Every other Sunday I volunteer at the Washington Ear, reading The Post for the visually impaired. Normally I get the sports section, and I can read the stories, scores and opinion pieces with emotional detachment. But as I recorded John Feinstein’s Dec. 9 Sports column, “No excuse, but a lot of heartbreak,” I had to pause several times because I was choking up.
I’m a Navy veteran, and I watched the Army-Navy game with great pride as the Midshipmen won their 11th straight victory in this classic matchup. Yet reading Feinstein’s descriptions of how Trent Steelman and the rest of Army’s Black Knights felt after the loss had me in tears.
The Army-Navy game is the one game where you feel the joy and pain of both teams, and Feinstein’s column truly captured that duality. Thanks for an exceptional piece of writing.
Chris Tharrington, Bethesda
John Feinstein captured the essence of the Army-Navy game in his eloquent profile of Army quarterback Trent Steelman following Army’s loss in “America’s Game.” Feinstein reminds us that the young men and women attending our service academies are all cut from the same cloth. I’ll file his column with other commentaries on the game I’ve collected for nearly 50 years.
It will be in good company. One faded clipping I still have is from The Post’s Bob Addie in April 1966: “What does the National Anthem mean? Do we need constant reminding of our heritage and do we need to be prodded to love our country? Sometimes we do. What greater sight than to witness that magic moment each fall when Army and Navy meet on the football field in Philadelphia? That is the moment when the brigade of midshipmen and the corps of cadets stand at attention as the National Anthem is being played. If you don’t thrill to see these magnificent young men, who will bear your arms and your tears in wars of now and to come, then you’re just not trying.”
Some things never change.
Gordon Peterson, Springfield