TUESDAY POLL: WHO YOU ROOT FOR, PINHEADS, BASKETBALL, AND LAST WEEK’S MVP

Last week I asked if you cheered for the other service academies. If your answer was yes, I also asked what you thought of those that don’t. The results are in, and about 17% of you think I’m a classless jerk, mostly because I root only for Navy. Eight voters thought I was a classless jerk regardless of my rooting preference. That was the poll choice reserved for Army and Air Force fans, “navyblue12,” BLOOTERS, and people who think Riley Skinner is better than Nate Davis. Gotta make sure everyone’s voice is heard, you know. Anyway, it was pretty even between those who root for everyone and those who root only for Navy, and Army is clearly preferred over Air Force (roffles). What, you guys don’t like Fisher telling us our new way to count to 10?

Moving on to this week, I’d like to talk a little basketball. I haven’t written much about the basketball team yet this year, partly because football keeps me busy and partly because I’m not sure I have anything worth reading. That doesn’t mean I’m not totally pumped about this team, though. The Mids are sitting at 7-2 after a big week, defeating two teams they lost to last year (UTSA and Penn) while putting up a heck of a fight against Virginia Tech on Sunday. After an inexplicable stinker against Towson to open the season, Navy rolled to a 7-game win streak. The best part about that winning streak was how the Mids were winning. Navy used to be very formulaic; if they won, either the team shot lights-out or Greg Sprink carried them to victory. This year, though, Billy Lange’s squad is getting it done any number of ways. They’ve won when they shot well. They’ve won when they shot terribly. They’ve won as a team. They’ve won with a player carrying the team on his back. They’ve won pretty, won ugly, in regulation and in overtime. They’re winning games they would have lost last year, and they’re still getting better.

Which brings me to this week’s question. It was a heck of a week for both the Navy football and basketball teams, highlighted by some outstanding individual performances. Out of all of them, who was last week’s MVP? The candidates:

  • Shun White: 148 rushing yards, plus 2 TDs (1 receiving). Went over 1,000 rushing yards for the year.
  • Kaleo Kina: Named Patriot League Player of the Week for the second consecutive week after averaging 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 3 games.
  • Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada: Ran for 43 yards and threw a TD pass vs. Army. More importantly, returned from a hamstring injury to run the offense to near perfection.
  • Ross Pospisil: Registered 12 tackles and a forced fumble in stuffing Army’s running game.
  • Adam Teague: Shot 62.5% from beyond the arc for the week and averaged nearly 15 points per game.
  • Nate Frazier: Registered 7 tackles, including 1.5 behind the line of scrimmage, anchoring Navy’s defensive line and holding the nation’s 11th-leading rusher to only 54 yards.
  • Eric Kettani: Ran for 125 yards and a TD, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
  • Ram Vela: 6 tackles, a sack, and a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The list is long. The candidates are worthy. Go forth and vote.

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56 Responses

  1. I voted for Nate “the great” as he was a mountain force there in the middlle and he collapsed that line many times and had Mooney wishing he never had the ball a few times I am sure.
    We will need that repeat against Wake and alot of us look forward to seeing him next year- maybe a potential All America East candidate?
    By the way maybe after we beat Wake again maybe Coach Grobe will find it in his heart to vote for Navy in his votes.

  2. Really tough to pick an MVP form that list. All excelled. My vote went for Kaipo. He came back from a long layoff and led the team expertly. If he was sharper at the passing game, we could have added Tyree to your list. BEAT WAKE!!!

  3. Voted for Ross Pospisil. The way he filled the gaps even on the plays he didn’t the tackle really effect the Army running game. He has had a heck of a year nearly 100 tackles.

    I’m excited about the Bowl game. To see other game will be great, I only missed the Duke game.

  4. Lots of worthy candidates but gotta pick a football player. Hoops is off to a great start, but the footballers just destroyed their arch-rival. I picked big Nate because all Army had offensively all season was Mooney, and thanks largely to Nate, they couldn’t do anything, hence shutout.

  5. I’m voting for Nate. He was wrecking Army up front. And those guys rarely get the press that the quarterbacks or slot backs get.

  6. Man, I should’ve named this the “admit you don’t watch basketball” poll.

  7. I voted for Pospisil as I think he just keeps getting better and better and has had a tremendous season and the last few games he has been outstanding (and this has nothing to do with me sitting behind who I think is his sponsor mom (or family friend) during Navy home games and what appeared to be th entire clan at A/N ;)

    Oh, and I’d watch basketball if it was ever on TV, but don’t get real excited about it until after Jan. 1 and the PL begins.

