Today is the Day and we will blog about it all day long. But let’s start the day, not with the rivalry, but with the true spirit of football…a love of the game. From the Washington Post:
On Saturday afternoon, Jack Hatcher will put on his Navy football uniform for the second-to-last time. The senior fullback will run onto the grass at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field with his teammates and hear the cheers from a capacity crowd. Then he will walk to the sideline and disappear.
…He is one of 32 seniors who are hoping to finish their careers having never lost to another service academy team. And he is one of seven seniors who have yet to play a single varsity down in four years.
…Hatcher plays football because it’s fun, and because it keeps him fit. He likes the camaraderie. He uses it to relieve stress; he is a chemistry major with a 3.4 grade-point average — the highest of any fullback — and he hopes to go to medical school one day.
“When the smoke clears and the dust settles, it’s a game. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s what you do, it’s not who you are,” Hatcher said. “Football is something that builds character, and it’s one of the last sports that make men. I believe that.”
“To be honest with you, as a senior, I’d probably be offended if the coach put me on the field just because we were killing somebody. To me, that would be an insult,” Hatcher said matter-of-factly. “I’d rather they put in a freshman who is wavering on whether or not he wants to stay here. I’d rather they take him and show him something that may be beneficial.”