Unless you’re a Temple University football fan, there hasn’t been much to cheer about if you live in the NJ/NY/PA region. Unlike the NFL’s bacchanalian Super Bowl finale, the college football season rolls out a huge variety of main events over the course of the holiday season. After Thanksgiving, regional champions emerge from the various conference championship games, with Temple traveling to Houston for the AAC title. Heading towards Christmas and the New Year, its bowls, bowls, bowls- some major, some (very) minor. It all culminates in college football’s own version of a superduper bowl playoff involving the nation’s top four teams ultimately decided by a committee. Yes, a committee. How else would a democracy made up of bookies, parlay players, fantasy team owners, beer, chilli and bratwurst infused tailgaters decide a thing of such import?
Of course, long before there ever was a Conference Championship weekend there was always the Army-Navy classic, usually (but not always) played in Philadelphia, as it will be a week from this Saturday. Navy is a huge favorite, having been a contender all season long to challenge Temple and Houston for a shot at the AAC trophy.
Army has struggled to win games the past few seasons, as is the case with my alma mater, Rutgers University, who have ended the season looking for a new head coach. Obviously, any competition involving the service academies is so much more than a game, as witnessed during a family trip to West Point, where Rutgers earned a too-close-for-comfort victory over the cadets on a beautiful fall afternoon.
The campus at West Point, NY is appropriately lauded in sports media as a truly special place to witness a college football game, and a trip there is a must for any sports fan. I would also like to express my appreciation for our armed services personnel and convey my gratitude to their commitment to the security of our nation, as we strive to maintain our legacy of liberty and freedom for future generations.
Lastly, I’d like to offer encouragement to my Delaware Valley University baseball family as they begin another drive to become the “DIII Beast In The East” on the diamond.