Some hanging chads to deal with before we get into the meat of the game:

Ratings. Army-Navy was pushed back a week to give it a Saturday of its own, in the hopes that being the only game in town would increase ratings and justify the large amount that CBS is paying for the broadcast rights. It appears that the move had its desired effect, as overnight ratings for the game were up 75% from last year, drawing a 4.2/10 share. That’s the highest rating since 1999. It’s good, but is it what CBS was hoping for? My guess is yes. By comparison, the ACC Championship game drew only a 1.6, while Michigan-Ohio State drew a 4.2. In case you’re wondering, the SEC title game drew an 11.1.

Uniforms. Listening to some people, you’d think that ratings for the game would have been 2-3 points higher if the sight of Navy’s uniforms didn’t turn viewers into pillars of salt. I get that not everyone liked them, but some of you act as if they were an affront to God Himself. I know I’m in the minority, but I liked them. Not that I’d want the team to wear them in every game, but as a one-off for Army-Navy, I thought they were pretty sweet. For those of you complaining about tradition, uniform gimmicks are the Army-Navy tradition. Over the years we’ve seen everything from orange helmets, to blue helmets with script “Navy,” to Chinese characters, to throwbacks, to “Beat Army” and “Drive for Five” sewn onto jerseys. If Nike rolls out jerseys with a splash of red as a nod to the Marine Corps for the Mids to wear for their most visible game, then I’m all for it.

By all accounts, the players like new unis, as did recruits. No, recruits probably won’t pick a school based on how their uniform looks. However, the fact that Nike likes to use Navy to roll out special edition uniforms reinforces the idea that Navy is big-time football. And that is something that resonates with recruits. I know most you didn’t like the look, but go easy on the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It wasn’t the end of the world, and probably won’t be the last time you see those uniforms.

TV coverage. Ugh.

38 thoughts on “ODDS & ENDS

  1. usmc53

    I’m glad to see the ratings were up. With all those people watching, I wish Navy’s offense had put on a little bit more of a show, but at least we won the game, played great D, and had a couple of nice drives in the second half.

  2. Mike

    “For those of you complaining about tradition, uniform gimmicks are the Army-Navy tradition.”

    This is a great point.

    “…they were an affront to God Himself.”

    But this is still true. They were hideous, even worse than last year. Surely we can appeal to recruits without looking like clowns.

  3. Navy 93

    I generally liked the unis for just one game. I doubt it is a majority position with the WP alums, but there is some chatter out there that USNA and the Navy in general are not pulling their weight in this war. It was a nice reminder that the Marine Corps is an option for our grads. Some people need that reminder despite the contribution of those in the Navy leading Army troops in places like PRT’s, etc. and depite the fact that 16 of our 32 Senior FB players will be headed off to TBS next summer.

    I honestly don’t care what we wear as long as we win!

  4. tphuey

    53, our lethargic O may have been a trick to fool Missouri in their game planning. We may have surreptitiously sent a subliminal message that preparing for our Triple Option attack wasn’t worth sweating over.

    I also think that all the holding calls early on, no matter how valid or ticky tacky, may had had an influence on how our O-Line blocked for the rest of the half. If you are afraid to make a mistake, you may be just a little less aggressive in your execution.

  5. DJ

    I don’t really care for the uniforms, but I never did think of the Nike/recruit angle. I remember being recruited by various schools and I was always secretly admiring the gear. I also got a half dozen texts regarding the uniforms from people who had not texted about Navy football all year.

  6. Frank

    I can remember wearing “baby blue” with stripes of gold on the shoulder . Looking back it doesn’t seem cool but when I wore it I thought it was pretty neat. As a certified OF I prefer our Navy with gold pants but screw traditional if it helps us win. P.S. When I coached one year I put our receivers in international orange helmets ( I stole that idea from Navy)

  7. DotBone89

    On the TV coverage:

    I really thought when I saw Verne and Gary were doing the game, we were “fleeting up”. Then I heard them do the SEC champ game. WOW. Then, they were worse for ARMY-NAVY. I will immediately begin marching tours.

  8. Bob

    I liked the uniforms, but thought the throwbacks worn vs. WKU were extremely sharp. Really impressed with the character of our men – never quit effort and tough competence – a reflection of quality leadership from KN, BG, IJ and crew. Easy to be proud of this group. TV coverage was tough to stomach, but the intro with parents of players from both teams was outstanding. Mike, thanks for this venue and for your time and expertise – as a football and Navy fan, I am hooked.

