MIRACLE FAIL

It was going to take a miracle to avoid a reatch with Wake Forest in the EagleBank Bowl. Unfortunately, I think Navy football spent its miracle budget for the year on the Temple game. What we all hoped to avoid has become official: Navy will be taking on Wake Forest on December 20th at RFK Stadium. Yeah, it sucks, especially for the Mids. It’s lousy for Wake Forest too, but at least for them it’s a shot at redemption. Navy, on the other hand, is forced to prove themselves on a test they’ve already passed. College football just shouldn’t have rematches. Half the fun of bowl games is playing someone you otherwise wouldn’t see, something we’ve been fortunate enough to have the last 5 years.

Wait… 5 years? Man, that’s crazy, especially for those of you who have been Navy fans for a while. Six straight bowl games. When you were sitting & watching Georgia Tech hang 70 on us in 2001, could you have possibly imagined that such a string of success would be right around the corner? Hell no. Not at Navy, where hard luck was a way of life. But with the right coach and the right players, a phenomenon was born.

Actually, that’s only part of the story. Right coach and right players, but also the right fans. There’s a lot of message board bravado about what “we” need to focus on if “we” need to win, as if the poster was part of the team. It’s a little ridiculous… Except when it comes to bowl games. Bowl games are the one area where fans can have a very tangible impact on the fate of the football team. Chet promised the Houston Bowl that Navy fans would deliver when he campaigned for the Mids to get the game’s at-large berth in 2003. And we did, 20,000 strong. Each year, Chet makes the same assurances to bowl committees; and each year, Navy fans back up his words. When Chet goes to the bargaining table looking for a postseason home for the team, his best leverage is us. That’s why 6 wins gave Navy a spot in Washington this year, Houston next year, and San Diego the year after that.

Which brings me to my greatest concern about playing a rematch with Wake Forest. Hopefully, ticket sales won’t suffer for it. Chet set his target at 30K tickets, which is ambitious even for a game played in our own backyard. But why not set the bar that high? It’s basically a Navy home game, and we have no trouble bringing 30K to Annapolis, right? Well, we’ll see. Hopefully people will get past their disappointment with the rematch and realize that no matter who we’re playing, you’ll have one more tailgate, one more reunion with friends, and one more chance to see Navy football before the long, long offseason. For those of us that don’t live in the area anymore, this game is a chance to get back to Annapolis, too. For me, I’m excited to see Kaipo one last time after he missed so much of this year. I’m optimistic; I didn’t buy my tickets until yesterday, and my seats are terrible. So they must be selling pretty well, right??

Anyway, what’s done is done. I’m sure most of you are miffed at how we ended up with Wake Forest, but really, it was kind of inevitable. Not that you won’t look for someone to blame in all this:

The NCAA

It looked like N.C. State was a possibility at first. It would’ve been nice to get to play Tom O’Brien and the Wolfpack. But N.C. State only finished 6-6, while nine other ACC teams finished 7-5 or better. NCAA rules dictate that a conference must place winning teams in its affiliated bowl games before any 6-6 teams would be eligible. Ironically, that rule exists because of a stunt pulled by the ACC in 2002 to put 6-6 Wake Forest in the Seattle Bowl. It sucks now, but it’s designed to help teams like Navy by ensuring that at-large bids are available for us should the need arise.

The ACC

The ACC could have forced the Emerald Bowl or the Humanitarian Bowl to take Wake, right? I don’t know, maybe. But keeping your bowl partners from selecting the teams they want is a great way to end the business relationship between the conference and the bowl games.

Maryland

Maybe Maryland’s exam excuse was a sham, and they just didn’t want to play Navy. Or maybe it was legitimate. Either way, it doesn’t matter. They weren’t going to fall to the EagleBank Bowl in the first place if the Humanitarian Bowl wanted to pick them ahead of Wake Forest (which they did).

The EagleBank Bowl Committee

So why didn’t the bowl committee try to work an exchange with another bowl game and another conference? Well, who says they didn’t? But you have to find a partner willing to deal. Those other bowl games don’t want Wake Forest any more than the 8 ACC bowls that passed on selecting the Demon Deacons when they had the chance. Besides, in this economy, local bowl games are a plus. I doubt the Wake administration wants to go somewhere else, even if their message board fans would disagree.

Chet Gladchuk

LOL. Seriously?

Anyway, I’m going. I want to see one more game at RFK. I want to see some friends, hit up the tailgate, and generally have a good time. That stuff isn’t dependent on who we play. Hope to see you there.

