Not the hardest of hardcore sports fans? Saw the Orange Bowl score cross the bottom of the screen this morning and wondered out loud, “Say, Clemson’s 3-point shooters must be terrible”? Don’t want to be caught off-guard in the new year? Here are five important military sports dates to circle on your brand-new desk calendar.
1. Jan. 14, rivalry renewal: The first Army-Navy game of the new year takes place on the hardwood, with the women’s hoops teams squaring off at noon in Annapolis, followed by the men’s teams at 2:30 p.m. (both games on CBS Sports Network). Patriot League play for all four teams begins Saturday, when Army visits Bucknell and Navy travels to Lehigh. There have been few bright spots on the court for either school this year — of the four hoops teams, the Navy women hold the best record at 7-7. Bonus rivalry game: The Army ice hockey team hosts Air Force on Jan. 20 and 21, with the first game airing on CBS Sports Network at 7:30 p.m. Army is 2-9-6 entering Friday’s game against Canisius, while Air Force (10-5-2) is coming off its fourth Atlantic Hockey Association championship in five years.
2. July 27, the world is watching: Military athletes will abound at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The Defense Department tracked 15 athletes with military affiliations in Beijing in 2008, including Army gold medalists Sgts. Walton “Glenn” Eller III (double trap) and Vincent Hancock (skeet). Shooters will get the first crack at the medal stand in London; the air rifle and air pistol finals take place the day after the opening ceremony.
3. Sept. 1, Irish eyes: From London to Dublin, as the Navy Midshipmen open the 2012 football season with the road game to end all road games — a 3,300-plus-mile trek to take on Notre Dame. A few more details are here.
4. Nov. 9, back to the (steel) beach: Nothing official from the folks at Quicken Loans, but the second edition of the Carrier Classic will be played on this date and will include the Connecticut Huskies — according to UConn, at least. Arizona is the likely opponent. Last November, North Carolina downed Michigan State 67-55 in the first-ever classic.
5. Dec. 8, brotherly love: Army-Navy football returns to Philadelphia, with the Black Knights attempting to end Navy’s 10-game win streak. The Mids are a perfect 7-0 against Army at Lincoln Financial Field, but the Black Knights’ last win did come in Philly — a 26-17, on Dec. 1, 2011, at the since-demolished Veterans Stadium. It will be the 83rd Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, which will also host the 2013, 2015 and 2017 games; M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore is scheduled to host in 2014 and 2016. Mark your calendars accordingly.