Just like the holiday season that is upon us, this time of year for the football fan can bring about more stress and concern about everything that is happening in and around your program that the time passes you by and you forget to appreciate the important moments.
If you are a Navy football fan, there have been a lot of things happening around the program to provide distraction the last few weeks. There was the hope for a berth in the AAC Championship Game. There was the ESPN Heisman House fan vote debacle. There was the final surge of support to try and get Keenan Reynolds to New York City in style tomorrow. There was the disappointment of not being selected as a Heisman finalist. There was the suspense for the Military Bowl matchup with Pitt. To add on to all of this, there was Bronco Mendenhall's acceptance of the UVA head coaching job and the subsequent rumors that Ken Niumatalolo was at the top of the list to replace him at BYU.
And like so many, I found myself guilty of falling into all of the discussion on all of these topics. Yet here we are, 24 hours away from our Christmas Day as Navy football fans, and at least for me, it's almost as if I forgot to stop and enjoy the buildup to the most important game of the year.
We should of course celebrate the fact that we are able to have any of those discussions.
We should celebrate a team that in its first season in a conference, finished tied for first place in the West Division.
We should celebrate the fact that this team has the chance to set the program record for most wins in a season if they win the last two games (11).
We should celebrate our senior quarterback for every record he has broken and everything he has meant to the program.
We should appreciate just how special it is to have a G5 player from a service academy mentioned in the Heisman conversation.
We should be grateful that we have to discuss coaching rumors because of how successful our head coach has been.
But now is not the time for any more rhetoric on these topics. All of that will come in the days and weeks that follow.
You can bet that the Cadets from West Point haven't had any of these distractions to discuss the last three weeks while they have prepared for tomorrow's game. They have had a singular focus, and that's on pulling off a tremendous upset and beating the 21st ranked Navy Midshipmen.
For Army, this is by far the most significant and meaningful game of the season. I'm not suggesting that it's not still the most significant game for Navy, because Beating Army and winning the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is what we live for in Annapolis. However, joining the AAC and being competitive in the first year in the best G5 conference has meant that Navy has played in several meaningful games already this season that had New Year's Six implications.
But none of that matters tomorrow. Tomorrow, more so than any other time this season, you preach the importance of going 1-0.
So, for the next 24 hours, it's time to put everything else aside, savor the moment, and focus on one thing and one thing only.