Letter From Granma

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More than a mere football game…

on September 7, 2014

Traveling to Baltimore to see the Ohio State Buckeye game opener against Navy proved to be a great 3 day weekend.  The game itself was the highlight, but not for the reasons you might think.  Taking place in the M & T Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, the venue was perfect for an exciting game of football.

Since Baltimore is so close to Annapolis and a home game for Navy, I expected the stadium to be filled with navy.  Wrong…the stadium was filled with scarlet and gray.  The thing that struck me was how many “bi-fans” there were.  Starting with us…while my husband graduated from OSU and we have been lifelong fans, my son is in the navy.  I was amazed at how many others shared our feelings…but many of them were much more demonstrative.  Navy shirts, OSU hats worn by the same spectator;  OSU shirt, Navy socks and visor on another.  I don’t know the proper term for this phenomenon, but I loved it.

By far my favorite part of the day took place before the game even started.  I was totally unaware of a Naval Academy tradition and was unprepared for what I was about to experience.  Just before the opening kick off at every Navy home game, what seems like an endless steam of white takes to the field, company by company, until the entire field is covered.

navy 1

 

This tradition is called the March On and is one of the Navy’s most honored traditions.

navy 3

4400 midshipmen dressed in their summer whites on the field.

navy 5

Truly an inspiring sight to behold.  Each company and their commander introduced and the colors presented.

There are no words.

When the midshipmen filed off of the field, they all sat (stood) in the stands at the Navy end zone.  The teams took the field, the coin was tossed and the game was played.  A good game on a warm summer day.  Punctuating the game the Navy cannon was fired at each kick off and each Navy score.

The Ohio State marching band’s halftime celebrated the military and the Navy as well.

At the end of the game the entirety of both teams and coaches took to the end zone in front of the mass of white created by the mid shipman and stood together respectfully for the Navy alma mater  “Navy Blue and Gold”.  All of the teams and coaches then proceeded to the opposite end zone and stood with the Ohio fans to sing “Carmen Ohio”.  When does this ever happen in competitive sports?  Amazing.

Such tradition and class.  It gives us hope and pride that these fine young men and women will lead in the future.

Final score Ohio State 34, Navy 17.  A much closer game than the score reflects.

Final thought…Respect, Tradition and Class are what we remember long past the outcome of a contest.

Life is a transition.  Embrace it.

 

 

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