Nice Pants

The adage “Clothes make the man” might be as true on the gridiron as on K Street, Wall Street, or Main Street.

Saturday marked the 109th Army-Navy football face-off. For the seventh straight year, the Mids beat the Cadets, and, for the first time since 1978, they shut them out. Final score 34-0.

But did you see the pants? The uniforms? Both sides sported a new look, with little in common with the other team’s togs, which was a good thing for Navy and very, very bad for the Black Knights. Both designs, courtesy of Nike.

The “Enforcer” uniforms, which debuted at the game, featured Nike’s high-performance garb. The uniforms’ lightweight and formfitting design-boast better performance on the field.

Army got the short end of this Hail Mary pass.

For some bizarre reason, Army/Nike chose the digitized camo pattern for the team’s helmets as well as the uniform bottoms. Though we’ve received some positive reviews, this might be the worst uniform ever, which might be why our Hunks from the Hudson could not nudge their score past zero. Since operations in the Afghanistan and Iraq began, the Army at the Pentagon has gone to wearing the service’s battle dress uniform. The Army took a severe hit at the Bomb Shelter Sept. 11, 2001, and has suffered significant losses in the aftermath. Got it, but this is football with its hopes, dreams, and looking forward. Maybe West Pointers see their annual match akin to the combat that might await many of them, or this was a show of solidarity with those in the field. Inspirational? Maybe depressing.

Instead of looking like warriors, Hudson U. Looked like Hudson High. These first-rate young men looked like the second-rate team they seem resigned to become. Like a group of guys in a pick-up football game. While well-meaning, this attempt by Army to accomplish who knows what failed.

But Navy … Our Boys in Blue exceeded football fashion standards. They retained their gold helmets and donned a football trou worthy of Hollywood. The deep blue was accented with the Marine Corps officers’ dinner dress gold and red stripe down the side. Absolutely stunning. (We’ll forget the jerseys with shoulder boards and the Nike Swoosh.)

Navy’s departing seniors will be the first class to never have lost to Army or Air Force in their tenure on the field. They won the unwieldy Commander in Chief’s Trophy for a record-tying sixth straight year. They established a new record with their 13 consecutive wins against a service academy. (No, they don’t play Coast Guard or Kings Point both Division III teams.)

Better than the trophy is evidence of a collective pulse on academy officials. Brilliant to outfit their stars in a manner reflective of the Naval Academy they want people to see.

Beefcakes on the Severn: Finally, a reason to watch Navy Football.Photo credit: Doug Kapustin, Baltimore Sun

Photo credit: Doug Kapustin, Baltimore Sun

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