  9. GoNavy83

    I like tradition, but that is not why I like our normal unis. I like them because they look great and are unique. No wrath of God or whatever, just my preference. And I like having special unis for special games, but they don’t have to be ugly.

  10. laxdog

    one good part of the tv coverage – after KN’s post game interview, the announcers were so choked up they could hardly make it to comml.
    style points aside, it came through that they got A-N.

    I was more upset with them not getting back to live action soon enough to see the alignments prior to the snap (even on DVR replay)

    I really enjoyed A-N a week later as the only game. Helped bridge the attention span gap between reg & bowl season.

  11. gonavy921

    The announcers were so so. Both seemed way off at times and others (like the end of the B/G) they were on target. The high rating was good to see.
    I thought the unis looked great for the game and its good to bring back the echos of the past regarding style and change. Just imagine if we wore red helmets to honor the Marine Corps……

  12. hunkerdawg

    I liked the uni’s for the most part – thought they were pretty sharp for a ‘one-off’… But, I’d love to see it become tradition that both teams wear “throwbacks” in this game every few years. I loved Navy’s uni’s vs WKU!

    Okay, that’s my last Tim Gunn fashion comment.

    Was at the game so missed the TV coverage until catching bits and pieces on CBS-CS today. I was happy Vern and Gary didn’t get overly caught up in the “these guys are giving everything and are super-patriots…” That’s all true, but sometimes, I think broadcasters treat Navy football like they aren’t a very good football team or have good athletes – just that they’re “so darn hard working and disciplined…” So, was glad they didn’t go off the deep end with that. Other than that, I do think, watching SEC games this year, that Vern may not be as, ahem, sharp, as in his younger days.

    Now, on to Houston! Go Navy!

  13. laxdog

    hunkerdawg – don’t know if you caught it on your replay snippet, but Gary Danielson said almost exactly what you did – something like (I paraphrase) : “it’s easy to get caught up in the A-N hoopla, but give these guys credit as FB players, they take it seriously” (or words to that effect).

  14. JFH

    Worst TV coverage moment… sideline interview during the critical Army fumble. I HATE THIS… interview during non-commercial breaks in action. Biggest play of the game and we’re on the side line with a pip of the GAME. The director should NEVER break from the action on the field especially in a game that is still close.

  15. KoutetsuKaigun

    Mike, excellent point about uniform changes being a part of the experience. Last year the uniforms brought about a change for the better with the addition of the fouled anchor and the eagle, globe, and anchor to the regular uniform. This year, if we are lucky, I would like to see the benefit of these uniforms be the addition of the blue pants to the away uniform. Aside from that, I did not like the jersey but it was far from the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine.

  16. Bill73

    Glad to see more people watched the game this year, even if we did have to wait an extra week. I thought the announcers were just adequate, but that Ian Eagle and Boomer Esiason did better jobs in recent years. Just because the ones selected to do the game this year are supposedly a veteran announcing team, doesn’t mean they are better. The big difference was that Ian and Boomer would each spend a few days at both Acadamies the week before the game, and also shoot some pieces there and do interviews. It is obvious Verne and Gary did not do this. The name (mis)pronunciations really bothered me, Ram V-ee-la and Ross Pospis-eel? If you are going to announce the game, at least know the right names. And what was with “Coach Kenny”, are they on a first-name, buddy-buddy basis with KN, or do they not know how to pronounce his name either? I agree that the best part of the broadcast (besides the actual game and outcome, of course) was the piece with the parents of the players. Of course the announcers had nothing to do with that. There was a nice interview done by the sideline reporter after the game with Ricky Dobbs that was not put on live by CBS, and I had to see later on the internet. I actually thought the uniforms were a nice tribute to the Marines. From what I have read, they plan to wear those unis for the bowl game as well, at least if they get the dark uniforms. They did the same last year with the Army-Navy unis, wearing them again in the Eagle Bank Bowl.

  17. I think they said “Kenny” because every time they tried to say “Niumatalolo,” they sounded like they were choking on their own tongues. I agree with you, Bill. I know that Lundquist and Danielson are the CBS varsity, but they clearly didn’t prepare very well, let alone put in the preparation of Eagle and Esiason. It was disappointing.

  18. Navy72


    Excellent point about A-N game and uniforms. Remember my youngster year, ’69, when Navy wore regular uniforms for warm-ups and came onto field with special, highly forgettable uniforms. Classmate on team told me that players did not even know of special unis. We then got pounded by Lynn Moore (left, right, middle) all day long. 27-0 Army. Painful to watch.

