Angela and I, being very passionate college football fans, have traveled thousands of miles to see live gridiron games whenever we can.  One college sports tradition we have never paid much attention to, however, is the annual Army-Navy game, as we have no vested interest in either team.  Working in the US Navy as a profession, I come across many Annapolis grads who hype up the game.  This year we decided to experience the game as much as we could here in Japan.  The week before the game my boss, a USNA grad, started talking trash-talk about West Point and how they used to prank Cadets.  At this point I realized the rivalry was a unique one, different than say the Hokies hatred towards Miami (UVA used to be a rival… but they have to try to win a game once a decade).

The game was set to air live at 0330 local Sunday morning, so we hatched a plan with my co-workers to party all night prior to the game, and continue into the morning.  We headed out to a late dinner at our favorite Yakiniku place to fill up.  It should be noted that Angela and I actually donned Navy gear, despite our natural inclination to wear Hokie jerseys to have that “REAL” college football feel.  After delicious meat we sang our lungs out at a typical Japanese Karaoke bar till 2 in the morning.  The Officer’s Club on base was having a free breakfast bar and showing the game, so we staggered in for eggs and coffee as the place filled up.  Once kickoff happened, the viewing experience was different than any college game we have watched together.  During most Hokie games, we watch every play intently waiting for that special moment when Tyrod Taylor did something awesome, or to see a blocked kick make Lane Stadium explode.  The Navy fans sort of watched the game, but focused more on drinking and talking hours worth of trash on Army.  Navy won the game handily, eliciting cheers and more drinking.  There was little game analysis, but it was fun all around.  If Navy had lost the atmosphere would have likely been exactly the same.  We shook congratulatory hands all around and walked out of the bar into harsh daylight.  It had been quite a while since we had done an all-nighter, but we left having experienced another unique moment in college sports.

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