The real America's Team
By Scott Garceau, September 23, 2010 1:12 PM | 0 Comments
While we were debating Joe Flacco and Michael Vick and wondering where Buck Showalter hides his magic wand, a story with a sports connection likely evaded many of us.
Tuesday a Blackhawk helicopter went down in Southern Afghanistan, the crash took nine lives, among them Brendan Looney a Navy Seal and a former Navy lacrosse player, class of 2004. Andrew Dow, also a former Navy lacrosse player, survived the crash.
Brendan Looney was a three-sport star at DeMatha High School in Maryland and went to Navy to play football. His commitment to his country didn't change, but his sport did.
With an opportunity to play with his brothers Steve and Billy, Brendan switched from football to lacrosse.
The three Looney brothers were part of Navy's incredible run to the NCAA Championship game in Baltimore in 2004. With the country rallying behind the service academies just a year after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Navy captured the hearts of lacrosse fans with a fantastic tournament.
A heavy underdog to powerful Syracuse, Navy thrilled an M&T Bank Stadium crowd of 44,000 with a typical "everything we've got" effort. Syracuse won the title in a 14-13 thriller, but the Looney boys and the Navy team won the hearts of the big crowd on that Memorial Day.
Navy lacrosse coach Richie Meade knows the midshipmen that play for him are warriors in the true sense of the word. Players like Brendan Looney will give Navy everything they have on the field, while at the same time going through exhaustive physical and mental training to get them ready for their military commitment.
For Navy lacrosse players, the month of May usually means NCAA lacrosse playoffs and graduation. While graduates of most schools celebrate with a trip to a sandy beach, the midshipmen, often in a matter of days, are deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
It's upsetting to see well compensated grown men playing a kid's game and referring to themselves as warriors. Wrong - Tough football players, yes, warriors no!
Looney, 29, was the oldest of six lacrosse-playing children of Kevin and Maureen Looney.
Brendan Looney and eight other WARRIORS gave their lives to protect our freedom this week. May they rest in peace.