Friday, December 9, 2011

A House Divided

So, I don't have a recipe for you today. I don't even have a travel post or restaurant review - but what I do have is a funny story about two goofy jackets, a legendary college rivalry, and football.

This weekend is the Army-Navy Game. It may not be the season's biggest ticket, but it's really the only weekend out of the year that Matthew and I become football fans (not counting the Super Bowl, of course, when everyone suddenly loves football). Of course, our enthusiasm for this historic match-up is not without a little bit of tension; you see, Matthew is a West Point grad and I'm a graduate of the Naval Academy.

Growing up in England, I'd been taught that a football was a black-and-white ball booted around by the likes of David Beckham, so my first ever American football experience was at Annapolis. Since attendance at home games was mandatory, I racked up experience pretty quickly. I learned to love the energy of the crowd - which belied the fact that we were a captive audience - but the game we looked forward to most every year was the Army-Navy game.

In some ways it was the most miserable game of the year, held in the dark of December and timed oh-so-inconveinently for the week before finals, but it was also a lot of fun. Four years spent watching the game in the freezing cold, and you know the best part? I got to cheer Navy to victory each time.

Most of the time, our schools' rivalry matters more to others than it does to us; people speculate as to the rift this must cause in our marriage every December (a total non-issue - as long as Navy keeps winning!), and often make jokes about 'joint forces operations' and 'mixed marriages.' As a joke gift for our first Christmas (which we, naturally, spent stationed on opposite sides of the globe), my mom even gave us Army/Navy jackets.

We put aside our differences for about 51 weeks out of the year, but then Army-Navy week rolls around and things get a little more serious. Okay, maybe I just get a little more serious. I spent a semester at West Point as a Midshipman, so I am more than experienced when it comes to Army-Navy pranks (I was the girl taking all her finals dressed as our company mascot - a St. Bernard - after the freshmen stole my uniforms). I've been sending Matthew spirit videos all week, but for some reason, he isn't really into the game this year (could it, perhaps, have something to do with Army's track record?).

In an effort to amp up his team spirit, I've accepted an invitation to a USMA friend's house this weekend, so he can watch the game in good company (and, of course, to give us an opportunity to wear our jackets!). I'm not too worried about being out-numbered; I'll just have unearth a few spirit toys, and maybe make a few Navy-themed hors d'oeuvres. One thing is certain - whatever the outcome, one of us ends up celebrating!


  1. I'm pretty sure that I am going to need to hear the taking your finals as a St. Bernard story.

  2. What a neat tradition for y'all to celebrate and enjoy the game! My brother is a West Point graduate too, so I've seen first-hand how exciting it can be for you guys. I think it's wonderful! I kinda have to root for Army, but y'all almost always come out victorious :).
    Brittany @

  3. Thanks, Brittany! It was pretty fun - of course, I'm just glad Navy won again, or I'd have felt pretty silly!