  8. Pospisil. He’s a madman out there. Who else is phsyched to see him play in ’09?

    Are Adam Teague and Jon Teague brothers?

  9. Yessir

  10. KK was great, but the basketball season is in its infancy and the football team just played its biggest game of the year on national TV. No comparison. SW was MVP……his TD run set the tone and he was huge almost every touch.

  11. That’s your understanding of “fair use”? Is it that hard to credit the photography that you are stealing?

    Duty, country… two out of three ain’t bad.

  12. Phil,
    I too sit a few rows behind Ross’ sponsor mom, “can I get an Amen” was screamed every time he had tackle all season long. Believe or not, that never got old. Also, I taught him in Plebe Leadership class…so my vote may be a little biased.

  13. BlueFalcon–
    1) Learn to use this “internet” thing. You’re responding to comments that weren’t made on posts that have nothing to do with whatever you’re talking about.
    2) And you’re doing it from a GOVERNMENT COMPUTER?! GASP

  14. Dou + Che = BlueFalcon

  15. I’d actually be very interested in what exactly BlueFalcon was talking about, can you please elaborate?

  16. BlueFalcon doesn’t like the way I called out West Point for the ASO. So now he/she/it makes random posts to tell me how I’m stealing pictures.

  17. Shun all the way. That run demoralized Army from the outset. Remember that long run for a touchdown by Army in the ’96 game? We were all saying, “Oh no, here we go again!” Lucky for us that was a truely lame Army team but after losing 4 years in a row it definately felt like a dagger in the heart. Honorable mention to the punter who kept his cool and kicked a bomb from the goaline. The stats showed a 14 yard punt, it was well over 50 yards and might have been the spark Army needed to get things rolling.

  18. That was the 97 Army game. The amazing thing was how the defense absolutely crushed Army after that run.

  19. Went with Shun White probably more for a full season reason..he helped me win a couple weeks of fantasy football this past year. Gotta give some love back!

  20. I voted for Pospisil. On nearly every play he was at the ball. If he was not the main tackler then he was there ready to pick up anything that slipped though. That is the mark of a fantastic linebacker. It was hard to pick between him and Frazier though. I do have a weakness for linemen but Pospisil stood out more in my mind.
    Also, I freely admit that I do not watch basketball.

  21. My vote was for Kaipo because he got the ball where it needed to be and had the Army defense befuddled. KK had a great weekend (and start to the season) but it was Army weekend and everything else is secondary.

  22. Well I know I can’t say that Dave doesn’t watch basketball…

  23. In the ’97 game, did Army even get a first down the rest of the game?

  24. Yea, Moose, thanks for bringing up Delahooke’s incredible handling of the bad snap. That was insane and almost gave 35,000 people on one side of the stadium a heart attack.

  25. Bird-Dog:

    I don’t think I saw any play where Kaipo had to explode, except for the leap for a first down on 4th and 3. Did I miss any? Isn’t it great that we can legitimately argue over the MVP? I think Tyree was about a total of 30 inches from having a monster game. I just can’t watch B-ball, college or pro, anymore. I was probably spoiled by Whitaker, Wojcik, and Robinson.

  26. There weren’t any plays where he had to turn on the jets, but there were a couple where he kept his legs moving and fought for some extra yards. He was pretty confident out there.

    As for the basketball team, they’re an exciting bunch. Give ’em a shot!

  27. PS

    Shun by a whisker, or a whole beard-full! ;-)

  28. It’s funny that next year it might be the defense as much as the offense that will excite Navy fans…

  29. El Cid ’85, I got the “98” hockey jersey, you sit right behind me?

  30. Adam Teague. Am I the only one who watched the VT game?

  31. VT played?

  32. Phil,

    You got it.
    You missed the Temple miracle game, Ross caused the fumble.
    I guess all those Amens payed off. My daughter sat in you spot and was cheering just as crazy as I.
    Are you heading to RFK for the Bowl game?

  33. Poll aside, the Nate Davis vs. Riley Skinner comparison will never get old. Pure internet gold.

  34. HARRIS FOR THREE……….. BANG!!!

  35. Cool! I did catch it on the tube with about 9 minutes to go, :). I was prepping a bedroom for an arrival in May. I’ve still got a bunch of stuff to do (tapin’ and muddin’) so I won’t be heading to the bowl game, besides, I can only do one cold game a year, ;)!

