Ten quick hits after a two-continent service academy football opening weekend (events on some continents ended better than others):
1. Despite the on-field outcome, the Navy flight home came with a pleasant surprise: a “water salute” from the workers at Washington Dulles International Airport. Click the link for a picture and to read a few positive comments in the wake of a less-than-positive final score.
2. Not every airport tale is a good one. Check out this horror story from Philly.com about fans headed to Dublin who had their flight delayed, then canceled, then rescheduled for the day of the game, then rescheduled again to accommodate kickoff. And not everybody ended up making the trip.
3. Speaking of horror stories, did you hear the one about the guy who crashed an American football game in Ireland wearing a hat that looks like the British flag? Meet Jungle Bird. If you dare.
4. More piling on: Navy makes the The New Haven Register’s “200 Great Moments in New Haven Sports History,” of all things, for losing to Yale in 1981. The game tape of that Connecticut showdown isn’t widely available, but it’s likely Yale didn’t have running backs like these.
5. For perspective, we turn to CBS Sports columnist Dennis Dodd and his pregame piece about Marine Col. Paul Montanus, a liaison to the Navy squad. Dodd gives a window into some of the guidance Montanus provides to the Mids, including lessons learned on the battlefield.
6. Away from the national TV spotlight (or any TV coverage, for that matter), Air Force walloped Idaho State 49-21 at Falcon Stadium on Saturday to begin its season. Next stop: Ann Arbor, for a showdown with 0-1 Michigan. The Wolverines will return two players from suspension for Saturday’s game — defensive end Frank Clark and starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint.
7. Air Force, on the other hand, will be without starting center Michael Husar for the Michigan game. One of the top linemen who are key to a ground-based attack, Husar tore two ligaments in his left knee against Idaho State and will miss the rest of the season. According to Frank Schwab at The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette, he could be a candidate for a ninth semester at the academy, which would give him a fifth year of football eligibility.
8. Need more about the Michigan game? Air Force’s official game notes are here.
9. Of course, there’s always the matter of the secret weapon. Meet sophomore Falcons wideout Colton Huntsman, who has scored every single time he’s touched the ball for Air Force. OK, once. On a 12-yard dash in the fourth quarter of a blowout win.
10. There is the matter of the third service academy’s opener — Army travels to San Diego State on Saturday to face the Aztecs, who began their season with a 21-12 loss to the Washington Huskies.