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The Least We Can Do For Navy Is Applaud

Tim Cary

By now, many of our readers have probably heard about the "Take the Field Tribute" Ohio State fans are planning for next week's home opener against Navy.  If not, Bleacher Report has the rundown, with a YouTube link included.  Buckeye fans are encouraged to stand and welcome the Midshipmen onto the Ohio Stadium field with the same cheers they normally reserve for the home team.

Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia
Even if you're not going to be in Columbus for the game next weekend, you can help with this tribute by making sure any friends or acquaintances who are attending the game know about this inspiring idea to recognize the service of the U.S. Naval Academy students.  I personally forwarded the story to several people I know who will be in Ohio Stadium to root on their Buckeyes.

In this humble writer's opinion, the tribute is important for several reasons.  Number one, there's more to life than football.  Those of us who count down the days until the opening kickoff as soon as the spring game ends tend to overlook that fact sometimes.  Gameday traditions are incredible, last-second touchdown passes are phenomenal, the BCS is horrible...yes, all those things are true, but sometimes we need to take a step back from our passionate rhetoric and not automatically boo the opposing team just because they're the opposing team.

Number two, our country is at war.
  CNN reported just today that this month has been the deadliest for our military in Afghanistan since the conflict began in 2001.  Whatever your political viewpoint, our troops deserve our honor, respect, and support for their commitment and sacrifice.  The "Take the Field Tribute" is a tangible way to show that appreciation.

Last, but not least, this idea needs to catch on.  The YouTube video expresses the hope that this tribute spreads to other schools who host service academy teams for football, and what better way for Ohio State and the Big Ten to make an impact nationally than to see a tradition spring out of Columbus.  Honestly, which is more important?  What the country thinks about the quality of Big Ten football as compared to the SEC?  Or how the nation supports those who are willing to risk their lives for us...and a tangible way for us to say "thank you", courtesy of Big Ten country?  

The least we can do for Navy is applaud.

CFB: Wake Forest vs Navy December 20

In other news around the Big Ten...

Position switches in Champaign and Minneapolis.  Illinois freshman Terry Hawthorne is moving from wide receiver to cornerback.  Ron Zook's willingness to move one of his top recruits from offense to defense tells us one of two things.  The Miami Thomas injury really hurts the Illini's depth at corner, or Illinois has so much talent at receiver they don't really need Hawthorne there at the moment. 

Or both.

Meanwhile in Minnesota, freshman tight end Ra'Shede Hageman will get some looks at defensive end and will probably play both offense and defense to some extent in 2009.  The move especially makes sense with this week's news that defensive lineman Terrell Combs has left the program.

Purdue and Indiana playing to their strengths.  The Boilermakers will be depending heavily on Kyle Adams and their other tight ends under new offensive coordinator Gary Nord, as the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette explains.  The Gazette also has an update from Bloomington, where Indiana is banking on a pair of defensive ends with more total career sacks than any other duo in the country.

Van Slyke?  Where do I know that name from?  Jared Van Slyke, son of longtime Pittsburgh Pirate Andy Van Slyke, is threatening to crack the Wolverines' football lineup at safety.  Van Slyke joined Michigan's program as a walk-on, but has caught the attention of the coaching staff.  The complete story is in the Detroit Free Press.

Archie Griffin vs. Tim Tebow.  Who ya got?'s Keith Godfrey is tired of hearing the "Tebow as greatest college football player ever" talk, and he has a rebuttal.  Something about a pair of Heisman trophies.

Speaking of history...  Michigan State sophomore quarterback Kirk Cousins was named one of the team's four captains yesterday.  While Cousins still doesn't know if he'll be starting in the Spartans' opener, he does become only the second sophomore in 112 years to be voted a captain for the Green and White.  Even Joe Paterno thinks 112 years is a long time.



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