    As for another comment on the poll, I think Wyatt had a great game as well. The difference was that all of Army’s big plays were for very few yards and by that I mean, if they got into the second level or secondary, Wyatt tracked them down quickly. I thought that was/is the difference between Navy and Army, the speed on Navy’s team. A bust into the second level with Navy’s slot backs or QB resulted in huge yardage, if not a touchdown, Army, not so much.

  36. Wyatt did have a good game. He was a missile running in on run support. Buddy didn’t exacly respect the Army passing game.

  37. I wouldn’t have respected them either, what with Army WR’s “short” arms.

  38. WOOT

    Navy basketball wins again. Another exciting win, brought to you by Pete Medhurst. 8-2 heading into exams.

  39. Withholding my vote so as not to offend either a FB sponsor kid or a BB sponsor kid.

  40. P.S. Kaleo was a monster tonight in a hard fought game against the Mount.

  41. The football guys are hard to pass up, but KK is playing unbelievable BBall…I thought Sprink was a big loss, but its like KK stepped right into his shoes, shooting, defending, rebounding…its going to be a great BBall season, just wish more games were on TV (I know, I’m spoiled from football).

  42. Mike,

    You probably already saw this, but just in case:

    Feinstein on the BCS
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/08/AR2008120802457.html

    Skip down half-way to:

    There is one other thing college football needs sooner rather than later if one truly cares about the traditions of the game: someone who can fix Army’s broken football program. The Cadets (who need to stop this silliness of calling themselves the Black Knights) were humiliated on Saturday for a seventh straight year by Navy. The final score was 34-0 and the game was over when the Mids scored three minutes in to take a 7-0 lead. You could actually see the players on the Army sideline sag as they watched a re-run of the same nightmare they have lived every year since 2002 begin to unfold.

    Navy has done just about everything right since it hired Paul Johnson seven seasons ago. It will play in its sixth straight bowl this year (and not with a 6-6 record; it is 8-4) and it has now won an almost unthinkable 13 straight games against Army and Air Force.

  43. Kaipo – Despite injury, looked like he had played all year.

  44. Shun by a whisker, or a whole beard-full! ;-)

    Funny… but over on the Army side, that’s all anyone can talk about. No accountability, no analysis, not discussion of what we need to do to fix things… just a lot a whining about breaking with tradition WRT the uniforms and whether Shun had a valid shaving profile.

    If that’s all anyone wants to talk about, then Navy can put money down today for #8. It’s money in the bank. (Well, maybe not the right metaphor these days, but you know what I mean…)

    I haven’t heard a substantial discussion from my side of the street in ages. There’s a lot of talk about downgrading the program so that the cadets can concentrate on more important things, like drills and parades and whatnot. While over here on the Navy side, you folks are discussing Xs and Os and showing that you really understand the game. I can understand the occasional ebb and flow of talent… this year one team’s up, next year the other… but how did the football intelligentia margin get so wide?

    I’m pretty sure you folks realize that you have a better team these days… but do you also realize that you have a significantly better informed fan base? Show me an Army fan website with this level of analysis and this thoughtful critique? It doesn’t exist, best I can tell.

    When folks don’t like their candidates for political office, they often say, “We get the government we deserve,” meaning that if you don’t participate in politics, then you have yourself to blame when things go badly. Lately I’ve been hearing a variation of that, “we get the economy we deserve,” meaning that our poor choices as a society have left us where we are, and not any singular incident of incompetence. Well, my spin of that theme is, football fans get the teams they deserve. And Army and Navy are all the evidence one needs.

  45. RMAS–
    I saw that Feinstein article. Funny you should bring it up… We had a discussion here about Feinstein not too long ago when I revealed that I usually disagree with just about everything he says. While we can quibble over the details of his column (and quibbling is 99% of what we do around here), it’s hard to argue against his point that Army football is broken, and it’s affecting the Army-Navy Game. It’s a real concern; both of our athletic departments rely on TV money generated by that game, and if it isn’t getting ratings, we’re both going to suffer. Now that it will be played on the second weekend of December starting next year, there aren’t any more weekends left to which it can be moved. If the move doesn’t work to generate ratings (which have been slipping pretty badly), we’re both in a world of hurt when the TV contract comes up for renewal next time.