    I thought TV coverage was so so. Missing fumble recovery in 4th quarter was unforgivable. Gary Danielson was clearly moved at end of game after B&G. Nice moment.

  19. Bill73

    I believe finals start this week, then Christmas break. Actually, I think the mids have to wait one LESS week to go home after the Army-Navy game!

  20. Witt94

    I for one didn’t like them, I thought too much red. I would almost rather have a red jersey as a one-off game to give some salute to USMC. Kind of like ND wearing green jerseys.

    I don’t have a problem with the one-offs for a game like Army-Navy. But if I had my choice I’d go with the 1. WKU throwbacks (but I’m not giving mine up) 2. regular unis

    More importantly, at least we didn’t agree to the REALLY ugly VT/Florida/Oregon unis that Nike outfits them with. For all the people who didn’t like them, at least we didn’t look worse like Nike is clearly capable of producing

  21. Eric

    Navy blue pants with a single bloodstripe would be a much more recognizable connection to the Marine Corps, given that just about everyone in America has seen a Marine in dress blues…whether on TV, a recruiter, MCRD graduation, or whatnot. I liked the look of the uniform pants from the A/N game but I would guess that about 1% of Americans have ever seen a SNCO or officer in mess dress, so they lacked some of that same impact.

  22. usmc53

    If we’re going to be the only CFB game on tv, and we’re therefore going to have a ton of people watching, then we should look good.

    To me, that means: Throwback uniforms from the WKU game, or the blue and gold uniforms that we wear every Saturday. Both look great.

    The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on the sleeve is enough of a salute to the Marine Corps; we don’t need red all over the jersey.

  23. Hey off topic, but did Clint Sovie get hurt or something? How did Craig Schaefer take his spot? Maybe he’s just got better, but think about it, Sovie was basically Navy’s best linebacker 3 years ago as a sophomore – then he got hurt, but came back and made the amazing Temple fumble return. He started most of the year, but I think in the ND game stopped starting – no news on it – what is the situation.

  24. DJ


    I don’t mind the EG&A at all. A subtle nod to the USMC is cool. Heck – wear the red belt all year but the school colors are BLUE and GOLD. Get the red off the jersey and pants.

    These uniforms were just plain ugly.

  25. Hardcore24

    I concur with eric & usmc53 on this. Last year’s A-N uniforms grew on me after a while looking at my son’s action photo, … But the “excess” red color on the jersey, belt, wristbands didn’t work for me this season.

    Beat Mizzou!!!

  26. Dave

    Gonz, on December 15th, 2009 at 1:37 pm Said:
    Pushing back a week pushes the entire brigade back a week too. One less week off for Christmas. Big bummer.

    Reform was pushed deeper into January. Actually, they get two more days (19)than last year and next year(17).
    You guys worry about the silliest things.

  27. GoalieLax

    pffht. i had xmas breaks where i got less than that, and had the honor of standing xmas day duty once my family moved to annapolis. in my opinion, if you get 14 days, be thankful for it

  28. Stephen

    I agree with Witt94. Let’s pencil in red jerseys for Central Michigan (closest home game to Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children’s b-day).

  29. SWO82

    Glad the ratings are up.

    The uniform was bad, but it could have been worse — they could have been wearing grey camoflague ala the new Navy Working Uniform!

    If we want to honor the Marines (and we should), then for a game just swap the blue for Marine Red on the Jerseys.

  30. seafox

    The fact that there are this many comments on the uniforms should give you an idea what the effect on a National Shrine like the A-N game the “fashion designer types” can have on all who follow NAVY Football. All you have to do is watch an Oregon game (Nike is heavily involved with Duck Football) to see how this can get out of hand,,,black jerseys one week, lemon yellow the next…feathers on the shoulders, occasionally all white, sometimes numbers made to look subtly like silver “duct” tape. This was really brought home at our Annual A-N Game viewing, when a West Point Grad ambled over, and asked if NAVY was wearing their “softball uniforms, or were those bowling shirts?”
    The throwbacks from early in the year were definitely a hit. Look how many the Academy sold, and for how much at their auction. Wonder if they would get as much from the A-N game jerseys? Doubtful.

  31. EKWJR

    I was one of the old farts griping about the unis, but as I reflected on it, I realized that Navy in particular has had a historical habit of changing uniform styles. In 69 and 71 Navy did stuff with their helmets, painting them white in 69 and putting two white stripes on them in 71. I think in 72 Navy went with the two white stripes for the away Penn State game. Still don’t like these “shoulder board” style jerseys, from either last year or this year. That’s just me. These Nike USMC striped pants would look fantastic with the current white jersey IMO.

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