GUILT

I am a lazy person. Several different forces pull me in all kinds of directions, but laziness usually rules the day. Honestly, I don’t even like writing this blog. It’s a pain, although it’s worth it just to generate some discussion. Either way I’m definitely glad that the burden of meeting a weekly deadline is gone for a few months.

Don’t blame me; blame Newton. An object at rest tends to stay at rest, you know. That is until some external force acts upon the object; Newton’s first law applies to mediocre bloggers, too. I have sort of an internal scale. Doing nothing weighs the heaviest on the scale until enough crap piles up on the other side to make me feel guilty enough to say something about it. Now, with the EagleBank Bowl, Kaipo’s comments, Coach Jasper’s reaction, and Army’s new head coach, there’s just too much going on for me not to be writing. So no more excuses about Christmas (cook your turkey on the grill, it’s the best) or the awesome weather in Florida (top-down driving FTW!) or any other pursuits like “family” and “church” that keep me from posting here. Time to hop back into the saddle and get a-typin’.

We’ll start with the EagleBank Bowl, which we can break into two parts– the game itself, and all the bowl hoopla that surrounds it. First, the game. Unfortunately, being at the game, I did not record the game. I’ve watched the replay a couple of times on ESPN360, but there’s no video breakdown for you guys. (Sorry.) It also made it pretty much impossible for me to watch each play three or four times like I usually do, so this will admittedly be below the usual standard I set for myself for game recaps. But at a high level, it was clear that Wake Forest was determined to keep Eric Kettani from running wild on them the way he did in the first game. It was also clear that Coach Jasper expected this, which is presumably why he employed the heavy formation from the very beginning. With the problems the offense has had blocking on the perimeter this year, an extra lineman to block the likes of Aaron Curry is a wise strategy if you know you’re going to be running outside. It worked at times, but there were just too many missed blocks to move the ball consistently. That, and Wake’s defense is really, really good. Even considering all that, I felt that if the Mids would have scored at the end of the first half to go up 20-0, that probably would’ve broken Wake Forest’s back. Instead, they intercepted a hurried pass from Kaipo on the 2-yard line and started a 98-yard drive for a TD. A possible 20-0 halftime lead became 13-7, and the game’s momentum had turned.

Navy’s defense played well yet again, and helped give the Mids a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to a Rashawn King fumble return for a touchdown. (It felt really good seeing Rashawn run in for the score after the senior missed his last Army game following the loss of his father). The Deacs had a much better game plan this time around, though. Their running game was geared for more carries between the tackles than in the first contest. In the first game, I don’t think they expected Navy’s linebackers to be so fast. They had more success in the second game running straight at the Mids rather than trying to get around them. Riley Skinner played a much better game, too. The Mids weren’t able to pressure him the way they did back in September, and given enough time, his receivers were able to get wide open downfield. That led to the dreaded 3rd & long conversions we all hate. But the defense played well. It was a good game between evenly matched teams. If Wake was hoping to prove that the first game was a fluke, they didn’t.

I was a little bummed about the game for a while, but not too much. I guess I view bowl games a little differently than some of you. I want Navy to win, of course, but I’m much more concerned about getting there. I get way more wrapped up in regular season games. Bowl games, as far as I’m concerned, are a celebration of what the team’s already accomplished. Winning the game on top of that is just gravy.

Which brings me to part two of this little ramble-a-thon, the EagleBank Bowl experience. I can understand those of you who didn’t go to the game because of family obligations or a tight budget (especially this year), but screw the rest of you guys. I didn’t want to see a rematch any more than you did, but there’s no way that would keep me from going to the game. My celebration of Navy isn’t dependent on who they’re playing. I’m going to see Navy, not Team X. As for playing in Washington… How can you not have a good time in Washington DC? In the few days I was there I ate at a ton of good bars and restaurants, got out to Annapolis, saw tons of friends, and had the single most frightening cab ride of my life. All kinds of stories for the grandkids (except for the cab ride, the details of which shall never be repeated). For the more family-inclined, there’s a glut of monuments and museums, plus the Wizards and the Caps both played home games that week. Was it cold? Yes. But it isn’t like you’re going to the beach in San Diego in December, either. Washington is a fun city, especially when an 11:00 kickoff leads to a tailgate that starts at 9:30, starting what became 15 straight hours of drinking. OH THE HUMANITY. Well, 15 hours for some. Closer to 14 for me, because I spent the last hour nursing one beer and trying not to fall asleep while watching the Ravens-Cowboys game. I was one tired dude.

