This Saturday is chock-full of college football games with HUGE implications. Oregon will be walking into the LA Coliseum looking to remain undefeated against Matt Barkley and company. Unbeaten K-State and Golden Domer squads will be looking to keep their magical seasons alive. And of course, there’s some little game down in the Bayou, as #5 LSU hosts top-ranked Alabama in a rematch of last year’s two, *ahem*, highly-entertaining slugfests.
But while these games dominate the media’s attention, there is a far more important round of pigskin taking place at noon this Saturday in West Point, New York. The Army Black Knights will be playing host to the Air Force Falcons at Michie Stadium, with the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy at stake. It will be a game lacking in star power, yet plentiful in pride, patriotism, and sacrifice. (Not to mention, AFA runs that delightfully fun to watch triple option.)
The men who take the field for the Service Academies face trials and tribulations that most of us could never imagine. Ideally, they should serve a reminder to all of the pretty boy, Communication major, BCS conference players who complain about having to attend study hours in lieu of going to the bar. But for whatever reason (Read: the “put winning and bowl revenues above all else” mentality), that just doesn’t happen. And it doesn’t help matters that these heroes and role models are cast aside from the media spotlight due to a lack of what are ultimately trivial pursuits, like collegiate national championships and New Year’s Day victories.
It’s total bullshit that this game has been relegated to the great digital unknown that is CBS Sports Network, but alas, that’s the age that we live in. People nowadays would rather keep up with the Kardashians than spend a minute with Uncle Sam. If your house doesn’t have CBS Sports Network, steal a pledge’s credit card and order it. At the very least, you’ll have a full slate of NAIA basketball games to degenerately gamble on this November.
A lot of us like to talk about how the mere playing of the Star Spangled Banner burns a hole into our pleated khakis. About how we take pride in camouflage being America’s away colors. This Saturday is your chance to prove it. During your tailgate, dust off the old projector and plop it down onto the front lawn. Maybe sway along to a few renditions of “U.S. Air Force Song” or “The Army Goes Rolling Along.”
The point is this- do something. Think of it like the following. A lot of us maybe aren’t picture perfect Christians, but we still find it in us to go to church on Ash Wednesday to pay our respects. It’s one evening out of the year that signifies a stronger devotion. Similarly, the Air Force-Army matchup…it’s only four quarters. The players involved, however, will go on to defend your freedoms for decades.
Maybe no one else will be watching, but you should be. It’s your duty as an American.