Thoughts on 2007 and a look ahead - Part 1

As Army fans pick up the pieces of another shattered season, many wonder if the Black Knights will ever reverse their seemingly endless losing seasons and wonder if winning a game against Navy will happen before they are too old to climb the steps of the stadium to see it. But first, a few thoughts on Baltimore and future possible sites for the Army-Navy game.

This was our second visit to Baltimore for the game. Unlike Philly, the stadium is in the downtown area and makes the climate much different then the City of Brotherly Love.

There are some obvious positives about that. It's nice for fans from out of town to have only a short walk to get to their hotels. With the Inner Harbor area also nearby, there's lots to see before and after the game, and many places to go to drown your sorrows (if you're an Army fan). The locals are quite happy to see you and the welcome mat was out all over the place. It's certainly nice to have everything in one place.

But there are negatives for the Army fan. You can't venture more than a couple blocks from the hotel areas if you're not heading to the harbor. It gets seedy very quickly and you are approached for loose change constantly. The wise individual plays it close to the vest.

The stadium parking areas are a plain rip-off. You needed an expensive parking pass to be near the stadium or were forced to pay excessive rates in area lots or garages.

Another problem with having everyone in one area after the game was the seemingly steady lowering of civility between fans of the two schools. It may be a by-product of the lack of competition between the two teams lately, but we encountered many Navy fans who to put it mildly, were less than charitable in dealing with Army fans Saturday evening. Much of the razzing was all in fun, which is the norm. But I was amazed at the number of Navy folks who were not good-natured as they piled it on. I'm sure there are Navy fans that could say the same thing about their Army counterparts. Seems things were alot better when we both won our share of games. So, I guess it's high time for Army to get competitve again so that Army fans are less feisty and Navy fans less entitled.

The next two games are in Philly. That city has gone much further the last couple years to welcome fans of both schools to the city and has stopped taking the game for granted. The two academies were wise to listen to other cities bids for the game, as it gave the Philly city fathers a kick in their collective behinds.

Having said that, the thought in this space is that the game remain in Philadelphia in the long term, with an occasional visit to Baltimore, Washington, or the Meadowlands area, just to keep Philly on their toes. For fans driving in, Philly is head and shoulders above the rest. Their stadium complex can easily handle all traffic for the game and the parking lots are plentiful and easily accessible. The stadium and the one in Baltimore are quite similiar and should not be a factor in future negotiations. With Philly being equal between the two schools, it's the place the game needs to stay.

Next, we will add our two cents about what needs to happen in order to change Army's football fortunes and to finally make the Army-Navy game competitive once more. Top Stories