Thursday, December 19, 2013

Army-Navy Part I- The Lead Up...

Ok, I'm detailing my trip to the greatest football rivalry on the planet, the Army-Navy football game.  I have ALWAYS been a fan of service academy football.  There is just something about the way they play the game that is "pure".  The game, to the service academies has not been infiltrated by big business, and therefor there is this sense of purity in what you are watching.  The relentless way the players play the game, the never say never attitude is contagious.  So much so, it's hard to watch them during the season, and then go coach a bunch of high school kids or youth kids, because that "relentlessness" just isn't there yet.  It almost disappoints, but I digress.  Anyhow, I'm laying on my couch this summer taking a break from yard work or whatever I was doing, and I'm watching some old cutups of Army-Navy from 2012.  I get to the end where Army QB Trent Steelman fumbles the ball, and basically the game away.  The look of pain on that young man's face was hard to watch, but it spoke of how much the game and the rivalry means to those that play.

 My wife walked in and asked what was I doing (uh oh), and I told her, then said "Man, I'd love to see the Army-Navy game, it's definitely on my bucket list".  She walks out of the room without saying anything, so I go back to watching.  About a minute or two passes and she walks back in and says, "Well, you can cross something off your bucket list!".  I thought she was being a smart ass because I was slacking and laying around when there was yard work to be done.  She says, "I couldn't wait until your birthday, I'm just too excited.  I got us tickets to the Army-Navy game!!!!".  I like to have crapped myself.  I couldn't believe it.  She had gone and gotten the tickets the day they came out, and not bad ones I might add, only 26 rows up on the Army side, at around the 14 yard line.  So begins our story....

Oh boy!

The Trip
Now, my wife will not fly, so this meant that the trip from Florida to Pennsylvania had to made on the road, requiring roughly two days to drive up there and two days to drive back.  I know, we are insane, but both of us are control freaks and it's hard to be in control of a 747 jumbo jet, when "Sleepy" is in the cockpit running the show.  So, we basically have planned to take a week off work, because we aren't just going to see the game.  If I'm going to Philadelphia, I'm going to see me some history...and the Rocky Statue!  Anyhow, we leave out our small town in Florida and drive up I-95 for basically the entire trip.  I do have to say, if you are ever on I-95, around the border between North and South Carolina, there is a little place called "South of the Border".  They have some very funny billboards.  My favorite had a picture of a large hot dog, or sausage on it, with the caption "You Never Sausage A Place, Every body's A Wiener at South of the Border!".  Classy.  Anyhow, the trip is awesome until you reach Washington D.C.  At which point I-95 does it's best to become a parking lot.  Took forever to get through Baltimore as well, but the tunnel under the harbor was pretty cool to drive through (yes that was me honking as we went through).

Of course, being from Florida, and having had the recent weather events they've had in the northeast, we got to see some snow, starting in and around Washington D.C.  It did make me a bit nervous driving, but the roads were nothing less than stellar.

Getting into Philly is a bit of a tricky situation, but isn't too bad.  Hell, I've had a worse time navigating around Savannah or Nashville than I did in Philadelphia.  My wife did a good job picking our hotel, as we stayed at the Double Tree, right smack dab in the heart of Philly.

Looking South down Broad Street

Anyhow, this was just a good lead into my next part of the story which is the actual visit we had in the City of Brotherly Love.  I was very impressed.  I'm not a big city guy, but I've been in and through several big cities and I'll be a 100 percent honest with you, Philly did not disappoint.

Looking SE Across the City