Our armed services don't get enough love from the sporting world. There is always that nice shout-out and sometimes live feed of soldiers abroad watching major US sporting events. Teams often have military appreciation days and of late a lot of coaches have made the trek overseas to visit our troops. However, outside of these moments, the heartfelt acknowledgement and appreciation of our armed services is something we really tend to reserve for special occasions like Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, and to a lesser degree the Army vs Navy football game.
Formally one of college football's most compelling games of the year, the significance of the game has diminished as you rarely find one of the teams in the top 25 and Army has had a pretty rough decade on the gridiron. The games themselves have been a bit lacking as Navy has rattled off 9 straight wins, none of which were even one score games. On the bright side, it seems both programs seem to be on solid footing as Army won their first bowl game since 1985 last year.
But this game's significance is no longer in the wins and losses but rather the unique storyline of men whose letter of intent is a commitment and sacrifice that dwarfs their peers at programs all across the country. One day a year we celebrate these individuals, what they stand for, and the rich history of the game. Thanks to CBS and Showtime, we'll get to extend this celebration and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation as today they announced a documentary series on the lead up to the game.
"With crews embedding with the teams, CBS Sports.com on Monday, Oct. 17 will kick off 10 weekly webisodes surrounding the two service academies.
A preview of the docu-drama is scheduled for No. 23 on Showtime with encores to follow, while CBS will air the network television premiere on Saturday, Dec. 3, a week before the academies renew their rivalry, this year in Washington D.C.
A Game Of Honor, which will incorporate footage and interviews leading up to the contest, as well as action during the game and immediately thereafter, is slated to bow on Showtime on Dec. 21."
The actual release of the series is a bit confusing as you'll have webisodes, a making of special, a CBS series, and then a 2 hour documentary if I am reading this correctly.
I haven't yet checked out Showtime's work on "The Franchise", but word from Giants fans is that Showtime has done a good job there.
Regardless if it's on CBS, Showtime, or relegated to webisdoes, there is definitely a lot of great stories to tell here. Why these men choose to serve, where they come from, and what their day to day lives are like all makes for great television. Both teams also have the angle of being underdogs as their football talent is definitely not on par with other D1 schools. Even though Navy has been a solid program over the years, it's hard to imagine that their physical talents and pedigree are actually the driving force behind their success.
We'll get to see just how they're able to compete and if Army can continue their march back to respectability. Definitely a great initiative and one myself and the AA team look forward to viewing. Kudos to CBS and Showtime for picking up HBO's slack with Hard Knocks on hiatus.