Sure, there might be some other minor football developments scheduled for this afternoon, but here’s three quick military-themed gridiron hits for your Wednesday:
1. Steelman will sit. As reported by Sal Interdonato with the (Middletown, N.Y.) Times Herald-Record and confirmed by an Army football release, junior quarterback Trent Steelman will miss Friday’s Black and Gold spring game at Fort Benning, Ga., with a leg injury. Steelman battled leg and ankle injuries last season and had his Army-record streak of 32 straight starts snapped.
Sitting Steelman for the Benning game is a precautionary move, Interdonato reports. “Trent (Steelman) had a good spring; we’ve shut him down now,” offensive coordinator Ian Shields said Tuesday, according to the Army release. “He’s played enough tackle football; we know what he can do.”
The Black Knights practice Thursday at West Point before making the trip to Fort Benning. Click here for a short news report from the Columbus, Ga., NBC affiliate on Doughboy Stadium renovations and other preparations being made for the spring game.
2. Falcons schedule out. Air Force fans, are you ready for some nonconference football action against Idaho State? Didn’t think so. But the Bengals will come to Colorado Springs for Air Force’s Sept. 1 season opener — the first of 12 games on the recently released schedule. It’ll be a revenge game of sorts for the Falcons, who lost 13-7 to ISU in their last meeting. In 1956. Bigger nonconference games on the slate include a trip to Michigan on Sept. 8 and the traditional showdowns with Navy (Oct. 6 at home) and Army (Nov. 3 at West Point — not at Yankee Stadium).
3. NFL official, Navy vet Veteri dies. The old saying is, if you don’t remember the name of the ref, he probably did a good job. Well, give a read to this story about Anthony Veteri Sr., who died Monday at age 88 after battling pancreatic cancer, and you’ll probably remember his name for quite a while, for all the right reasons. On the field for four Super Bowls, the longtime head linesman’s on-field success went beyond black-and-white stripes. He was a minor-league baseball player, a high school football star recruited by legendary coach Bear Bryant and, according to the write-up by our good friends at the The Journal News, the author of a record that’ll never be broken: A 100-yard punt in a game against Princeton in 1944.
The military connection? Well, the punt’s part of it — Veteri, a World War II vet, played football for the Naval Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., base team in 1944. It wasn’t unusual for base teams to play against colleges during the war years, and the games are preserved in schools’ official records (take a look; Atlantic City won 31-6).
Veteri is survived by his wife of 65 years, a son, a daughter and three grandchildren, according to the obituary.