Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just Like Mom Used To Make

How much can you tweek a tradition before you made major changes and messed it up. Think about Thanksgiving dinner, there are traditional family and societal parameter that are best to stay within. Serving a turkey and a ham is acceptable but just a standing rib roast maylead to a revolt. Pumpkin, apple, and pecan are within limits but coconut cream would just be odd. Traditions also dictate when you make and eat the food: How many pumpkin pies do you eat per year? For most of us there is just the one the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

The Army v. Navy Game is one of those traditions that is looking at alternative locations and maybe adding a sponsor. This game is wild popular and profitable for the schools and one of the few games either of these teams play in which they are truly evenly matched with the outcome decided by coaching and individual effort.

A young pundit several years ago called Army v. Navy the most overrate rivalry games. He looked at Ohio State v. Michigan and Alabama v. Auburn and saw the meeting of the service academies wanting. He was correct is looking at the player not being at the same level as top level BCS schools but failed to appreciate that a rivalry was about being evenly matched with the opposition and the tradition behind the rivalry. Army v. Navy is beyond just team or alumni with millions of active, reserve, and retired military personal have a little stake in the game.

Those pondering the future of this game need to exercise great caution in the direction the intent to take and remember the special place this game and pumpkin pie have in American culture.

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