Friday, October 27, 2006

Blogjammin': Pitch Right

In this week's Blogjammin', I meet up with Adam Nettina, a fine Navy blogger who writes primarily at my stomping grounds over at the Fanhouse. He is also the purveyor of a Pitch Right, but primarily does his writing for the paying gig at AOL.

Anchors aweigh:

Now, you're not an alumnus of Navy, but you are a lifelong fan. Out of curiosity, how did you go about becoming a die-hard Navy fan?

I guess the most ironic thing about being involved in the whole college football blogging scene is that I haven't even been to college. For the record, I'm a senior at a High School in the Baltimore area who has been going to Navy football games all my life. Considering my first Army-Navy game was only a few days before my birth, I don't think I'm making too much of an exaggeration. I am, first and foremost, a fan of football and a fan of the United States of America, so I guess the whole Navy football fanatic thing came easily. My love affair with Navy football only intensified once Paul Johnson arrived. Believe it or not there was a day when I was on track to become the next great defensive star at Navy. I attended the 2003 High School camp, and actually played with some of Navy's top recruits for that year. However, my short-lived football career ended the year afterwards when I realized 5'5 people can't tackle 6'5 people. Since then, I've been quite content to lend my support from the stands every Saturday. At the risk of alienating my own readers, I have expressed interest in attending a certain Midwestern Catholic Institution with a perpetually overrated football team on an NROTC scholarship.

A fine choice for a five foot-nothin', hundred and nothin' weakling.

So the biggest story about Navy is that they will be breaking in a new quarterback. Do you know anything about this kid other than that he's Hawaiian? If you don't, then you can just spend a while talking about how awesome Hawaiians are at football.

Kaipo likes to smile, which can either be really encouraging or straight up annoying. Because I've actually met him, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt because he seems like a nice young man. I like his enthusiasm and from what everyone says he's apparently the Hawaiian version of Michael Vick. That being said I've already jumped on the Jarod Bryant bandwagon. JB was a running back at HOOVER HIGH (mandatory MTV shout out) before John Parker Wilson was injured his senior year. The guy has great pocket presence considering the experience he's had, and does an excellent job checking down to his second and third reads. He throws a nice ball and can put it right on the money, and has the vision and leg drive needed to run the option and pick up tough yards. Don't be surprised to see Byrant come into the game if Kaipo struggles. And yes, the Pacific Ocean and its islands are home to some of the sickest athletes in the world.

There is simply no denying the awesome hip swivel ability of the hula girl bobblehead on the dashboard of my 86 Camaro.

So, generally, the Irish enjoy a great physical mismatch against the Navy defense. Is this still the case this year, or do you think that this year's Mids defense can challenge the Irish and stop them from moving the ball?

Well from what I've seen your O-Line is horrible so I don't think that's going to be an issue either way. Yes our defensive linemen may tip in at under 250 lbs, but they're fairly quick off the ball and do a decent job against the run. Will they get pressure on Quinn? Probably not, but I'm sure Coach Green will throw in a ton of linebacker blitzes (they're all the rage these days.) The secondary is, talent wise, decent, but those deep zone drops they've got going on probably won't work well against the Irish passing game. The key for Navy will be the linebackers. Rob Caldwell and David Mahoney lead a talented group which can play stout against the run and does a great job stripping the football. If Navy's defense can't force any turnovers and/or put pressure on Quinn, the Irish offense is going to go through the defense like Patton through the Siegfried Line.

Or like General Guglielmo Nasi's sweeping invasion of British Somaliland.

So what's your over/under for passes attempted by Navy on Saturday?

[Somewhere between 10 and 20], and only because Navy is going to need to pass the ball if the team is to have any hope Saturday. I imagine the Irish will stack the line with an eight man front, and I've seen enough of the Domer defense to know they can fly to the football. With that in mind the only way to create some breathing room is to establish the pass. Over-Under on completions is a much different and much more frightening story.

Personally, I think Paul Johnson is a phenomenally underrated coach. Do you think he will eventually move up to a more high-profile coaching job, or do his loyalty and unusual offensive philosophy indicate that he will be with Navy for the long haul?

To tell you truth I just don't know. I've only spoken to him once, and it was more of a "holy hell your Paul freaking Johnson" conversation on my part. I'm sure he'd love to test his system out at the BCS level, but would be going to say a North Carolina really be a step up? I tend to think that Johnson has it pretty good in Annapolis . Word on the street is he makes good money, and if he can have success at one of college footballs most storied institutions why take a job at some middle of the road BCS school? That being said, I think he'll move on eventually. His offense isn't as obscure as most people tend to think, and could be adapted at a number of places. Just don't ask me where.

What's the best Navy-themed movie? Personally, I'm a big fan of Hot Shots! Part Deux.

Beware the chicken in the crossbow. Yet another old Navy trick that Paul Johnson might have up his sleeve this weekend.

The 1997 remake of McHale's Navy was, as far as I'm concerned, a work of Cinematic genius. Not only does it reflect an accurate depiction of real-world terrorist scenarios, but the special effects were far and above whatever Steven F. Spieldberg or Clint Eastwood could muster in their respected movies. I mean think of it Brian! The world's second best terrorist (who is of course a Russian) moves a rogue nuclear arsenal onto the baseball-loving island of San Marino and threatens to obliterate the Pentagon! If this movie doesn't break the stereotypes of post-Cold War, pre-9/11 terrorism, I don't know what does.

On a serious not I'm a big fan of The Enemy Below, Midway, and The Hunt for Red October.

Thanks for stopping by! Good luck this weekend, and try to stay dry.

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