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.