I’m a sucker for anything that combines sports with appreciating the men and women of our Armed Forces. There aren’t enough videos of soldiers showing up at ballgames to surprise their families, and I was even pulling against my own alma mater against Southern Miss on Saturday night because there were soldiers attending the game to cheer on the Golden Eagles before they were deployed yesterday. And I know that I certainly can’t pay tribute to or even understand our soldiers the same way that Ufford can – hell, I can’t even write it as well as Justin Timberlake. So I’ll just reiterate that I love it when we can use sports to honor our troops.
That said, the 2011 Quicken Loans Carrier Classic was absolutely amazing. Just the idea of playing a basketball game on an aircraft carrier is incredible enough, and God knows we could have just sent a couple mid-majors to play on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, but we sent the No. 1 team in the country, the UNC Tar Heels, and Michigan State to put on a show for our service men and women. UNC, of course, defeated the Spartans 67-55 and the action was less than thrilling. But the No. 1 team and another perennial contender agreeing to play outdoors in the middle of the ocean is simply awesome.
As if the game wasn’t enough, President Barack Obama and the First Lady attended and addressed the troops, and Magic Johnson and James Worthy represented their college teams and took pictures as well. For some reason Pamela Anderson was there, and I assume it’s because she was just floating by. Most importantly, Brooklyn Decker was there. Although, to properly honor our troops, Kate Upton and Marissa Miller should have also been there. But I'd say that this was just good enough.
(Images via the AP and Getty.)
That neither the AP nor Getty had pictures of Brooklyn Decker's halftime HORSE game should be a crime.