Army-Rutgers Review

Have you ever woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat having experienced a terrible nightmare? You blink your eyes a few times, thankful that's it's over. You then fall asleep and the nightmare picks up right where it left off. Expect more cold sweat when you again wake up.

Well. that's pretty much been the Army football season. The sweet dreams of competitive football with visions of bowl games dancing in your head have given way once again to a black hole in which there is no escape. Every game has the same feel to it, the end results seeming inevitable. Players on both sides of the ball no longer make the big plays, compounded by veteran players adding in their previously withheld mistakes.

So are the wheels coming off? You look for signs of anger or passion coming from the players and coaches and it's actually tough to find. You can see players laughing and joking on the sidelines and coaches looking resigned to the ineptitude. You see the Academy brass leading their 4th quarter cheers and then amiably chatting on the sideline, oblivious to the destruction going on behind them. You hear the cadets in the stands counting off the time at the end of the game, as if Army were way ahead instead of way behind. As Bob Dole once said when running for President, "Where's the outrage?".

The only anger is in the stands, where Army's fan base is rapidly coming to a crossroads. The many die-hards have been coming to every game and will continue to do so. Yet you hear many fans of long standing talking for the first time about not renewing their long-held season tickets. And both groups have something in common- anger at the way things are going and a feeling that no one is truly serious about fixing the problems and getting this program going in the right direction.

Now, I realize no one at USMA gets up in the morning and wonders what is written in this space. But if they did, we all could hopefully agree that's it's high time to restore the passion. And that is something that can be fixed now, before the Navy game on Dec.1.

Tulsa is a team coming off a 56-7 blowout victory over Houston. Their passing game averages over 350 ypg. Army's chances in this game aren't very good. It's time for this staff to let it all hang out, at least compared with their usual conservative ways. If any true creative thinking actually exists on this staff, now is the time. Be aggressive out of the box and give these kids the feeling that they can compete and win. It's time to be angry and passionate about winning. Maybe it won't give the desired result Saturday but maybe it sets the table for Navy, which I think is a very winnable game.

Right now, the offense is known for an amazing inability to score and lately the defense is known for running backs getting school-record rushing yardage. The players deserve not to end their season spiraling out of control for the 2nd straight year. The team and their fans need something to brighten their off-seasons. The passion to win must return.


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