SNYDER: To know Army-Navy rivalry, look past game

The Army-Navy game always is a star-spangled spectacle. Saturday's renewal of the rivalry marks the first time it will be played inside the Capital Beltway. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)The Army-Navy game always is a star-spangled spectacle. Saturday’s renewal of the rivalry marks the first time it will be played inside the Capital Beltway. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
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Don’t get it twisted. Each side desperately wants to win because there’s nothing worse than losing to the other. Navy doesn’t feel any less pressure to prevail just because it’s won the past nine games. Tuani, a 22-year-old defensive end, said he’s exerting himself even more during practice because “I know Army players are working their tails off.”

Now I understand the passion, pride and pageantry. But Army coach Rich Ellerson doesn’t want his players to forget about the part between the white lines.

“At the end of the day, everybody came to watch a football game,” he said. “They love who the guys are and love what they represent and love the path they’ve chosen, just like we respect the path that Navy has. But we don’t want to get caught watching [fans] watching us. They’re there to watch us play football.”

And show our admiration, respect and gratitude.

Which, duh, makes this more than just a game.

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About the Author

Deron Snyder

Deron Snyder is an award-winning journalist and Washington Times sports columnist with more than 25 years of experience. He has worked at USA Today and his column was syndicated in Gannett’s 80-plus newspapers from 2000-2009, appearing in The Arizona Republic, The Indianapolis Star, The Detroit News and many others. Follow Deron on Twitter @DeronSnyder or email him at deronwashtimes@gmail.com.

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