Navy to Play at Air Force on October 3rd
Ken Niumatalolo Unhappy with the Falcons getting Crumbs
Earlier this week, on September 14th, Navy football coach, Ken Niumatalolo blasted the Pentagon for committing the Naval Academy to maintain their annually scheduled game against the Air Force Academy this season. The decision was made recently to allow Air Force to compete in their games with Army and Navy for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, despite their conference (The Mountain West Conference) cancelling the fall football season.
In the eyes of coach Niumatalolo, allowing the Falcons to play just two games in a season creates a decisive advantage. He had a lot of strong sentiment expressing his belief saying the abbreviated schedule of Air Force is unfair, and that “I don’t think the people in the Pentagon care.”
Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo apologized for blaming Pentagon officials for the fact there will be a Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series in 2020. https://t.co/ZQWEUODAFL
— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) September 15, 2020
Target Not Acquired
Just a day after making strong statements which he blamed the Pentagon for “sullying” the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series, he walked those comments back a bit. The Navy head coach admitted that his ire was a bit misguided in blaming the Pentagon in the fashion that he did, but he was steadfast in his belief that Air Force should not be competing with Army and Navy for the CiC Trophy with only a two game schedule.
First World Problems
A slight fortune has befallen the Air Force Academy in being granted an exception to compete in just two games this fall. Granted, they are of the greatest consequence to each of the Military Academies, but they should not be begrudged for losing “only” 83% of their fall season, rather than 100% of it.
I can appreciate that Coach Niumatalolo has some frustration after the Midshipmen had their hull kicked in by BYU on Labor Day. But the reality is that Navy has made it clear that they wish to compete and play football this year, and that is a privilege that a lot of other schools will not have.
Navy will have played just two games, assuming their tilt versus Tulane is not cancelled or postponed, prior to playing Air Force in October. Further to that point, the Mids will have had two weeks off in between their games, including Air Force.
But hey, advantage Falcons I suppose.
This is not the first instance of a coach posturing, or even expressing displeasure with a level of leadership outside of their control. Especially when it relates to a bitter rival.
However, this is not a good look for a coach that so many of us have a great deal of respect for in Ken Niumatalolo. Which I do. Everyone can have an opinion on whether or not Air Force somehow is at an advantage by having zero game action in advance of playing Navy. What can’t be denied is this comes off as petty.
We all get that these coaches at the Military Academies want to possess the CiC Trophy more than anything each and every season. But not at ALL costs. To say a team that is ready, willing and able to play in this historic round-robin gauntlet shouldn’t be able to compete for of all causes, “having a decided advantage” by playing a two-game season? Be better coach, be better.