Friday, December 21, 2007

Never Stopped Fighting

There's a lot you can say about the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl. There's the blown touchback call, the sloppy field conditions, and the Navy ball control mistakes which ultimately lead to a Utah win. There was a tough game for one of Navy's football's most dynamic players of all time, the Utah halftime adjustments, and the struggles of a coaching staff to adjust to calling a game without their former leader. But I don't want to talk about that stuff right now. I want to talk about a team which never stops fighting.

I want to talk about Zerb Singleton and Adam Ballard and Irv Spencer. I want to talk about Matt Wimsatt, Antron Harper, OJ Washington, and the rest of a senior class which has distinguished itself amongst the most winningist classes in the Academy's history. I want to talk about a group of guys who came into the Academy when there was still a good deal of uncertainty surrounding the program, and the team which developed from that. I love this team. I love everything about it. They're gritty but not to a fault, there resilient but they can still get the job done. They embody every cliche you could throw at them and much much more, and they've made the 2007 football season one of, if not the most memorable season in decades. And even though for the second straight year I unfortunately thank them the day after a heartbreaking loss, it by no means diminishes everything they've accomplished in their four years at Navy, and the greatness which surely awaits them in the coming years.

I think this program is in good hands. I'm going to miss Reggie slicing through opposing defenses or Irv coming out of nowhere to lay the wood, but I know that the program is as strong as it's ever been and that there is a another class ready to step up the plate and take on the challenge. There are so many good things to talk about, so many exciting and new story lines to look into. As we head into the off season we look froward to another season of recruiting and spring practices, and of the perpetual hope which comes with the changing of the seasons. But even as we do so we fail to forget the players who brought us to this point, and we thank them for the enjoyment they've given us over the past four year, and for the service they are about to render for the good of our country.

In the darkened hours of this morning Irv Spncer gave an interview for a postgame report in which he said that Navy football isn't about the coaches or the ups and downs of the college football landscape, but rather about the players who make up the small fraternity they call the brotherhood. I'm grateful to have been able to watch the class of 2008 take it's place in Navy football history, and excited to watch the next set of players take their rightful place on a team and a program which has never, and will never stop fighting.

You guys are freaking awesome.


Anonymous said...

Adam--thank you for a beautiful post. I tip my hat to the seniors and the rest of the team. I asked my son (who plays on the team) what he thought about Spencer's comments and he couldn't agree with him more. This was a team with great heart and we fans couldn't be prouder of you. Thanks for a great season and for representing the Academy with such class and dignity.

Gary said...

A true pleasure to watch this team overcome so many obstacles-yet to almost beat Utah and to beat ND it was still a fine year.
One of the local papers graded the Mids year overall a B+ and I would agree with that grade.
These are cream of the crop young men and I wish the seniors well in their future Naval careers.
Never surrender-right up to the last seconds of the Utah game-a true roller coaster ride and what Navy fan is not already looking forward to next year.
I look forward to Adams and BDogs analysis of the year and positions.
But again for the 2nd year in a row we get ROYALLY SCREWED by the refs who cost us 2 Bowl game victories and that is a true shame & sham--what gives with that?