The bowl luncheon— which I did attend, despite my moaning and groaning about the price (viva la hookup)– was so-so. The food was good. I don’t know about $300 kind of good, but I don’t think any of the other bowl luncheons I’ve attended served filet mignon. John Feinstein was an entertaining speaker. Outside of that, it was the usual stuff; bands playing, cheerleaders cheering, team highlight reels, and coaches’ interviews. Wake’s team stood and applauded Navy’s seniors, which was a class move. The only real downside to the whole thing was the laundry list of preliminary speakers who rambled worse than I do. It was nice to see Napoleon McCallum, but other than that it was politician after corporate sponsor after politician. Politicians have a way of cramming a 30 second speech into 15 minutes, and it just kept dragging on. The best part for me was sitting at the same table as Dr. Fair, the head trainer for the team. His stories from his time at Oklahoma State were phenomenal.

Then, of course, there was RFK. I’ve read a few comments on the old lady that were less than complimentary. The only complaint I had was with the concessions; I got in line for a hot dog at halftime, and had moved a little less than half the distance to the counter by the time the third quarter kicked off. That was crummy. Other than that, I’m not sure what you guys look for in a stadium. I tried to give you all the good gouge about sitting in the upper deck. My seat was pretty much the Playstation angle, in the upper deck between the goalposts. It was a great view, which is all I really want. The field looked good and held up well, and bringing in the old PA announcer was a nice touch. Yeah, RFK is old and could use a bit of freshening up, but sitting in my seat and watching the game, I didn’t really notice. And yes, I’m biased, and I know that not everyone remembers RFK as fondly as I do. But still, I didn’t see much to complain about.

Speaking of complaining, I’m sure we were all a little disappointed to read about Kaipo’s postgame comments. Kaipo pretty much threw the rest of the offense under the bus. It’s easy to understand his frustration; a senior playing in his last game, hoping that if he doesn’t win, he at least goes down with his best effort. Apparently that isn’t what he thought he got from some of his teammates. That’s kind of what happens when you’re asked questions in the heat of the moment. Stuff like this can catch us, as fans, off guard sometimes. Fans– especially Navy fans– have a tendency to assume that the football locker room is this perfect little world where all is well and everyone gets along like family, united in purpose under hoo-yah Navy leadership. People forget that the team is made up of actual people. In the real world of actual people, with the  foibles and frustrations of life, stuff like this happens. What was it that Paul Johnson used to say about working hard? About how the more time end energy you have invested invest in preparation for a game, the harder it is to accept anything other than success? None of this excuses what Kaipo said, but I’m not going to put him in the permanent doghouse for it either. They were heated comments after a frustrating, emotional loss. Coach Jasper’s response was fair, appropriate, and necessary, seeing as how he still has to coach the team that Kaipo is leaving behind. Frankly, I probably shouldn’t even be bringing it up this late after the fact. No need to harp on a dead issue.

A more pertinent topic is that of position changes. The shuffling of personnel is a theme of every offseason, and Bill Wagner is already reporting two potential moves that the coaching staff is considering: Clint Sovie to outside linebacker, and Jordan Eddington to fullback. Sovie’s potential move is not unexpected. He’s as fast as they come at the linebacker position, and with the emergence of Ross Pospisil and Tony Haberer inside, it makes it an easier move for Buddy Green to put Sovie’s speed outside to make up for the loss of Corey Johnson. The thought of Sovie, Pospisil, Haberer, and Ram Vela on the field at the same time is enough to make you want the 2009 season to start next week.

Eddington’s possible move from linebacker to fullback is a little more out of the blue. Physically, it’s a no-brainer; at 6-0, 230, Eddington fits the mold of fullbacks past. Plus, he’s fast. Not fast for a linebacker– just plain fast. A part-time running back in high school, Eddington was also a finalist for the state 100 meters crown on the track team. How often do you see that in a linebacker? About as often as you see a LB catch a kick returner from behind, which is exactly what Eddington did against Army. The building blocks are definitely there. The question is how long the coaches have to do the building; Eddington is a rising senior. How much can he pick up in one spring? Even if it doesn’t work out, though, at least it provides some competition for the spring and will make things even more interesting than they were already shaping up to be.

