Not to sound too dramatic, but beating Navy, at home, in a nationally televised game? Perfect. I had a good feeling about Saturday while driving up to West Point earlier that morning… the sun was shining on Michie, the arena was packed… finally, a win.
Give me a break — the last time I’d seen Army win? Nov. 14, 2009 haha … yes, no lie. Last year. Army beat VMI in the football home finale and that was the last victory I’d seen, including televised games I wasn’t even at.
Back to Saturday: Army stormed ahead in the opening minutes and it was over — people were looking around after about 10 minutes asking, “does Navy really have just two points?” Yes. How glorious was that?
A great atmosphere at Christl Arena, finally, as the cadets turned out in support of the never-ending mission of beating Navy. Army running back Pat Mealy joined his football teammates in the floor bleachers and enjoyed the final moments:
The emotion in this game was overflowing from both benches and the bleachers — when Army plays Navy, regardless of the sport, it’s a battle. A miserable season can be a success with a win over the rival academy. Both teams wanted this.
The game was a sell-out and set a record for attendance at Christl Arena — Army coach Zach Spiker thanked fans today, check out my photo of the game in the letter.
What a frustrating, awful day for Navy. These guys drove up from Annapolis in their “Beat Army” coach bus, took the court and got owned from the first minute.
I got a few minutes to play with some strobes and a pocket wizard, so I fired off a few shots and loved how the lights lit up the cadets in the background:
The cadets also hammered Navy for a recent scandal at the Naval Academy involving football player Marcus Curry, who tested positive for marijuana but wasn’t disciplined or kicked off the team.
The final minutes were incredible — 5000 people knew Navy was cooked. The anticipation built. Army kept the pressure on. And when the “I believe that we will win” chant erupted with 30 seconds to go, the celebration was on. Army used a photo of mine in the big story after the win.
Basketball season is pretty much over for me, although I also shot the men’s lacrosse home opener on Saturday — that’s another post in itself… coming soon, along with more Army football updates and thoughts on the Yankees.