Friday, November 11, 2005

US Navy in Dublin

How will the anti-war people handle this? It's one thing for US Warplanes to be landing way down in Shannon, basically out of sight, but now the US Navy is coming to Dublin. Thousands of US naval personnel. It's practically going to be an invasion. This could get ugly. I fully expect the Fighting Irish to make it a real battle and, probably, come out on top. The Navy may be strong, but the Irish are stronger.

Okay, I'm getting a little silly, but there is going to be a Navy vs Irish college football game in Dublin in 2012. Yes, 2012. Notre Dame's Fighting Irish against the Navy's Midshipmen.

I actually think this is a bad idea on two levels. First, I was at the last ND vs Navy game here ('94? '95? - can't recall) and the atmosphere was pretty flat. No student body and only a half-filled stadium. The whole "college sports" phenomenon seems to underwhelm people here. A professional contest would be much better attended. They should play the ND-Navy game in front of 78,000 people in the Meadowlands (or wherever).

Second, I sincerely doubt there'll be a sea change in attitude by then. Yes it's college football, but each of the Navy players and many of their fans will be a member of the US Navy. That means (a) there'll undoubtedly be anti-American protests and (b) this will be a security nightmare for the local authorities.

Seven years is a very long time. Anything can happen. Maybe with President Hillary residing in the White House the protests will be more muted. Or maybe the War on Terror will be only a memory by then. Or maybe the Irish will become fully-fledged allies in the war against Islamic extremism and have the security infrastructure to guarantee the safety of thousands of US Naval personnel wandering around Dublin.

However, the most likely scenario is that things won't be a whole lot different than they are right now. Therefore, it's not a great idea.