NAVY: Pregame flyover sets the stage for a once in a lifetime experience
I still have dreams at night where I am getting ready for the Army/Navy game.
The biggest pre-game rush is the flyover. The roar of Navy’s fighter jets and Army’s Blackhawk helicopters over the stadium is a once in a lifetime experience and moment of true humility. The fact that we are playing for our nation’s armed forces puts everything into perspective. It still gives me chills.
We are a Navy family. Three of my brothers (Joe, Chris, and Dan) and I played for Navy football. Don’t tell anyone, but I lost all four years against Army, a few coming in the last seconds. If not for my brothers beating Army, that would still bother me to this day. I remember cheering them on in the middle of the ocean huddled over a television while serving on an aircraft carrier.
The Army/Navy game symbolizes the best of what college football was meant to be. Everyone is playing for a higher purpose.
There are no selfish, all-about-me egos. Just plain football with the toughest guys I have ever met on both sides of the ball.
Both coaching staffs get it too, led by the finest leaders in college football - Coach Ken Niumatalolo of Navy and Coach Jeff Monken of Army. They understand that Army/Navy goes beyond football.
The only hard part of the day is the memory of classmates and heroes no longer with us. Maybe that’s why I still like the flyover.
Andy Person was a defensive end for the U.S. Naval Academy and is part of the Class of 1996.
Both coaching staffs get it. ... They understand that Army/Navy goes beyond football.