Baltimore Orioles: A tradition unlike any other
As we all know, baseball and really all of sports is based largely on tradition. Yesterday Baltimore Orioles fans got to see firsthand what I believe is the best tradition in sports, the Army/Navy game, which was played at M & T Bank Stadium. Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter attended the game, after telling CSN Baltimore that he had always wanted to attend one of these affairs. While I didn’t attend the game myself (hoping for 2016 in Baltimore), I couldn’t agree more.
Courtesy of Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Baltimore is a town in which traditions are held dear when it comes to our sports. Anytime you see a quarterback run a two-minute drill, he pays homage to the great Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts. Great defense in baseball pays homage to the likes of Brooks Robinson, Mark Belanger, Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken Jr, and others. However yesterday brought a tradition unlike any other to Baltimore.
As you can see, this really has nothing to do with the O’s, other than the fact that the game was played in their city and in the shadow of their ballpark. However perhaps you’ve noticed over the time that Birds Watcher has been under my stewardship there are events that give me pause from baseball. Army/Navy is one of them. The young men that played on the field yesterday, along with the Midshipmen and Cadets in the stands, all represent the very best that America has to offer. We should never forget that.
Though the two teams compete against each other on the gridiron and aim to beat each other every year, there can be no doubt that they’re all on the same team. And the city of Baltimore should be honored to know that said team was on display within it’s borders yesterday. Yankees/Red Sox, Dodgers/Giants, et al, are all great rivalries that have their own pagentry. However Army/Navy is truly unique in what it represents.
You notice that I’m not even talking about what went on in the game; and that’s by design. First off while I’m a huge football fan who loves watching games, I’m a baseball writer. The few times I’ve tried to analyze football I feel that the fact that I don’t cover that sport has been glaringly obvious! However more importantly, this isn’t about football.
The young men on the field in Baltmore yesterday once again represent the best of America. It’s because of the committment that they’ve made to defend our country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that give us the right to see the Orioles at Camden Yards each summer. There are some countries where people can’t go into public to attend sporting events without fearing a bombing or attack. We don’t live in a place like that, and that’s due in large part to our military.
So this column today is in honor of the players who gave their all on the field yesterday, and who will continue to give their all serving our country after they graduate. We owe them a debt of gratitude, as we do all of our service members and veterans. On behalf of Birds Watcher, Fansided, the Orioles, and the city of Baltimore, to them today I simply say Thank You.