As I write this Navy has just kicked off to Army for the 111th time. Most football fans won't care. Neither team will go to a bowl this year. They are ranked 119 and 120. But the game does matter to those involved, the players and the fans who root for them. Not a single player on either team will go to the NFL next year. But the players who graduate will go on to more important but significantly less lucrative careers. Navy quarterback Kriss Proctor will be a Naval Flight Officer. Fullback Alexander Teich will start training to be a Navy SEAL. Guard John Dowd has a 3.91 GPA on a six course academic load that includes reactor physics. He wil be assigned to submarines. Army linebacker Andrew Rodriguez has a 4.14 GPA in mechanical engineering and will be going into the infantry. Both sides want to win and wil leave everything they have got on the field. But when it's over they know it was just a game.
I close with a quote from General Douglas MacArthur which is engraved in stone over one of the entrances to an athletic building at West Point: "On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days and other fields will bear the fruits of victory."
As a post script I note that on this Heisman Trophy Saturday, Army has three Heisman winners and Navy has two.