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News, insights and analysis on the Rutgers football program

Friday, September 19, 2008


The Rutgers players I talked to earlier this week had a lot of nice things to say about the guys they'll be lining up against tomorrow in Annapolis, and today's paper has a story about what Greg Schiano called the "healthy respect" his players have for the Midshipmen. 

I don't think I've ever heard players on any team answer questions about their next opponents by saying "oh yeah, we have no respect for them whatsoever," so it isn't as if the concept of respecting your opponents is new. But it's different when your opponents are future Naval officers who will some day be putting their lives on the line for, as several Rutgers players said this week, Americans' "right to play football." 

Kevin Malast, whose brother went to VMI, said knowing what his brother went through there without playing a sport, he's in awe of the Mids for taking on that many responsibilities. 

I'm pretty amazed by it, too. When I was in college, I thought I was busy because I worked for the student newspaper and tried pretty hard in all my classes. Compared to ANY student at any of the service academies, that's a walk in the park. 

But  these guys go to class (and take academics seriously, or they wouldn't be future officers), do a ton of military training, AND practice or play football almost every day of the week. That's basically three incredibly difficult full-time jobs all at once, for guys (it'd really be stupid to call them "kids" when they're training to be Naval officers) who are 18-22 years old. 

And it isn't like they're no good at football, either. Over the last five years, the Mids are 43-20 with five bowl appearances. 


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