And finally, Army didn’t take long to find a replacement for Stan Brock, reaching out to the west coast to grab Cal Poly head coach Rich Ellerson. Upon the announcement of Ellerson’s hiring, you probably instantly recognized him as the coach who recommended Joe DuPaix to longtime friend Ken Niumatalolo. DuPaix was very successful as Ellerson’s offensive coordinator; would he leave Navy to rejoin his old mentor? Thankfully, no. DuPaix announced through Scott Strasemeier that he’s staying put. That’s good news; the last thing we need is for Army to grab one of the Navy assistants responsible for recruiting Texas. One minor crisis averted.

I’ll talk about the hire more when I do my annual “state of service academy football” pieces later this month. Right now I just want to hand out a few LOLs. Not over hiring Ellerson– he’s a good coach. No, at the moment I must laugh at the rampant inferiority complex that seems to exist at West Point vis-a-vis Navy. I’m sure describing it as such will get some people’s blood boiling, but I really don’t know what else to call it. There is an obsession up there about making sure they point out, unsolicited, how everything they do is better than Navy. An easy example of this would be John Mumford’s comments before the season about Collin Mooney’s superiority to Navy’s fullbacks. And now, we have this:

“They do things out of this triple option that I’ve never seen before,” said Cantelupe, a 1996 West Point graduate and 1995 co-captain. “What he runs I think is superior to what Navy runs. Throughout college football, if you look at who is running the most advanced triple-option football, it’s Ellerson if you see the things that he is doing.”

Now, there’s a few LOLable things here. First, why? Why even bother to make the comparison? It’s as if nothing is validated until it’s stuck in Navy’s eye first. Ellerson is a good coach, but apparently not good enough for some people to let his record speak for itself. Second, Cal Poly’s offenses are good, but what has Cantelupe not seen before? The forward pass? Strange, for a former defensive back. And third, all this talk about Ellerson running the “most advanced triple option…” blah blah. Ellerson is a defensive guy. Don’t get me wrong, he’s no idiot on the offensive side of the ball; he knows a good offense when he sees it, and he brings in coordinators who can run it. But it isn’t Ellerson’s offense. Hell, the architect of his 2007 offense that led all of I-AA is now the slotbacks coach at Navy. So if anyone here is worried that there’s some magical mystery offense that’s going to confound Ricketts Hall’s finest minds– which, by the way, led the nation in rushing for a fourth consecutive year– you’re being a bit ridiculous. At this level there’s rarely such thing as superiority of scheme; only of coaching within the scheme, and then executing it. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Cantelupe should probably wait for Army to stop Navy’s “inferior” scheme once before labeling it as such. Anyway, less chest-thumping, more LOLs. I just don’t understand.

So that should get me caught up for now. The season’s over, so maybe I’ll have some time to get caught up on some things I’ve been meaning to do around here. Season recaps & awards, some more offensive breakdowns, a book review, some Navy history, a look at Georgia Tech’s success and its effect on the future of service academy football, and hopefully another charity fundraiser, among other things… Not to mention basketball heading into Patriot League play, plus lacrosse season. The season might be over, but all is not lost at The Birddog. Even if you kind of wish it was.

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70 Responses

  1. the cab ride was epic

    at least with Navy, GT, and TT all losing in the bowl games (and I’m sure other teams could be lumped in with us), we get another offseason of how gimmick offenses don’t work

    so what of the senior bowl? it’s a 5 hour drive from atlanta, so i’m probably going to have to get a place overnight down there.

  2. The complaint I had w/ RFK is that hardly any of the concession stands were even open! I had to walk halfway around the stadium to find an open concession stand. You would think that they would work a little harder to supply food at a bowl game, but I guess not.

  3. Mike, thanks for your thoughtful and illuminating commentary that helped make this past NFB season so enjoyable. The only disagreement I have is your describing yourself as lazy. And believe me, I’m an expert on lazy. I look forward to reading and thinking through all you have to share on Navy BB, LAX, and especially Navy Football 2009. Thank you.

  4. Mike good stuff on all accounts. Especially the bowl game – it is nice to win our fair share, but the CIC and a winning season is the real metric of Navy Football success. Everything else is gravy.

  5. Mike, have you tried the ESPN 360 beta? It has forward and reverse buttons, unlike the current version. I think you might be able to get a better look at the EBB with it, if that’s still something you’d like to do.

    Did you decide on whether to make a Senior Bowl trip?

  6. I’m leaning towards yes on the Senior Bowl. It’s a night game, which means I can leave the day of. That’s a plus. I’ll also need to get a place overnight, but if it’s only one night it won’t kill me. If I go though, I’ll need to make a sign or something to let Eric know he has supporters in the stands for him.

