Army Should be Ranked #1

The past couple of Saturdays have been a case study in character at the Vanderbilt University football stadium.

My daughter, Hannah, who is a student at VU (Go Dores!) was in attendance at both games.

Two weeks ago, the game came down to the final two plays against the University of Georgia.  While the Bulldogs survived a massive scare, the story of the day was what happened on the field after the game.  Ugly would be an understatement.

Even in victory, one of the assistant coaches from Georgia came storming across the field, screaming profanities and shaking his fist at the Vandy coach.  A brawl almost broke out between the two teams.

As the UGA players left the field they gave the Vandy student section the one finger (not the index) finger salute, screaming f-bombs and taunting them over the victory.

My daughter said it made her ashamed to be from Georgia.

Fast forward one week.  Homecoming at Vandy, with Army as the opponent.

Vanderbilt won the game by more than 3 touchdowns, but the Army team, even in defeat, responded in a whole different manner.  Character would be an understatement.

After the game the Vanderbilt players came over in front of the Vandy student section and sang the schools Alma Mater.  What happened next brought tears to my eyes as Hannah described it to me.

As the Vandy students and players sang together, Hannah said the Army players stood together, at attention, as a sign of respect for the Vanderbilt community.

She said as she looked at those young men, standing respectfully, it made her feel safe that they will be the men who, five years from now, will be protecting and defending her freedom.

As the Army players left the field, she said the Vanderbilt fans began to chant “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A.”  Can you say chill bumps?

UGA and Army.  Two programs.  Two different results.  Two different reactions.

I don’t know who you root for, but I have become a fan of the boys from West Point.

It is too bad there is not a B.C.S. poll for character.  If there was, Army would surely be ranked #1.

 

i2i,

Randy

 

Where have you seen character demonstrated this past week?  

 

 

Leave a comment



Marlin

9 years ago

I felt the chill bumps! Leaders lead and from the sounds of it, West Point has strong leaders on campus and UGA well…. actions speak louder than words!

Randy

9 years ago

Me too Marlin!

KKW

9 years ago

What a powerful reminder for all of us who work with young athletes! Thank you for teaching me those lessons so well.
#23

Randy

9 years ago

thanks Hatchet!

Valerie Burrell

9 years ago

Love the picture of the Army football team and love the story! And, yes, I too, felt the chill bumps as I read your blog! Awesome story! GO ARMY!!!

Randy

9 years ago

thanks Val

Earl

9 years ago

Take heart not all ga players react the same. Last years Navy Ga southern game I had a similar experience. After a hard fought game which GSU lost when the Navy blue and gold was sung after the game the Southern coach had his players run over and stand with the Navy team arms around each other. Pure class !!!
I watch it every week after the navy games. The young men who play for the service academy teams are our finest and we can be proud.
Go Navy !!

Randy

9 years ago

awesome Earl!

Josh Stitcher

9 years ago

Great post Go Army! Just to be fair though, Vandy’s wonderful character filled coach verbally assaulted a UGA player after the game to spark Grantham’s outburst, as a UGA fan though Grantham should not have done this. Also after the UGA/AU game last year several of us UGA fans were saluted by some of AU’s players and cursed at by fans, so it isn’t just UGA that acts that way.
Love reading your blog Randy, you my friend are a source of inspiration!

Randy

9 years ago

thanks JS

AuburnAlumni

9 years ago

Josh, I’m sorry some AU Tiger fans acted that way. There’s no excuse for bad manners or bad sportsmanship – anywhere, anytime. Sounds like they needed to “sit on the wall” for a while! (See yesterday’s blog.)

Randy

9 years ago

Thanks Auburn Girl.

reevespadre

9 years ago

What a great column. Thanks again

susan

9 years ago

I have a former student who plays football for Army. I’m proud to have been able to help him get in West Point. He’s a class act guy, and your post doesn’t surprise me at all. The world is watching what we do more than listening to what we say.

Randy

9 years ago

so true Susan!

Randy

9 years ago

thanks Doc

basketgirl

9 years ago

You are quite the writer, i2i man! Good word again!

Randy

9 years ago

thanks Basket Girl

Rob

9 years ago

I am new to this blog and was a bit shocked at the one-sided attempt to villify the UGA players and coaches while letting the Vandy coaches and players off scott free. The blog mentions the UGA DC coming across the field yelling and screaming. However, when looking at the replay, the facts show that he came across the field with a smile and a hand out to shake. His demeanor changed (and got ugly) in reponse to the Vandy HC chasing and cussing at the UGA player who was also showing no class. All 3 were in the wrong. That was all after the Vandy Center had dove into the back of the UGA NG’s knee in what could have been a career ending injury. After this obviously targeted attack, the Vandy player jumps up, looks at a Vandy coach on the sideline and gives him the thumbs up. Where is the class in that?
The fact of the matter is that both the UGA AND Vandy coaches and players should be ashamed of what all transpired. And all commentary should reflect such. Not doing so brings into question the integrity of the commentary. Its too bad that either both sides weren’t properly taken to task or neither mentioned at all.
Even still, the lone bright spot out of all three programs is ARMY. These young men will all go on to serve the country that they love with the honor & integrity that they showed as football players. It is easy to show class in victory (with the exception of a few UGA players.) But to show the respect and honor that the ARMY guys showed in defeat…well, may we all learn from that example. Go ARMY!

Randy

9 years ago

Thanks Rob for the commentary. It was not meant to be one sided in a slant against UGA. I watched the game myself and certainly do not justify any bad sportsmanship on the part of any team, ever (especially including coaches). The point of the blog was the difference in those who lose with dignity and those who win, and yet lose their composure. In this case, UGA could have represented any school in the nation, including Vandy.
The point is well taken. Thank you for your feedback and the comment. I apologize if you felt I excused bad behavior on the part of anyone.

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