Not that they had much to do with it, but the current members of the Navy football team have a chance to shatter a decades-long losing streak Saturday at Giants Stadium. \nNavy has not beaten Notre Dame since a 21-year-old junior quarterback named Roger Staubach led the Midshipmen to a 35-14 victory in 1963. A year later, Staubach was the defending Heisman Trophy winner when Notre Dame, under its new coach, Ara Parseghian, blasted the Middies, 40-0. \nA streak was born that day in Philadelphia, and it has grown to 40 straight victories for the Fighting Irish -- an NCAA record for consecutive victories over an opponent. \nEvery Navy team hears about the streak before it plays Notre Dame. But there seems to be a difference this year. Navy has a good chance to win. \nNavy is 5-0 for the first time since 1979. Notre Dame is 4-2 and not ranked. Navy, also unranked, has lost to the Irish by fewer than eight points in their last two meetings. Last season, D.J. Fitzpatrick kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Fighting Irish to a 27-24 victory. Two years ago, Navy lost, 30-23. \nThen there was the 1999 game, when the Midshipmen lost, 28-24. On fourth-and-10 with one minute 20 seconds remaining and no timeouts, Notre Dame quarterback Jarious Jackson completed a pass to Bobby Brown that appeared to Navy to be a yard short. But the spot by the officials gave the Fighting Irish the first down by less than an inch, and Jackson went on to throw a game-winning touchdown pass with 36 seconds left. \nBut that loss, like the 39 others, seems to be part of the distant past for the Midshipmen. They have more important goals to reach. \n"I'll take credit for two of them," Navy coach Paul Johnson, in his third season, said of the 40 straight losses earlier this week, "but I don't want credit for the rest." \nThe potential for Navy to end the streak is compelling enough that CBS will broadcast the game to 92 percent of its affiliates at noon on Saturday. Notre Dame has mystique, but Navy has a cause. \n"Those games don't have anything to do with this game," Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham said earlier this week. "We're going to play a Navy team that's a very good football team." \nIf it wins, Navy, an independent, will become eligible for a bowl game, and that seems to be a bigger incentive to the players than ending the losing streak. \nA victory on Saturday would certainly impress bowl officials. Navy went to the Houston Bowl last season, its first bowl appearance since 1996. \nThe Midshipmen are small and run an ancient option offense, but they are effective. \n"We are looking at this as a real threat to us," Notre Dame defensive end Kyle Budinscak said earlier this week. \nNotre Dame regards Navy as a threat because the Midshipmen have a relentless style. \nThe senior quarterback Aaron Polanco needs to be the catalyst for the Midshipmen again. Navy already knows that Notre Dame will be trying to stop him. \nWhen it was pointed out that the Fighting Irish would probably pack fewer defenders in the middle to stop fullback Kyle Eckel, Johnson said he already had a plan. \nArmy remains Navy's fiercest rival, but against Notre Dame, the Midshipmen have a chance to beat a longtime nemesis. \n"I don't know if I would call it a rivalry," Johnson said, "because you have to win once in a while for it to be a rivalry. But it has been a pretty good series."
Staying home during a national lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic is like “nirvana” for cricketers, as they generally have to live out of a suitcase, Australia head coach Justin Langer said yesterday. Australian cricket is in its off-season and has been largely insulated from the effects of the outbreak, which has suspended all of the country’s major sporting competitions that run during the autumn and winter. Some Australian players are signed with teams in the Indian Premier League, but the lucrative Twenty20 tournament has been postponed at least until the middle of next month and might end up being scrapped like
SCHEDULE CONFLICTS: While new dates have not been announced, somewhere around this year’s original dates would conflict with other major sports events next year The rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will require sacrifices and compromises by all involved, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said yesterday, before predicting the completion of “a beautiful jigsaw puzzle and wonderful Olympic Games.” “Our mission is to organize Games and make [the] dreams of athletes come true,” Bach said, adding that although the Olympics must be held before the end of summer next year, the as-yet-undecided dates would not necessarily be restricted to summer months. Japanese yesterday awoke to the deflating reality that the Olympics they had hoped to host in Tokyo this summer were now probably 16 months away. The IOC
From perfecting pizza dough to fermenting tea, rugby players in Europe have found various ways to pass their time during the lockdown forced on them by the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia international Scott Higginbotham, who plays for Bordeaux-Begles, has been busy in his kitchen during the confinement period, which started in France on March 17. “My wife and I take turns in going out, and doing a bit of exercise and a lot of cooking. Every meal is made from scratch,” Higginbotham told reporters last week. “I made my own pizza dough the other day, which was quite nice. I do love pizza,
While COVID-19 seeps daily into the consciousness of the White House, 1,900 kilometers away in Wichita, Kansas, a British tennis player is helping families who know poverty, but are yet to feel the full effects of the coronavirus. As Katie Swan waits for the Tour to resume — and for Wimbledon to decide whether or not to hold this year’s championships, scheduled to start on June 29 — she prepares part-time and turns the rest of her energies to helping disadvantaged people in her adopted city. The Bristol-born player has lived in Wichita for seven years with her mother, Nicki, her father,