President-elect Donald Trump took a break from his preparations and staff selections of those who will help him make America great again to enjoy some football. Fittingly for one who has made the military such a high profile focus of his campaign and who has three generals among his cabinet picks, the game was between Army and Navy. He may have succeeded in cutting out yet another little piece of history as the first president-elect to attend what is a time honored tradition for sitting presidents.
Mr. Trump entered with the first quarter already underway, and was greeted with resounding cheers by what seemed to be everybody in attendance. Not a single player disrespected their nation, themselves or the arrival of their future Commander-in-Chief by taking a knee during the National Anthem. These are a different caliber of individual, far superior to the trash that is blowing around on some fields in the NFL.
Mr. Trump, protected by panes of bulletproof glass, pumped his fist and waved to the crowd from a booth as he was acknowledged and responded to the crowd. It was the 117th game between the two rival academies, West Point and Annapolis. The site was M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Trump took a little heat for comments he made which could be interpreted as derogatory towards the caliber of the play but clearly he was just attempting to compliment their spirit, not taking anything away from either team. Asked why he was attending the game, Mr. Trump replied, “I just love the armed forces, love the folks. The spirit is so incredible. I mean, I don’t know if it’s necessarily the best football, but it’s very good. But, boy, do they have spirit.”
Coming into this game Navy had won fourteen contests in a row. Number fifteen proved more elusive as Army came back from behind to win 21 – 17.
Mr. Trump enjoyed the first half of the game from the box of David Urban, who was one of his advisers in Pennsylvania and is a West Point graduate. For the second half he enjoyed the hospitality of Lt. Col Oliver North, a graduate of Annapolis, sharing his booth. He’s totally neutral, a point he made crystal clear with some help from his hosts.
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