensive line (at Army) to offensive line (at Army) to wide receiver (at Army) to tight end (at the East-West Shrine Game in 2010) to defensive lineman (with the Eagles) to offensive lineman (on the Steelers’ practice squad). Confused? Get the rest of the breakdown here and here.
Eric Kettani (Navy) and Chad Hall (Air Force): Kettani made headlines last offseason by having members of the Washington Redskins coaching staff assist with his promotion ceremony. He would go on to get looks from the Chiefs and Browns before settling in with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he was among the team’s final cuts. Hall, who played with the Eagles in 2010 and 2011 and caught on with the Chiefs in 2013, was waived by the Jaguars earlier in August.
Collin Mooney (Army): Mooney played in 12 games with the Tennessee Titans in 2013 before a knee injury ended his season. While new head coach Ken Whisenhunt praised Mooney in the early days of the offseason, he also made it clear that the team’s need for a fullback in its new offensive scheme was limited, at best. Mooney ended up not making the final roster, and the Titans’ depth chart ended up without a fullback position.Read More
When he’s not busy riding a horse to training camp, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is entering heavy preparations for the 2014 college football season. That prep involves chalk talks, two-a-day workouts and, naturally, talking to ESPN reporters.
Regardless of what Navy fans think of Kelly, or the Fighting Irish, or horses, they should be pleased with a response he gave to a recent ESPN poll, asking coaches of the so-called “Power Five” schools about scheduling preferences.
A quick primer: The Power Five consists of teams in the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern and Pacific-12 football conferences (and independent Notre Dame). The group of schools recently earned the right to all but police themselves within the NCAA Division I football structure, setting the stage for possible changes to what benefits student-athletes can receive and how schedules are created.
ESPN surveyed the Power Five coaches on whether they’d prefer a schedule limited to the Power Five — ending the sometimes-lopsided nonconference games that can help pad a team’s won-loss record (or, if things go the other way, get their own Wikipedia page). Throwing out the undecided votes, the majority of coaches said they would like to stick with the Power Five. Kelly wasn’t among them.
From the article:
Even though Notre Dame has never played an [Football Championship Subdivision] team and plays almost exclusively Power Five opponents already, Irish coach Brian Kelly said he would be against it if it meant no longer playing Navy.
Kelly said removing Navy from Notre Dame’s schedule would be “a deal-breaker.”
Navy, set to enter the American Athletic Conference in 2015, frequently features Power Five teams on its schedule — the Mids open the season against Ohio State later this month, for example. Games like that, plus the rivalry with the Irish that dates to 1927, could vanish if the Power Five cuts the lower-level schools off its slate.
Ohio State’s Urban Meyer stood with Kelly against the plan, as did Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson, whose team will host Army on Sept. 20. Stanford’s David Shaw, whose Cardinal will host the Black Knights seven days earlier, was for it.
Get the full service-academy football slate here.
And yes, Kelly really road a horse to practice:
Hold your horses!!! We'll have a fun video clip for everyone sometime after practice. https://t.co/51FbTi623S— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 8, 2014
Aside from the typical midseason TV-directed time changes (more on them later), the 2014 service academy slate is just about set. And as sweltering summer temperatures signal the beginning of full-pad practices and traditional preseason speculation, here’s a few things for the more-than-casual academy football fan to take notice of:
1. A normal Saturday slate. Aside from a trio of games in late November, including two on the day after Thanksgiving, every service academy game will be played during a time typically reserved for college football. Last year, Air Force alone played four non-Saturday games.
2. Mids going big time: One-third of Navy’s 12-game schedule will be contested in stadiums that host NFL teams — two games in Baltimore (season-opener vs. Ohio State and season-closer vs. Army), one in Philadelphia (Week 2 vs. Temple) and one in Landover, Maryland, home of the Washington Redskins (Nov. 1 vs. Notre Dame).
3. Home cooking: Navy won’t leave the state of Maryland between its Oct. 11 home game vs. VMI and hosting Georgia Southern on Nov. 15. Army makes the two-hour drive to New Haven, Connecticut, to face Yale on Sept. 27, then has two home games before a trip to Ohio to face Kent State Oct. 18, another home game versus Air Force, and a Nov. 8 trip to Yankee Stadium to face Connecticut. Air Force’s longest homestand is two games and they won’t be easy; the Falcons host Boise State and Navy on back-to-back weeks.
4. Program your remote: At least six of the 14 football weekends leading up to the Army-Navy game will feature multiple service academies squaring off on the CBS family of networks. And the Dec. 13 Army-Navy game will be on CBS at 3 p.m., live from Baltimore.
5. Early lines: Even though the schedule’s barely set, the folks at The Golden Nugget already have some wagering information out. Ohio State is favored by 14 points over Navy in the opener for both schools; Notre Dame’s a field-goal favorite over the Mids for early November; and the Black Knights are 13-point underdogs to Navy in their Dec. 13 clash. Navy was a nine-point favorite on the early line last year.
Before clicking through to the full schedule, clipping it out and affixing it to the wall next to your television set for optimal Saturday visibility, remember three words that are part of every college football TV slate: Subject to change.Read More
Could a team lose the Commander in Chief’s Trophy and win that shiny trophy on the right in the same year?
Yes, it could. But wagering on it might be a bad idea.
The College Football Playoff begins this season, with four teams from the NCAA’s top tier selected to face off in a single-elimination tournament to crown a champion. It’s a history-making innovation … unless you count the postseason for nearly every other team sporting event on the planet.
Regardless, the group said Monday that it will make its semifinalist selections public on Dec. 7, live on ESPN before the start of that day’s NFL schedule. Media reports on the decision have played up the fact that some of the conference-title games — including the Mountain West Conference championship, which might feature Air Force if the preseason polls miss their mark — could end less than 12 hours before selection time.
They neglect to mention the one top-tier game that won’t start until six days after selection time — Army faces Navy in Baltimore on Dec. 13.
While Navy’s had a recent run of success that extends beyond its 12-game win streak over the Black Knights, and while Army hopes for a return to bowl consideration under a new head coach, neither program has been considered a threat to crack the playoff system. Based on scheduling, it would almost certainly take an unbeaten season for either squad to be in the mix, and even then it could be passed over for another unbeaten club or a one-loss team in a power conference.
Army went 9-0 in 1996 before losing to Syracuse and still just barely cracked the national top-25 rankings. The Black Knights’ last unbeaten regular season came in 1958 (8-0-1); Navy’s last was 1926 (9-0-1), but the Mids would’ve been considered a playoff contender in 1963, when Roger Staubach led them to a 9-2 mark and a No. 2 national ranking at the end of the year.
Still, both teams remain eligible for championship consideration — Gina Lehe, the senior director of communications and brand management for the College Football Playoff confirmed as much over email on Tuesday. So, how do you judge a team worthy of the national title bracket if it has yet to play the most important game of its season?
“The committee will evaluate the teams based on their records as of selection Sunday (December 7 this year) and the final selections will be made that day,” Lehe wrote.
In short, if a talented Army or Navy squad had a series of breaks go its way (how long of a series isn’t the issue), it could enter the rivalry game with a ticket to the College Football Playoff already punched. How that game would play out is anybody’s guess, but it’s very likely someone would write a book about it.
Wishful thinking? Sure, but if fans aren’t allowed wishful thinking, ticket lines would be a whole lot shorter.Read More