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Every college athletic program wants its team in the finals of the big CBS-backed March tournament. You know the one: 64 teams enter, one leaves victorious as the school with the best-looking football helmet. The Navy Midshipmen downed powerhouse gridiron programs from Wisconsin, Arizona State, West Virginia, Florida State and Texas to reach the championship of the first ever Helmet Madness, run by CBSSports.com. But Navy couldn’t hold an early lead in an online vote against LSU, eventually falling with just 40 percent of the tally. The bracket included one helmet design from 64 top-tier college programs; Navy was the…

To older football fans, Chuck Bednarik was “Concrete Charlie,” the last of the two-way pros who played on two championship teams with the Philadelphia Eagles and hit Frank Gifford so hard in 1960 that the New York Giants’ superstar didn’t play again until 1962. To a younger generation, he was the gruff throwback who once said Deion Sanders, a two-way star in a different era, “couldn’t tackle my wife.” He was a grandfatherly figure who was once approached by a video game maker for permission to use his likeness, which he granted only after the agency “actually had to explain that he would not…

Duke head coach and U.S. Military Academy graduate Mike Krzyzewski makes no secret that his time as a cadet and as a 20-something head coach of the Army basketball team molded him into a college basketball icon who has amassed more than 1,000 career wins. He even brought Team USA to West Point last year in the hopes that some of the academy’s lore would rub off. But the early days of Coach K regularly take a back seat to his impressive accomplishments a few hundred miles south, where his Blue Devils will again enter the NCAA tournament later this week with…

You’ve heard the one about the priceless painting bought at a yard sale, and the one about the classic muscle car found in the old barn out back. The most recent entry in trash-into-treasure lore comes courtesy of the Army football program, a coaching legend and a Goodwill clothing outlet in Asheville, North Carolina. A West Point sweater once worn by Army assistant coach Vince Lombardi netted $43,020 at a New York City sports-memorabilia auction Saturday night. Its owners, vintage clothing sellers Sean and Rikki McEvoy, picked it up at an Asheville Goodwill for 58 cents, Asheville’s Citizen-Times reported. Lombardi coached under…

One had his first UFC fight in 2011. The other has never fought professionally outside of Alaska. One will tip the scales in Las Vegas at 135 pounds, give or take a few ounces. The other weighed 300-plus pounds a few years back. One fought less than two months ago, knocking out a Chinese fighter in Australia in front of a global audience. The other hasn’t fought since last January, when he edged out a 40-year-old via five-round split decision. Saying Marcus Brimage and Jared Cannonier have taken different paths to the preliminary card at Saturday’s UFC 182 event would be a bit…

If your idea of college football history is watching an ESPN special on the Miami Hurricanes of the 1980s or enjoying the occasional Dish Network commercial, sit this post out. The iconic Yale Bowl, which hosted the nation’s greatest college football teams years before the NFL existed, is celebrating its centennial this season, and the Army Black Knights — which also boast plenty of black-and-white photos in their media guide — will pay a visit Saturday, continuing a football series that’s even older than the stadium. Here’s a half-dozen ways the Bulldogs and Black Knights have been linked over the…

With less than a minute to play in Saturday’s game at Wake Forest, and with his team down by a field goal, senior Army linebacker Stephen Ricciardi may have gotten a bit desperate. First the video, then some background: [HTML1] The setup: The Black Knights led 21-14 going into the fourth quarter at Wake, but two late scoring drives gave the home team a 24-21 edge, and an Army fumble gave Wake the ball back with about four minutes to play. Army called its last timeout with 2:34 left, stopping the clock before a critical 3rd-and-8. But Wake Forest picked…

If you’re a service-academy football fan who doesn’t keep up with the pro game, or even if you just decided to spend your Labor Day doing something other than refreshing the NFL.com practice-squad page over and over, here’s a brief recap of where some academy standouts found themselves as NFL teams trimmed down to the 53-man roster limit: Ben Garland (Air Force): The former standout defensive lineman for the Falcons made the Denver Broncos roster, but not on defense. Garland, who was promoted to captain in the Colorado Air National Guard in May, switched to offensive guard last year. He first…

When he’s not busy riding a horse to training camp, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is entering heavy preparations for the 2014 college football season. That prep involves chalk talks, two-a-day workouts and, naturally, talking to ESPN reporters. Regardless of what Navy fans think of Kelly, or the Fighting Irish, or horses, they should be pleased with a response he gave to a recent ESPN poll, asking coaches of the so-called “Power Five” schools about scheduling preferences. A quick primer: The Power Five consists of teams in the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern and Pacific-12 football conferences…

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