  7. Your bowl game recap pointed out two things that not enough people recognize – 1) if Wake wanted to prove the first game was a fluke, they didn’t; and 2) bowl games are a celebration of what the team already accomplished. Yeah, it’s great to win them, but it’s the getting there that is more important.

  8. Birddog- You are the best and I will miss our analysis next year about JB and Kaipo. I ams sure my worldly insights will be missed by you too- or maybe they led to your needing a nice break already too (haha).
    Great stuff on all your points as always.
    But one point is I think no rematches should be played in Bowl games- look what happened to Air Force too- They beat Houston and had nothing to prove and Houston like Wake- all to gain.
    Especially we Service Academies who prey on that initial game for some shock and awe which is gone in any rematch.
    Wake was not that much better and I agree we had em dead and buried at 20 if only…….
    I guess we come in ranked about 65 next season but still think we can make the Top 25 if we can beat an unready Ohio State the skys the limit.

  9. After 18 years of not having a top flight head coach I can understand a former Army football captain like Cantelupe, who never lost to Navy in his football career, being somewhat over exuberant about the coaching change. Its sort of like hammering a guy dying of thirst after being lost in a desert for screaming on top of his lungs after seeing an oasis. It could be a mirage but I think Ellerson is the real deal.
    I saw Cal Poly twice the last few years in addition to the You tube video. They run PJ’s offense with some Double wing T motion. They like to run a lot of wingback counters and their screen package with misdirection is pretty interesting. PJ used a similar play on the first play of the LSU game and it went for 40 yards to Dwyer. Unfortunately that was GT’s only big play of the game. The Cal Ploy offense might just be more varied than Navy’s. It is NOT repeat NOT better.
    Anyone who saw PJ’s as OC at Hawaii realized he had to limit his passing package due to QB skill & practice time limitations once he got to Navy. At Hawaii he had Garrett Gabriel pass for 17 Tds passes as a junior then 25 Tds passes as a Senior. We never saw any numbers like that or a wide open passing gane at Navy. If any Army fan thinks next year’s Army QB is going to throw 23 Td passes like Jonathan Dally then they do see a mirage.

    I’m a Navy fan first but unlike a lot on this board I also root for Army. I would cut Cantelupe some slack. Anyone who read a “Civil War” and saw how he made a point to go to Navy’s locker room and seek out Navy captain Andy Thompson after the 1995 game knows he’s a class act.

  10. It wasn’t a commentary on class. It was a commentary on the West Point state of mind. It isn’t limited to football. I don’t judge class by one’s regard for the Naval Academy, anyway.

    FWIW, the play that PJ called to open the LSU game was used extensively at Navy. Mike Brimage took it for a million yards in the 2002 Meadowlands Massacre.

    The limiting factor for PJ at Navy hasn’t been the quarterbacks, it’s been the offensive line. As for Gabriel, those were the teams that PJ inherited. Once PJ had a chance to recruit his own players, the offense looked a lot like last year’s. I wrote about it a year or so ago.

  11. good point about the offensive line. the guys just are better suited for run blocking and pap(playaction passes). and army took a good first step hiring the coach they did, but they’ve got a long way to go before they get where they need to. i believe a cbs commentator made mention of the talent gap. if everything goes right for them, and i actually hope it does, they’re still many years away. by the way, “civil war” is by far the best book i’ve ever read, despite the final score of the game that year. i have actually read it 3 times, and plan on reading it again.

  12. if you want a book to read in the short term, try “Into The Fire” by John Owen. I’ll be doing a book report on it soon.

  13. Mike: The praise that you have received is well deserved and this site is a godsend for those of us who love Navy football (especially those of us on the west coast where service academies are all but ignored) . Section 30’s thanking you “for thoughtful” and illuminating commentary” really hit the mark. Your comments on the regular season being “a celebration of what the team has (sic) already accomplished” is right on the money. Ellerson is a good hire and, although not yet proven, he seems to have a good knowledge of what a service academy needs to compete at this level. Our staff had a great year and I hope that they can continue after their success. I can’t help but think that they (Niumatalolo in particualr) benefited greatly from the fruits of PJ’s labors. The next few years will be pivotal as Coach Niumat must devlelop his own team and identity. I think he is quite capable but my optimism can best be desribed as guarded. PJ is a living legend and is a top 10 coach and a hard act to follow. Kaipo’s comments wer not in the spirit of of the selflessness and team-first attitude that pervades Navy Football and sets them apart fromall others. It is why they can compete successfully in such a competitive arena. I am proud to have a son who is part of a program whose work ethic, integrity and class is second to none. Having almost committed to Army and considering Army’s recent plight, he feels both grateful and blessed.

