Army-Navy documentary goes deep into academy life
By RALPH D. RUSSO
NEW YORK (AP) "Game of Honor" begins with a freshman football player arriving for his first day at the U.S. Military Academy this past summer and ends with the Army and Navy choirs singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
In between, the 2-hour documentary film airing Wednesday night on Showtime dives deep into the schools, the teams, the players, the coaches and the families that make up one of the most famous rivalries in sports: Army vs. Navy.
"Hopefully, we did justice to both programs," said co-producer Steve Karasik of CBS Sports after a screening of the movie Monday night at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.
Karasik, director Pete Radovich Jr., and a small platoon of camera people received extensive behind the scenes access this season to classrooms, locker rooms and combat training.
"It wasn't that hard," Karasik said about getting deep into the world of Cadets and Midshipmen.
Karasik and Radovich look at the academies from almost every angle imaginable, starting with the incoming freshmen and their somewhat harrowing first day on campus.
From there the movie bounces from current players such as Army running back Malcolm Brown and Navy offensive lineman John Dowd to the coaches of each team to former players who have served in the wars in the Middle East.
Special attention is paid to the games against Air Force and, of course, the Army-Navy game, which for the first time in years came down to the wire this season.
"The other 10 games, in retrospect, don't really matter," said Dowd, who attended the screening with his family.
Navy beat Army 27-21 to extend its winning streak to 10 games in the series, though neither team managed to finish this season at .500.
Dowd, who will serve on a submarine after graduation, said he was happy with the way the film turned out.
"I think they had an incredibly faithful representation of what it was like," he said.
Updated December 20, 2011