The Washington Times broke the story last week that the District of Columbia Bowl Committee is almost ready to submit their application to the NCAA to put a bowl game in RFK Stadium as early as 2008. And to top it off, they want Navy in it every year.
If you think back to where the program was 5-6 years ago, the state of the program today is a small miracle. In 2002, Navy football was coming off of a 3-year record of 3-30. The last Commander in Chief’s Trophy win was in 1981. The stadium was slipping. People debated whether or not the program even belonged in I-A. Today, the team’s record over the last three years is 27-10, we’ve won 4 straight CIC Trophies, the stadium is gorgeous, one bowl game has already been specifically created with Navy in mind (Poinsettia), and now we’re on the verge of a second. Can you believe it? I know that there will be those who turn up their noses at this DC game, but I hope that they keep it all in perspective. This is a great thing for Navy football.
A lot of people think that RFK Stadium is a dump. I will reluctantly agree, although I still think it’s a great place to watch a football game. And while it might not be in the greatest neighborhood either, the long-term future of this game (should it happen) is probably at the Nationals’ new ballpark, part of a larger redevelopment plan in SE. I’d love to see the game played across the Anacostia River at DC United’s planned stadium at Poplar Point, but as of now that facility will only hold 27,000; not enough for NCAA certification.
In addition to Navy, there are several conferences who would probably love to be a part of this game. The first one that comes to mind is the ACC, which would almost certainly like to find a new game so that it can drop Boise. The ACC, Big East, MAC, and Big Ten all have schools within 200 miles of Washington.
If this game does happen, I doubt that Navy would commit to it every year. I imagine a rotation between this game, the Poinsettia Bowl, and then a third year where we see what kind of one-off arrangements can be made (like Charlotte). East coast, west coast, wild card. Pure speculation on my part, of course, but it’d be tough to beat that arrangement.