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44 Responses

  1. i got my tickets last night as well (5 closer to 30k i suppose). and yes, the locations were terrible (500’s in upper level endzone). there were no VIP or premium seats left by that time.

    you know what’s really funny? the 5 tickets to the navy bowl game and 2 tickets to NC state’s bowl game i also bought last night cost almost the exact same amount I paid for my SINGLE ticket to the SEC championship game…ouch

    i’m just excited to FINALLY make it to a Navy bowl game. when I was on the west coast, our game was in houston. then I moved to atlanta for grad school, and Navy was all over the west coast, then they come to North Carolina for a late december game when I was in vegas for new years, then back out west when I stuck back east …ARRRGH!

    now we have a bowl game in DC when my parents and brother both live in annapolis! can’t even begin to tell you how excited i am, even if it is against wake

  2. I’m in 522

  3. Actually, “terrible” is a relative term here. There really isn’t a bad seat at RFK. I always thought that upper deck seats were better for football there.

  4. Got mine last night too! Christmas present from my kids!

  5. i, too, am in 522. given that you see me on facebook now, i’m sure you’ll be able to pick me out. i might even wear my cruise jacket for some lolz

  6. and after watching the SEC game in the upper level endzone, i’m sure that I’ll enjoy these seats…it lets you watch the plays develop, right?

  7. Or you can pretend like you’re playing X-box.

  8. WNAV interview with CG on the A-N pregame, he seemed to imply that he and the EBB committee were trying to horsetrade with some other bowls. Guess it didn’t work.

    Reread your WF stuff. Can’t wait to see what wrinkles we will try. I think our O-line is playing better lately.

  9. Yeah, I have no idea what I’m going to write for this game.

  10. How is RFK over all for a football game? I think the Emerald Bowl game out in San Francisco isn’t much of a venue.

  11. I’m biased because I lived in the DC area for a good bit of my childhood. Mooching off of someone else’s Redskins season tickets and getting to go to RFK was a real treat. It was one of the smallest stadiums in the NFL, but definitely one of the loudest. The small capacity meant that there weren’t any bad seats. In fact, since RFK was designed for baseball too, there isn’t much of a slope to the seats on the lower deck. Upper deck was always a better seat to me. It’s been a long time since I last went to a game there, though, other than DC United.

    The Emerald Bowl was pretty cool when we were there. They set up bleachers in the outfield and put all the midshipmen there. But again, the sightlines were pretty rough from the lower level.

  12. Does anybody know how the amenities are in RFK now that just DC United is there? I’m not expecting M&T Bank Stadium Club Level or anything…

  13. they will sell beer at the game, right? if so, we need to get a directv setup going in 522 so we can play the lou holtz drinking game in the stands

  14. THOTH MIDTHIPMEN CAN REALLY RUN THE WITHBONE

  15. I wouldn’t expect too much out of RFK amenity wise. I was a Nats season ticket holder and from the looks of it, RFK has gone down the crapper since they left. I don’t have high hopes for the quality of concessions, etc on game day….I could care less as long as we win!

  16. and this is why i love Navy fans

    “Both Navy and Wake will automatically receive $250,000. Each school also gets the revenue from tickets sold through its respective athletic department. Navy could ultimately realize a $1 million payout if it sells all 15,000 tickets it has been issued.”

    last i saw we had already sold 13k…any idea on an updated figure? if we were getting section 522 on the night the matchup was announced, I have to guess we’re getting close to our initial 15k allotment

  17. Does anyone feel the announcement of “Going to the Eaglebank Bowl, if qualified” announcement had any kind of detrimental effect on the Team or the Fans, seeing as it came prior to the first game of the season? Especially the part about “vs the 9th Choice from the ACC.” I always thought that going to a Bowl Game was considered a reward for the players for winning as many games on the schedule as they could, with an opportunity to play Up, against a team that they normally wouldn’t be on a schedule with. ie: Florida State,,,or Miami, this year. Also, as I live in Idaho, just what is the point of the Humanitarian Bowl?

  18. no – did we have less fans go to the poinsettia bowl, or the car care bowl, or the emerald bowl? because those were all pre-season deals hammered out with the clause that we go “if qualified” (maybe the EV1.net was too, but I think that was just an at-large bid)

  19. GoalieLax,

    EV1.net was an at-large.
    I have nothing confirm but heard we have already sold out the 15K allotment and asked for more.

