Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 Army Navy Tailgate Crew
 Tailgate Update

The Tailgate set up shop on the banks of the Delaware River at Lincoln Field for the annual Army Navy game. This was my second time in 3 years to attend this hallowed event of college football. This great tradition is the highlight of the year for the men and women of the nation’s two oldest Military Academies. It would be the 113th time the teams have met on the gridiron. Throughout the fall semester at both schools, it is drummed into their collective consciousness to beat the other team. A typical greeting in Annapolis may consist of a salute and hardy “BEAT ARMY”! On the banks of the Hudson, the Cadets may greet a ranking officer with a Good Morning Sir, BEAT NAVY!” Pranks are also a big part of the tradition as each school has been known to capture the other’s mascots. The build up to this game for each school is hard to explain because this is so much more than just a typical college football game for the participants. A great book detailing this rivalry and following each school through a typical season is titled A Civil War, by John Feinstein.

Very few of these men who play for the academies will ever play on Sundays after graduation. However, all of them will work on Sundays in conditions unimaginable to most of us, in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and the dangerous oceans of the world. They will all be on the same team under the same colors very soon.
Friends of Little Stevey ?

The Army Mule left with his tail between his legs

 Perfect Tailgate weather for a late Autumn day in Philly, mid 40’s and overcast. The Tailgate Crew consisted of the Crime Family from Cliffside Park in New Jersey with Boss Ray “Dom” Carlucci and his Capos Lt. Lou Capezzuto, US Army (world’s oldest Lt.), Dino “Guido” Manzoni, Jimmy “Slicky” Nicolizzo, Gerard “Beef” Oranata, Father Mike “Springsteen” Carlucci and “Little” Stevey Carlucci, Tom Nolan, John Harris and a bunch of other peeps with I’s and O’s at the end of their last name. They offered us protection for the day.

The Cliffside Park Mafia
Also in attendance was my legendary Army buddy Buck “the Duke of Earl” Oxendine and his wife and boys, The Irish Mafia of Mike “Pop Pop” Collins, Tim Wallace and the Brothers Donnelly, Billy and Brian aka “Brennan and Dale from Stepbrothers”. 
Billy and Brian Donnelly

Dan and The Duke of Earl, Bucky Ox,

Several West Point Alums mustered for the day in the “Pretty people” section of our tailgate Colonel Spike Reardon, Dan Negron, Duane Linenkugel, Brian Mahoney and Trevor “Bert N” Erney where wine and cheese was served and heaters were keeping them warm.
The West pointers

The Wine and Cheese section of our Tailgate

We were joined for the first time by the notorious College football fan and author Steve Koreivo who I mentioned last week.
Additionally, Joe Rogers and Steve Dawson owners of The College Football Bowl Report:  ( joined us.

Mrs. Ox being harrassed by the Natives

College football's finest bloggers.
There were about 20 rug rats belonging to the Cliffside mafia and friends. They challenged the Navy kids to two knock down games of football and fared better than USMA did on this day.

The chow was first rate consisting of homemade venison chili, Sausage and peppers, Pulled pork, chicken soup, old bay chicken wings, Egan chicken legs, steaks, burgers, dogs, sides, canolies and other deserts and an assortment of libations and spirits. I made up the famous Donnelly family version of Bloody Marys for the pre game kick start.

All your daily vitamins in one red solo cup!

Sailors are not so bad after all!

The Tailgating took place before and after the game in Lot D4. Everybody had a job. Everybody provided something for the Tailgate…well almost everybody, there is always that one guy.

The brothers Carlucci in all their glory
The Boss Bruce Sprinsteen even joined us

The Brothers Donnelly

Frostburg State's Fearsome Foursome
Crash helmet, never leave home without it!
 No flyover or Parachutists this year as the cloud cover was too low. However, we were graced with the presence of Veep Joe Biden, President of The Hair Plugs For Men, not just the President but a member too. He was given a typical warm Philthadelphia greeting where they still boo Santa Clause at Eagle’s games.
I'm not just the Veep,  I am also a member
The atmosphere was charged as the Army faithful believed this was their year to shake the monkey off their back. The Navy patrons were convinced they would protect the bragging rights that they have owned for a decade. The game was incredibly exciting with Army outgaining Navy in total yardage. QB Trent Steelman led an inspired Army team offensively with both his feet and arm. But as it has been for the previous 10 years, Navy sailed away with its 11th straight victory after Army coughed up the ball on Navy’s 10 yard line while going for a potential game winning score with less than a minute remaining. The teams shook hands, embraced and wished each other well. Many Army Seniors cried as their emotions spilled out. The Army and Navy squads joined together to sing both alma matters. The crowd returned to their post game tailgates in the spacious parking lots to either celebrate or drown their sorrows as the latter was the case for me. The funniest part was some moron had the bright idea of scheduling a Who concert at the Hockey/Hoops arena in the same complex at 8 PM. You could pick the concertgoers out quite easily in the midst of the Army/Navy crowd. They had a slightly different appearance. I believe the Who concert crowd were sparking up items other than grills and cigars.

The Who concert goers

Potential Bowl Games for The Tailgate:

• Poinsettia Bowl, BYU v SDSU in San Diego on 12/20 (The day before the end of the world).

• Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Navy v ASU on 12/29 in San Francisco.

• BCS National Championship on 1/7/13 in Miami.

Congratulations to Johnny Football for becoming the first Freshman ever to win the Heisman. Props to Manti Te’o and Colin Klein the other two Heisman finalists on their outstanding college careers. They are all fine young men who represent the best the game has to offer.

Great news on longtime Tailgater Alabama Al Rector as his surgery was a success. Get well soon buddy!

BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL ALERT! Anyone who will be in the DC area over Christmas and is interested in the Military Bowl matching up San Jose State University versus Bowling Green University let me know. I have a source that will sell you a ticket at a 20% discount off of face value. I am a fan and supporter of SJSU but will not be able to make that trip. They had a great year going 10 -2 and only losing to Stanford by 3.

Urban and Papa John Separated at Birth?

I Will only write two more entries this year (Mid bowl report and post BCS championship) and then go into detox and deprogramming.

Happy tailgating!

The world's oldest Lt. and Lt. Dan