For anyone sitting in M&T Bank Stadium this Labor Day, it’s hard to argue both Maryland and Navy wouldn’t both benefit from making that game an annual event. Both teams fan bases filled up Ravens stadium and the game was broadcast nationally on ESPN earning each program much needed exposure.
Navy AD Chet Gladchuk said again at the Navy Board of Visitors meeting Monday he would be interested in trying it out, although he warned it might get “stale.” Navy Times reporter Phil Ewing at Scoop Deck has the story.
“There’s a couple of things that would go into it,” Gladchuk said — “We could play every year and see how it goes, but sometimes the regularity of something like that can make it get stale.”
Maryland and Navy’s respective coaches have already said they are in favor of it. The idea also got legs when Maryland hired away Army’s athletic director Kevin Anderson (Ed. note: Sorry, we’ve been meaning to write about this for weeks) the week before this year’s Maryland-Navy game. You would expect Anderson and Gladchuck could work to iron out the details, although Anderson never saw the Black Knights beat the Mids during his time at West Point.
Sure, Maryland beat Navy on a goal line stand that will leave plenty of Mids with a sour taste in their mouth, but it was a test from a BCS conference. More games against BCS conferences, the better chance Navy has of getting on TV as an Independent.
It’s a local team that gets both fan bases, many who live and work in the same area, riled up that has tradition. Obviously, the game won’t have the same meaning as the ones against Army or Air Force and beating Notre Dame probably still holds more water, but this game meant something to both fan bases. You could hear it in the cheers, the tailgates and the celebration after the game. The Mids are known to make their way to College Park, Md. — about a 30-minute drive from their campus — when they seek a more typical college town atmosphere.
And while Maryland students respect the heck out of the Mids and their service, a natural rivalry starts to build when those white uniforms start showing up at Bentley’s or Cornerstone and start walking out with Maryland co-eds. As a Maryland alum, I have seen it happen.
So why not settle it on the football field? If anything, it makes both teams a heap of money filling up Ravens Stadium, plus it gives alums like myself a chance for some good-natured ribbing with their uncles who graduated from the Naval Academy.