Monday, May 20, 2024

Quick Thoughts from Cajun Country

Sorry if this isn’t your typical Quick Thoughts article. But Saturday wasn’t a typical game.

I’ve covered Army Sports in some capacity now for 8 years. It’s not something I sought out to do, at least not for as long as I’ve done it. Over the course of these 8 years, there have been plenty of ups and downs. Army scored zero points in consecutive games for the first time since 2003. Normally, this would be an alarmist article about Army’s offense. But with the last two defenses Army has faced and the fact that Army is learning a new offense, I don’t think that article is a good idea. Instead, I thought I’d reflect on what Army football gave us this weekend.

In covering Army, I’ve had the opportunity to interview coaches, be on the field for the Army-Navy game, announce a game in the ‘shoe, and now attend a night game at Death Valley. These are experiences that are very unique for someone covering a school with the size and football stature of Army.

The Trip

On Friday, my family drove 9 hours to get to Breaux Bridge where we stayed the night. We ate at a local Cajun restaurant which made the trip worthwhile by itself. The next morning, the family headed to Baton Rouge at the crack of dawn. We tailgated for the next 9 hours, meeting everyone from LSU fans saying hi to AOG staff who were happy to see an Army tailgate. I was able to catch up with classmates, meet new friends, and spend time with old ones.

Around 5:30, we headed into the stadium and got down to the field before kickoff. We were able to witness the Death Valley entrance, standing about 10 feet from the team taking the field. We saw the band, parachute team and coin toss from the field before heading up to the press box.

The LSU staff has to be one of the friendliest in the country. I couldn’t walk by someone without being asked how I was doing or if I needed something. They served Jambalaya (which was delicious) and we settled into our seats.

Although the game wasn’t much to watch, the pomp and circumstance of an LSU night game were cool to see. The fireworks, student shenanigans, and singing of a particular Garth Brooks song all made the experience worth it.

Going Forward

Despite the result, Army fans that attended seemed to have a great time. Playing games like this is hard on the schedule. But fans genuinely appreciate these games. There’s some question as to what might happen to Army’s schedule in the coming years. But let’s hope that no matter what it looks like, the Black Knights will still find ways to keep these games.

Go Army, Beat UMass!!!

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