  14. Mike, I forgot about the Brimage play. I’m getting old. I agree about Hawaii in the Michael Carter years their run pass ratio were similar to Navy

    I understand the Army Alums being pumped up but if they think they’re going to see option football AND the the Cal Poly passing offense they need to guess again.

  15. I received Into the Fire for Christmas. It is a very good book and tells the spiritual connections to the 2007 Navy football season. I recommend it for everyone.

  16. With regards to Army, they are not as bad right now as we were in 2001. Their schedule next year is not as tough as ours was in 2002. I don’t believe they’ll win 6 and qualify for a bowl game, but if Ellerson gets them to click they at least have a chance because of the schedule. I certainly don’t think it will take “years” for them to recover if he is the coach at WP that he has been elsewhere.

  17. How about a book about the last great Navy team 1963?
    I am surprised that has never come out with so many books since then and I would have thought that would be the most interesting of subject combining the football-Kennedy events- a shot at # 1 etc….something we will never see again.
    If anyone here( I am sure some here have pull) has any connections with Feinstein and Clary or another Navy sports writer maybe that can be discussed.
    Tommy “Rat ” Holden was a close family friend from that 63 team.
    If they can write and make a movie about Harvard Ties Yale- then why not 1963 Cotten Bowl and Navys perspectives.

  18. I’m looking forward to your “state of service academy football”. Will it include a recap of the year and how it compared to last years report? You seem to have a particular disdain for Air Force, which I certainly understand. However, after the success they had for so many years, I still find myself measuring our program primarily to theirs. Your regular analysis of the games and the triple option, in particular, has increased my appreciation for that scheme and has even enabled me to look like a bit of an expert when discussing it with friends. Other than your disclosure in a previous blog that you’re the son of a classmate, I’m curious about whether you played in the TO at Navy or simply a sincere fan that studies the game closely. Either way, you’ve got a great blog.

  19. I am extremely disappointed in Kaipo’s post game comments. I understand they were made in the heat of the moment after a tough loss. However, Kaipo is a 1/C at the “world’s finest leadership laboratory,” who service selected Marine Corps Ground. Kaipo should have known better than to blame the loss on his teammates, that is lesson 1 in Leadership 101. Heck it’s lesson 1 of Quarterback 101. Didn’t he learn anything from the quarterbacks he played behind. Kaipo may have been reading too much of his own press and thought he could have won the game if only his teammates hadn’t let him down. This is TO-type behavior, not what should come from someone who could be leading a platoon in combat in 15 months.

  20. http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2008/12_14-20/NAS

    This makes me question my opinion of Kaipo even more.

  21. If my body was breaking down, I’d consider quitting too.

  22. This is more typical than people imagine. You have a competitor who wants to contribute to his team and he’s constantly injured. Quitting goes through his mind. I’m not surprised. I’m glad Jasper wouldn’t let him quit.

  23. You didnt hear JB whine about or lay out any teammates costing him any fumbles and no protection did you?
    He could have easily had a complaint here and there when the line did NOTHING to help him out.
    He always seemed to know “his place” and took the heat.

  24. Shut up, Gary.

  25. Kaipo got the “benefit” of being able to hang around the sidelines all year and watch his teammates win enough games to enable him to come in against an EASY win Army game and then enjoy being the QB in the Bowl game (against a team JB played a large part in beating the first time) and not miss 1 snap and take away 2 games that Ricky Dobbs should have started and earned those starts.
    The coaching staff pampered this kid his entire career but especially at the end here and he turns around and shoots negative spit at his teammates at the end.
    This is the last from me on this – Its inexcusable- period and showed no class and showed why JB got the teams vote as their captain last year!
    I cant imagine too many of Kaipos teammates being too happy even at this late date-those were stinging excuses aimed at others instead of taking the heat himself.

  26. Gary, you’ve hated Kaipo from the beginning. Just shut up.

  27. if you want a book to read in the short term, try “Into The Fire” by John Owen.

    Great book – got it for Christmas. Took maybe an hour and a half to read, too.

  28. Gary-Kaipo was wrong for making his comments, but you have to be blind if you can’t see what Kaipo accomplished at Navy and that Navy was a better team when he was at QB.

  29. NI is right, Gary – your comments are better suited to the current crew at gomids. There were a number of qualified candidates for captain, not just JB and Kaipo – Ant, Tyree, Kettani, Shun, to name a few.

