NEWPORT, R.I.-- For the 10th consecutive year, U.S. Naval War College (NWC) students stepped out of the classroom and challenged each other in an Army-Navy flag football game on Nimitz Field at Naval Station, Newport, R.I., Dec. 2.
Besides inter-service rivalry that fuels the spirited competition of contests like this, there is an aspect of learning that occurs on the grid-iron that translates well into the classroom environment.
“This is something we’re going to talk about for the rest of the time we’re here,” said Army Maj. Christopher Brown, who played division one football at Southwest Louisiana State. “This will help break down barriers in our seminars and help stimulate conversations.”
Like machines that haven’t run in awhile, both teams’ offenses sputtered in the first half. Despite coming into the game from Naval Station Newport’s intramural flag football league, the Navy team turned the ball over to the Army’s defense deep in Army territory during the first half. Offensively, the Army team had trouble moving the ball consistently and was forced to punt the ball away.
Army chewed away at the Navy’s halftime lead early in the second half with some damaging pass plays to Maj. Andy Burgess. But the Army comeback was stifled by a couple of interceptions returned for scores. Momentum and control was lost on the Army side of the field. Navy went on to win the game, 33-12.
“This was a great experience,” said Brown. “You can build on this like an intensive field exercise.”
Perhaps NWC’s Dean of Students Capt. Ray Keledei summed it up simply saying, “At the end of the day, we’re all on the same team.”