When Navy took an early bye week after the third game of the season against Tulane it was expected to be a gruelling stretch before the Mids got another weekend off. Instead, the team only had to wait a couple of weeks as mother nature decided that an enforced bye week after the massive win over Houston was part of this Navy squad's plans.
The Mids were scheduled to play tonight (Thursday) in a nationally televised game against East Carolina. The Pirates are located in Greenville, North Carolina, and the game was postponed earlier in the week due to lingering concerns over flooding in the area after the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.
Eastern North Carolina was hit harder than anywhere else in the United States by the storm over the weekend. At least 20 deaths have been credited to Hurricane Matthew, with power outages, flooding, and people still being stranded in their homes four or five days after the storm first hit.
With all that going on, it makes no sense to try to play a football game at this point. That is why the game has been rearranged for November 19, a date both schools had open, at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. This is a solution that works both at the humanitarian level with everything going on in the state, but also for fans of football down the line.
On a football level, the makeup date was needed because this is a league game that needs to be played. You only need to look at the posturing going on in the SEC after the LSU at Florida game was postponed (cancelled) to see what it looks like when schools are unable to work together to make a game happen. Statistics show that there is around a 20 percent chance that the game will wreck the SEC standings if it isn't played, while LSU is calling out Florida and claiming the Gators are trying to avoid them. Basically, the whole thing is a huge mess.
Kudos then to Navy and ECU for not turning this natural disaster into a reason to avoid a game. The two schools seem to have a good relationship and instead of posturing about the schedules being altered, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuck immediately agreed to comply with whatever decision ECU officials thought was best.
"You have to listen to the intelligence coming out of that particular community and use common sense," Gladchuk said. "To not respect the concerns of the East Carolina community would be irresponsible. Our reaction is predicated exclusively on the position of the East Carolina administration. It goes well beyond a football game. This is an institutional matter down there."