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Comparing Mids/Middies, PingWF Returns To Tweet #BellAFB

December 31st, 2013 · Tags:Sports · Wi-Fi


For the PingWi-Fi team, The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has always been a show of firepower, no military pun intended. Our first BHAFB featured progressive coach Kevin Sumlin, his quarterbacks whisperer Kliff Kingsbury and a young Case Keenum (24 of 41 that day … and a quick kick, we might add). That games is well represented in the records for this bowl.


First Bowl Tweeted


The Dec. 30, 2013 edition of the classic turned back the clock, with the running game showcased as The Midshipmen of Navy defeated the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, 24-6 in a game where the winning quarterback completed only three passes. Ha! Some teams do that in one trick play. To emphasize the running in this game … the score at the end of three quarters: 10-6.


But … very refreshing to see such a great example of “3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust” football … sort of … mixed with the triple-threat option. Navy Quarterback Keenan Reynolds is about as crafty as any you’ll see. Starting most plays crouched so deep under center, you can barely see his head … holding the ball until the last split second on the hand off option to see if the defenders take the running back … pitching at the last moment, or cutting up field, leaving defenders grasping air. The Midshipman put on a clinic, 20 carries and just under 100 yards for the day.



Time out. Let’s talk about middlemen for a second. Everyone knows Navy is The Midshipmen, having watched the Army/Navy game since we were still playing with toy boats in the tub. But which is the correct abrev.? Is it “Mids” or “Middies?” This is important, so important that somewhere in the Armed Forces Bowl media information I read that it IS “Mids” and IS NOT “Middies.” Then, I saw a guy walking into the bowl game, wearing a sweet gray hoodie, and in Middle Tennessee Blue Raider blue, it said “Middies.” (By this point, I was so confused by the ambiguity, but I am relatively sure this has nothing to do with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” nor “outies” … I digress.)



So, as @PingWiFi fired out tweets during the game … we went with Mids for Navy and Middies for Middle Tennessee. This morning, we read a piece on some and some tweets calling Navy “ the Middies.”


And I for one don’t underestimate the value of social media for branding and communicating a message. We are quick to point out that PingWi-Fi, at our first Armed Forces Bowl, was the first media entity to tweet an entire bowl game from the press box. Many laughed at us. The Cotton Bowl followed our lead the next day that year. Now … EVERYONE … even ESPN has discovered Twitter.


Strategic messaging note to all bowl games: Establish and publicize an official hashtag so that you can monitor/steer the entire conversation about your game. Do NOT make the hashtag the entire name of your bowl game … there are only 140 characters in a tweet. Who want’s to sacrifice a clever message because your brand/hashtag has hogged all the “real estate” in the tweet? (Against our advice, many tweeted #GildanNewMexicoBowl for the hashtag at our last bowl assignment, while PingWF and many others all discussed the live action using #NMBowl … big difference … lots of messaging/branding and buzz escaped the bowl promoters in querky Albuquerque … even though it was a fantastic event. I digress …


But many bowl game organizers have realized that even though some games still feature the run game, media coverage with social media muscle is a whole new ball game … forever. It is much more common for a new media person to write, photograph and shoot video — one step above citizen journalism. Gone are the days when a sports writer ate hotdogs, watched another game on the TV in the press box, pulled some stats from the print outs to meet deadline … while the photographers were getting run over on the sidelines.


That brings up our last observation of the 2013 BHAFB. In these days of social media and blogging bowl games, more and more journalists jump up stairs/down stairs between press box and sideline. For the latter, if you are out to photograph some passing by The Midshipmen of Navy, well, you better have the camera ready. You won’t get many chances …



While dominating the game on the ground, Navy QB Reynolds only completed 3 of 7 attempts for 19 yards … the longest, a 10-yard completion … not exactly a ship-to-shore missile. More importantly, the feet. Reynolds scored his 31st touchdown of the season, joining an elite club that features OSU Heisman winner Barry Sanders (and also Kapri Bibbs featured in our last bowl blog).




Reynold’s counterpart, Logan Kilgore of the Blue Raiders had a long day – 14 of 22 for 152 yards. Hats off to Kilgore … he kept plugging along. Before the visit to Fort Worth, the Blue Raiders were averaging 43 points a game and enjoyed a five-game winning streak.



Both squads played physical defense, with defenders ejected from the contest over debatable infractions. Navy’s Wave Ryder (what a great name for a Navy man) left the building early in the contest after a hard shot across the bow in the general vicinity of a somewhat defenseless receiver’s head. Debatable. Middle Tennessee’s line back Rod Blunt was ejected later, after two conduct issues.



Great game … Last note … great facility. TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium, with its expanded seating, new Jumbotron mega-screen, and greatly enhanced press box are dressed to impress. What a great venue … and yes, we enjoyed Wi-Fi in the press box, and down in the photographers’ work area, just off the sidelines.




Great game, lots of hard hits, finesse, execution and cunning … with a little chirpyness mixed in. A near perfect experience. But we prefer the skill positions and modern warfare (air raids) … so we deducted one … the game missed the point after … 6 pings on the scale of 7.


Know what I sayin?