  20. USNA98, I hope they still have the Dominic’s sausage stands! Nothing like those sausage sandwiches and a cold beer!

  21. //. Army will be wearing camouflage in one shape or another, while Navy will be wearing white jerseys with blue numbers, plus blue pants with a blood stripe (a la USMC) flanking either side. The stripe will be framed in gold. (You’ll have to take my word on this one).//

    Since that turned out to be bad poop, can we ask where you got your info?

  22. Not to go too far off subject but:

    Somebody mentioned keeping KN for a few years, but I’d like to know about keeping Chet for a long time. I can understand Coaches “moving up”; but I’m thinking AD’s have at least a slightly different dynamic involved. Any thoughts?

  23. Bad poop? That was exactly what they wore.

  24. AD’s move up too

    wonder if honkers and blow accidentally tuned into a CBSCS or ESPNC replay of an earlier A-N game instead of the live broadcast

  25. Hookers and Blow should probably stop using both since his/her reality is getting severely distorted.

  26. Oh, and Chet had his contract extended until 2015. Link here.

  27. Roger that!
    Danke, mein herr

  28. H & B, we Navy types deal in gouge, not poop!

  29. I’ve been debating this, and as much as I dislike the matchup, I still want to go to the bowl game. I’d like to see the seniors in their last game (class of 2009 pride, I suppose). Don’t know if that will happen though. I’ll have to try and rope my dad into buying a ticket with me since none of my friends like (Navy) football as much as I do (losers).

    Is there a difference between buying tickets through navysports.com and Ticketmaster?

  30. You should buy them through Navysports.com, that way the school gets credit for the sale. The more Navy sales the more attractive Navy it to future bowls and the more ammo Chet has to negotiate with.

  31. YES

    When you buy through the school, the money goes straight to NAAA instead of some broker. Also, it gets credited as a ticket sold by the school, which is the leverage I referred to.

  32. MGM-Mirage has it WF -3. Won’t they ever learn?

  33. WF -3 sounds about right. Navy’s win at Wake was great, but it was an upset. Wake probably should beat us.

  34. I think Wake should be favored…they lost 2 of their last 3 but those were to some hot teams (BC, NCSt). As much as I revel in our two consecutive shutouts to finish the season, Wake will be a much tougher game. Then again, I’d love to see a 100% (or close to it) Kaipo for the whole game and see what happens.

  35. CG has already been an AD at a BCS school.

    Wake should probably be favored by Vegas, not sure they should be favored by anyone else.

    Since we already have the next 2 years bowls secure, not sure if tix sales for this game will really matter for Navy leverage. I would imagine that we would be due to come back to this game after San Diego IF this bowl is still around.

  36. It all matters for leverage. It goes to backing up Chet’s words. If he says 30K and we deliver, yay. If he promises 30K and we don’t show, it hurts. Maybe not the next couple years since we’re already locked in, but bowl negotiation is an ongoing process.

  37. Birddog, do you know of any other schools who have locked in three bowl games in advance? Maybe Hawai’i in the Hawai’i bowl?

  38. We’re in a unique position that way because we’re independent. The Hawaii Bowl always takes bowl-eligible Hawaii, but that’s about it.

  39. Anyone else rooting for a nice Hawaiian beatdown of the Irish?
    It would help make the season that much merrier for me anyway.

  40. You’re obsessed with Notre Dame, Gary.

  41. Good catch- you betcha.

  42. Interesting article in the Baltimore Sun 12/7 – “Boise or Bust”. LOL at comments from Twerp fans who try to justify avoiding Navy game.
    Mike – While I would rather see us play Maryland or anyone other than Wake, I appreciate your comments about the game. I feel certain that Navy fans will once again show their support and make another good impression on the bowl selection committess. I can’t leave my business in Alabama this year to go to DC but next year I will be driving to Houston (600+ miles) just as I did six years ago. Beat Wake, again, and again in ’09.

  43. This might be wishful thinking but our defense and offense aren’t loosing too many Ssniors on the depth chart this year. If Ricky continues to improve and Jon or Kyle can replace Matt we may finally have a great offense and a great defense in the same year! What happens if…. just if ….we can go undefeated next year. Are we locked into Houston or could we escape and go to a BCS bowl instead? I know Chet has done an incredible job of getting us into Bowls and maybe what I have described is too far fetched but what happens if we can qualify for a better bowl?
    Tom Rychlik

  44. If the unthinkable happens and we go undefeated, the contracts allow us to go to a BCS game.

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