    From those I talk to, and I talk to quite a few, noone is talking about it. The young man made a mistake, and its over.

  30. Nobody condones what Kaipo said, but I’m inclined to cut him some slack. Glad I’m not held accountable for every stupid thing I said to classmates, companymates, etc. in my early 20’s, let alone those things I did. We forget that these guys we like to watch on Saturdays are still young and still learning. I bet he makes a terrific officer. I wish him the best.

    Mike, thanks for this blog. I look forward to it every week.

  31. Thanks for another great season of the Birddog. I look forward to next season and all the postings still to come. Hang in there and keep writing!

  32. Appreciate your comments, Mike, probably because I agree with them, particularly the bowl game.

    As far as Ellerson and Army, I agree with you on why we are reading the smack talk. I think that Ellerson’s biggest challenge is going to be recruiting and dealing with the West Point “culture”. I am not able to pinpoint exactly what it is, but watching Army from a distance and reading their board, I think that Army is a different animal than Navy. I know that’s subjective, and I can’t put it in words, but they just seem to “oink” a bit different than we do. I think Ellerson is in for a bit of culture shock. I know with his background that he has “seen” Army over the years, but not from the vantage point of trying to coach a football team. West Point ain’t California. And West Point ain’t Navy or Air Force, either.

  33. The potential new linebacking core certainly sounds good. What you don’t know is there is another linebacker there that will emerge next year and make the defense even better. If given the chance. For some reason he did not even get on the field this year outside of special teams. Still had 8 tackles on kickoff in less than that many games played. Just keep an eye on the linebacker positon. You will start hearing a new name being associated with that group. His speed and strength can not be denied. Unless the coaching staff is braindead. I am so looking forward to next year. Go Eric, good luck in the Senior bowl.

  34. Yep, I’m sure the coaches would refuse to play a good player for no good reason, since they don’t want to win games or anything.


  35. NI is right, Gary – your comments are better suited to the current crew at gomids.

    Why all the hate directed at gomids? It’s a discussion forum, so it will have, well, discussions, with a wide range of opinions many of which will be different than yours. Some of those opinions will have more merit than others. Stop the hating, dude — you’re not any better just because you post here.

  36. The Gomids board is unreadable, WTD.

  37. Keith-I am sure you are not related to this future Lawrence Taylor and you are looking at it objectively.

    Door-I quit looking at gomids over a year ago. Too many clowns. Discussion boards are only good if you can have an intelligent discussion.

  38. Door – I have no problem with differing opinions, and there is no hate. There are ridiculous statements being made on gomids and some (clearly not all) make factual statements with little or no foundation. Similarly, Gary says that the coaching staff “pampered” Kaipo his “entire career.” Further, he says that this unfortunate incident shows why JB was voted captain. IMO, both statements are ridiculous much like some of the statements on gomids. Even if they were accurate, they would be the internal business of the team, and not the grist of the rumor mill.

    As for your final comment, I post on both (as do you) and I do not think that posting on either makes me any better. I will say that clearly I am not alone in being cognizant of the recent decline of gomids. I am not better, but I am not myopic either.

  39. It’s easier to do damage control here, though. If someone’s a moron, I can say so.

  40. To Whom It May Concern:

    I agree that GoMids has lost something over the “old days,” but the format is much more conducive to multi-topic discussions, so rekindle your down-trodden spirits, press the “ignore poster” button, and get back on the bus. We need to get ready for Lacrosse season!! (and don’t forget basketball, wrestling, etc.). Navy sports need us – (ok, actually, we need Navy Sports) – and we also need a good forum with thoughtful commentary and debate.

  41. Mike,

    If possible, I’d really like to hear your thoughts on the staff Ellerson brings to ARMY. Did everyone leave Cal poly to go with him?

  42. i will continue to look at GoMids from time to time just to see what’s going on, and on the rare occasion post

    the retarded sports posts started to push me away over the fall, but the board really lost me during the election. i know it was a secondary conversation in the wardroom, but i lost a lot of respect for people over there

    now with crap like DuPaix should be the OC, I realize there is little hope left for salvation

    plus I can tell gary he sucks and be in the majority here

  43. LOL

  44. Meanwhile, Navy travels to Elon for its last bball game tonight before conference play. For comparative purposes, Elon lost to VA Tech by 9 in Blacksburg. Navy opens conference play with a 5:00 game on Friday against a struggling Bucknell squad (3-10). To be fair, Bucknell has played a pretty respectable schedule thus far.

