Navy has now won 14 straight games against Army. Nothing accomplished by the likes of men has ever been so beautiful, yet there are some among us that do not appreciate this gift that we’ve been given. There are Navy fans that feel sorry for Army, and say that things would be better if maybe they won a game every once in a while. I wrote about this phenomenon a couple of years ago. My feelings have not changed.
Not everyone says these things out of sympathy. For some, it’s pragmatism. They worry that because the series has become so one-sided, ratings will decline and the game will lose its value for the next television contract. I disagree, and after the game I said this:
Well, the ratings are in. So how were they?
The streak doesn’t hurt the Army-Navy game. To the contrary; it makes Army-Navy must-see television.
People who like football will watch whatever game is being shown. What draws the general public to sports is the drama. That’s why you see so many human interest stories during the Olympics, for example. When you get to know the athletes and their stories, you care more about how well they do. You watch.
Navy’s winning streak has the same effect. People tune in because they want to see if this is the year the streak ends. Every Navy win just adds more desperation to the Army side. It adds more emotion. It adds more drama.
As a result, it adds more viewers.
Someone on Twitter made a great comparison:
People watched the Triple Crown races because it had been so long since a horse had won it. Now that it finally happened, do you think there will be the same interest next year? I doubt it.
Army-Navy is the greatest rivalry in sports, and that brings with it a certain level of drama on its own. People are going to watch. The streak just adds to it. So cheer for the Mids without guilt, Navy fan. It’s better for everyone.
(Seriously, why does this even need to be explained to you ungrateful malcontents?)