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Goat Bill 36 Is Fine, Cleared For Army-Navy

The would-have-been-sordid story of how Bill 36, the navy mascot, overcame adversity and near-tragedy in advance of the latest Army-Navy game.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Here I was, thinking that Keenan Reynolds not being ushered to NYC for the Heisman ceremony on a damn helicopter had taken all the fun out of Army-Navy.

But you know what they say, right? That tragedy beats triumph. This is one of those.

Because, yes, we have Bill The Goat. The goat? Yes, you know. THAT goat!

So Bill, or Bill 36 because I have to be precise and there are so many of them, has been cleared to attend what will likely be a triumphant Midshipmen performance.

What was wrong with Navy's mascot? Well, he had nausea and couldn't breathe, for one thing—but we've all been there and we haven't needed to be rushed to the nearest large-animal hospital, amirite? No, but there's a difference here: when this happened to you, you hadn't eaten an azalea bush like Bill 36 apparently had. You'll say that it's NBD, to eat an azalea bush and that you've done way worse in your heyday, and hey all the more power to you. But that's because the flower isn't toxic for you and it is for Bill 36 and all goats.

Back to our goat at hand here, Bill 36, as a result of this dietary quirk, he had a high level of acidity and stuff was wrong in his electrolytes and won't you just look at this damn beast and how cute it is, how could something happen to Bill??? :( :(

Here's where I slot the reminder that Bill 36 and his twin brother Bill 35 are slated to replace their predecessors Bill 33 and Bill 34, who are nearing retirement; when I mean that this was a near-tragedy, I really mean just that.

Okay but Charles, this is a triumphant story you said at the beginning, what the hell man?

I know, I know. Here's the rest of the story.

Roessner said she felt no added pressure in treating this particular goat, despite his prestige.

"We try to uphold the best medical care for all of our patients," she said. "We treat them all as if they were the Navy goat."

Wait, wait, who's this Roessner? I know what you're thinking, that if I'm going to have someone who thinks so highly of humans, then I must at least properly introduce her. This Roessner, it turns out, is the hero of this tale that otherwise would have turned sordid.

Holly Roessner, an intern on duty in the emergency room that November night, inserted a tube down Bill's throat and into his rumen, the largest of his four stomachs. Then she administered medicine to absorb the toxins. New blood tests showed it was working, and an addition of a painkiller the next morning had Bill back on all fours.

And all fours of Bill 36 will be at the 116th Army-Navy game this weekend at Lincoln Financial Field. Will you?