One of my best friends in or out of the newspaper business is Christian Swezey, with whom I worked at The Washington Post. Sweze covers Navy football for The Post, and he’s been kind enough to share some of his thoughts on the Midshipmen and this weekend’s game for the blog.
Basically, we’re going to e-mail each other about the game this week. I’ll put our exchanges up periodically in a segment I’m calling Enemy Lines. If you have a question about Navy that you’d like me to ask, feel free to shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment on the blog.
Jake Schaller wrote: Yo Sweze!
Big game for both teams this week, as it is every year. But I think it’s especially critical for Air Force.
Before the start of the season, if you had offered most Air Force fans a 3-2 September, they probably would have taken it in a heartbeat. But the 3-0 start raised expectations. Now, I think, 3-2 with two straight losses would feel like a disappointment. And considering how Air Force teams of the last few seasons have let one loss turn into two or more losses, I think this is a season-defining game.
Sounds, from what I’ve read, that Navy might have had a season-defining game last week. What was the feel around Annapolis after the two straight losses to Rutgers and Ball State, and how much did the come-from-behind victory over Duke change that feel?
Christian Swezey wrote: What’s up Jake!!
Dude, quick question: With BlogDog’s pick this week, are you using the same helmet for Navy and ND? If so, are you certain Blog Dog won’t get confused?
Anyway, Navy’s win over Duke was a pretty big deal. I mean, even Paul Johnson was in the pile of happy players who piled on kicker Joey Bullen after he made that field goal with no time left. Though Johnson got out of there pretty quick!
Morale at the Naval Academy has been a little low so far. The new superintendent has put some pretty stringent rules in place – a lot less liberty (i.e. weekends off), less Mids going to away games, there were problems with food in the dining hall, etc.
So the victory came at a good time, especially over Duke, which is no one’s favorite in any sport. The Mids needed confidence in the worst way, and they got it.
It may help Air Force to know that the Brigade was a little flat at the Duke game. Again, some of it is probably the low morale. My guess is the sight of 500 Air Force cadets in their uniforms will be a little bit of a wake-up call to them. I expect it will be loud on Saturday, and also expect a phenomenal game.
What’s your take on Navy? Do you really think that 3-1 turning to 3-2 would be a bad sign for the Falcons? I have to say, I thought AF would be 1-3 entering the Navy game. Also – is it true the “AF” stands for “Arrogant fools”??