  45. Pipe, I hope your wrong on the Bucknell (and I think your are, NavySports has it Saturday at 5:00PM) If not, I’m flying in Friday night for a Navy BBall game that will be in progress while I’m in the air.

  46. It’s on Saturday.

  47. Sorry – seems I am calendarilly challenged!

  48. Mike,
    Other than some of the Bowl Game results, … hope that Santa was good to you this holiday period.

    That was my 1st time in RFK … and we were sitting up in 537. You are right, … the upper deck provided an excellent overlook of the action on the field. Seemed to me that the almost “flat” slope of the lower section seats not the ideal “bird’s eye view” to seriously watch football?

    Goes without saying that a Good football team, with a Good coaching staff will go into this re-match with a detailed plan (and purpose) to counter what Navy did best (and who hurt them the most) back on 27 Sept. Hats off to WF, … but no doubt it seemed the outcome of the EBB hinged on that ill-thrown pass by Kaipo … & the subsequent 98 yard TD drive by WF in the waning minutes of the 1st half. Even then, … with a little better execution by the Navy “O” in the 2nd half (just like in the prior season’s P-Bowl vs the Utes), … that “W” was there for Navy to take.
    Noted that once again you cited the “poor perimeter blocking” for taking the lump of the blame –> In your opinion, … Is this a result of having the wrong personnel in the game, bad technic, a de-emphasis of blocking in practice, the QB “shuffle”, … or perhaps the timing/predictability of play calling??? Just curious on your take.
    Question for 2009 —> Whose cause will Gary champion now???
    Thanx in advance … and Go Navy!!!

  49. Without having the video evidence to back up my claims, I’m reluctant to go into detail. Like I said, it wasn’t on every play. But it only needs to happen once to put the offense in a 3rd & long.

    Besides, I have a feeling lots of teams would have a hard time blocking Wake’s defense.

  50. How about a collective snap-shot of the entire season then??? –> It seemed to be a cited problen for much of the year, … and you did “call them out” for the EBB. I’m not looking to “back you in a corner”, … just asking for your thoughts.

    I do agree that with a fast & talented defense like WF’s, … continuing to call/run the “Quick Toss” play (where there is absolutely zero guesswork on where the flow/ball is going) seemed pretty stupid.

  51. Well for the entire season, we saw games where the slots and wide receivers missed assignments while the tackles couldn’t fight off getting pinched. I have no idea what the cause of the problem was.

  52. In looking forward to next season, has anyone noticed that we play 13 tough games without an open date until the Army game. Somewhere along the way we need some time to rest and heal. Chet needs to change something.

  53. Ok I suck- still doesnt mean that I wont say something that will only add to that!
    As for championing Dad- I gotta hope Dobbs is the one and only ( I liked what I saw) until I see another “diamond in the rough like JB” you wont hear from me.

  54. By the way- those 13 “tough” games include the likes of LATech,WKU,SMU,Temple,Hawaii and Delaware.
    I think this years schedule blew next years away and I know many here get upset by it but the SOS for 09 is looking pretty sad ( especially since Army will drag it down even deeper).

  55. Louisiana Tech and Hawaii were both bowl teams this year, and Temple should have beaten Navy. The schedule has certainly been lightened considerably since the addition of Ohio State, but I wouldn’t take any of those games for granted.

    Gary, you’re out there sometimes, but at least you have a thick skin.

  56. Went to the bowl game…it was awesome. I agree, upperdeck RFK affords a great view of game…like watching on TV. My problem was the advertisement leading up to the game…almost non-existent! Unless I was a Navy fan, I would’ve never heard that a bowl game was happening in DC. There was a whole un-tapped revenue source out there that woud have come to RFK for RFK and been witness to a great college game. Hopefully they fix that next year.

  57. I heard a lot of people say that, Andy.

  58. What Mike said, Gary.

  59. Ok my beef with RFK is personal, like most old stadiums it is not built with the taller person in mind, i.e. a bar in my shins when I sat down. I have become spoiled with the large screens in newer stadiums to watch replays so the one in RFK looked itty bitty. I am a passionate person, so listening to Kaipo complain, my response was, “Screw you! You are the one who threw the INT in the end zone and it got in your head the rest of the game. If it wasn’t for your bad play we would have probably gotten 3 more points before the half and kept WF off the board.” I calmed down and thought about it and had a reality check that there was no guarantee that he would have hit the FG and no guarantee that WF wouldn’t have ran it down for a TD even if they did. So I say let him blow off steam, I will assume he learned from it and move on. I had a classmate who in a tight spot blamed all his close friends for his honor offense and while he got to graduate, lost his integrity and ALL his friends. I ran into him a few years later and he told me he NEVER has betrayed a friend again and it was the costliest lesson of his life. So there is hope in my mind at least.