    I appreciate the compliment on the site, but I think you overstate the differences between our respective fanbases. This is definitely a “there but for the grace of God go I” kind of a situation. Don’t think that Navy fans would be any different if the roles were reversed. Actually, the whole reason I started this site was because I wasn’t getting this kind of Xs & Os talk from the other Navy site, at least not like there used to be a few years ago. The team’s long-term success has sort of brought out a new crowd. I was just telling someone yesterday that the old site used to be football people talking about Navy, whereas now it’s Navy people talking about football. There’s nothing wrong with that, necessarily, but it doesn’t do much to feed my need to truly understand what happens on the football field and in the business. It also leads to some pretty ridiculous criticism, the same way you’d probably get ridiculous criticism from random football coaches commenting on Navy and Marine Corps affairs. I am in no way an expert on football, but my hope is that by changing the nature of the discussion, we can all be better fans. More often than not, understanding what’s going on leads to an appreciation for what we have… Something that Navy fans say they do, but I’m not always positive about how genuine they are.

    Anyway, glad you had a chance to look around here a little after the rough start.

  46. The “philosophical” side of tbd –>Wow! (o; (o;

    Last week’s MVP: If you are going to give it to Shun, … then need to include his pair of blocking A-backs who selflessly did their duty (knowing up-front SW was going to be the designated “pitch man” just about every TO play called). –> Therefore, my vote goes to co-winners, Pospisil & Nate Frazier. They were awesome in completely styming the Army “O”.

    GO NAVY … Beat WF!!!

  47. Probably no surprise, but I voted for Kettani. All I heard about all week and year was Mooney, and Kettani was probably a little ticked off, and he let his playing do the talking. What a tough kid and a class act. He will be tough to replace, but I am sure the next kid will be tough as nails too.

    I would like to write in my 2nd place vote of Billy Lange. I saw my first live game of the year at Penn and watch VT on Sunday. Not a whole ton of talent there, but they play smart, hard, and unselfish and Coach Lange shows a lot of passion off the bench, and it seems that those guys respond.

  48. Mike,
    From a previous post, I want to clarify: isn’t the mesh charge when the read key crashes the FB?

  49. The mesh charge is when he looks like he’s taking the fullback– maybe plays him with his hands or something– but turns upfield and takes the quarterback at the last second. We did a lot of it to Army.

  50. Mike,
    Thanks for correcting my faulty memory again, those 2 years on DEYO blur together. I also agree with your post to RMAS due to the fact that we went 2-20 my first two years at the Boat School under “up the middle” Chump. We heard all the same things RMAS was talking about, how the Mids and Grads don’t support the program, we should move to IAA rating to be competitive, blah, blah, blah. Charlie did a good job of improving the spirits of the beaten down Navy team, heck I remember the joke was that opponents were moving their homecoming to Navy’s visit to guarantee a win, but he wasn’t the answer. We needed someone to run a PROGRAM with limited resources. Cue in PJ. The man may not have been the most PC guy in the world but he got the job done, and more importantly assembled a kick butt staff to support him and as a result, his legacy carries on.

  51. Weatherbie catches a lot of heat, but he was the right man at the right time. He just wasn’t the right man forever.

  52. If I gave the impression that I was knocking the ‘Bee I wasn’t. He was exactly what we needed at the time, a positive guy to rid Navy of Chump’s darkness. The only knock I have against Charlie is he should have kicked the field goal and gone up 2 scores. That’s all I have to say about that.

  53. Mike,
    Do you have a book where I can study these terms? Or at least recommend one that’s good.

  54. There are books, but I’m hesitant to stress the terminology too much because what’s in the book isn’t necessarily what the Navy staff calls these things. I’ve already heard a few things from Niumat that are different. I just use the book names here because I need to give names to the phenomena I describe for simplicity’s sake.

  55. I give Kaipo the nod. He is a magician at QB. As far as basketball the loss of Sprink was addition by subtraction. Much more of a team this year.

  56. I appreciate the compliment on the site, but I think you overstate the differences between our respective fanbases. This is definitely a “there but for the grace of God go I” kind of a situation. Don’t think that Navy fans would be any different if the roles were reversed.

    To some extent I’m sure that’s true. But I’m not seeing a lot of intelligent life on my side of the field right now. Whining about Shun’s beard is the most substantial topic of conversation these days. And that no one should be considered as the new Army coach unless he has a Heisman or national championship (both at Army) on his resume. They might take a genetic clone of R. E. Lee, if that was made available.

    Back on thread… sorry for the digression…

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