  60. Guys if you would all post on Gomids it would be better, and it is a medium better suited for more discussion on a daily basis than Birddog, which is a great blog but not as much daily interaction. Some of you do post on GoMids. There are maybe two or three guys that spoke out about DuPaix being the OC, and they got shouted down pretty quickly. Some other threads have been out there too, but if each of you were to give your thoughts and opinions, it can be good. I’m relatively new to both, so I don’t have historical basis like many of you do. Just saying it can be a lot better if those of you who have opinions choose to share them both here and there.

  61. “Well for the entire season, we saw games where the slots and wide receivers missed assignments while the tackles couldn’t fight off getting pinched. I have no idea what the cause of the problem was.”

    –> Wow tbd, … If you have no idea, … then what surely the rest of us pions/morons/idiots must either be clueless … or should be allowed the freedom to form our own analysis & conjecture without undo harse criticisim???
    In all fairness/justice to the players who did execute their blocks/assignments the majority of the time, … I think inserting a “some of” after “where” in your above statement would be appropo … agreed?

    Gary, … Now that JB will be riding off into the Navy Football sunset … I hope that you can find another athlete to support w/ the same level of “misguided” passion??? –> Maybe the entire Army squad??? (o;

    GO NAVY!!!

  62. no, not agreed. stop being so sensitive.

  63. owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwch! Army? They dont need my misguided passion-they stink. If thats what I amm good for I can go to AF.
    Maybe give their QB the same bad results- fumbles etc…haha tHE OLD “REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY” LOCK ONTO SOMETHING OR SOMEONE AND THEN THEY FALL APART under my spell.

  64. Mike- Roger that and Thanks- I think?
    Sometimes my being “out there” is because I am too much a fanatical..I mean I am looking at Top 25 next year- AGAIN….haha
    There he goes….you are all so lucky I dont follow our other sports too closely.

  65. Gary, … JB didn’t “fall apart under your spell” –> He was a talented player & gave Navy fans plenty of terrific memories on a number of occasions. Unfortunately due to a lot of circumstances, … a lot of that “magic” didn’t come to fruition this past season for him. All the class of 2009 players deserve (and have earned) a butt-ton of respect/BZ for their efforts though.

    “Sensitive”??? –> odd term to use. I think I might be more correct here, … but to each their own.

    GO NAVY!!!

  66. Yes, sensitive. Nobody gave you “undue harsh criticism,” and we all know that if I was talking about the defensive line or something, you wouldn’t be so concerned.

  67. Never said that it was me receiving the “undo harsh criticism” … and personally don’t feel that I ever got any here??? I was just speaking in general terms … so sensitive still doesn’t apply as a reply to my comments.

    Oh well … Facts are the facts … even when “biased” folks look objectively at anything. Was trying to point out that every Navy player wasn’t guilty of poor blocking over the course of the entire season (Some actually did an okay job –> Please ask to see the “grades” if you really doubt me). I was trying to stand up for them … and just so happens that one is my son, … So shame on me for actually trying to speak up for him!

    BEAT ARMY!!!

  68. Of course EVERY player didn’t struggle. Thank you for that clarification, I’m sure I was so misleading.

  69. You guys are a funny almost to the point of “GoMids” Mentality…I thought this was about the EB Bowl => pregame events to post-game interviews…Didn’t go to the game once the AD caved in on the “don’t play same team twice” policy….actually, some say he committed us way too soon and others say if he didn’t, we would have been on the outside looking in…I think we would have picked up an at-large somewhere, if only for the Navy draw we get pretty much anywhere (except Boise) in the country…As for Kaipo’s interview, talk about a “whiny” spoiled athlete…the Corps will eat him alive if he comes in with its “all about me” attitude…problem is it’s pretty hard to change if he’s a Senior and been around awhile…

  70. Just trying to keep the record straight straight … and much mahalo for your efforts in putting out the “straight poop”.

    I guess I was a little confused when one of your earlier posts clearly stated “disagree” when I had queried about the caviot of applying “some of” to your statement about the perimeter blockers not executing??? That was my point.

    Sorry to waste your time. Beat Army!!!

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