11:48 AM EDT, October 5, 2013
The tailgate parties featured more breakfast options on Saturday before Navy faced Air Force in a rare 11:30 a.m. game, but it was pretty much business as usual for the fans who gathered early in the parking lots on an unseasonably warm day at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Predictably, just about everyone was just happy that the game didn’t fall victim to the government shutdown.
"We just felt it was going to be played," said Ron Goble of Plymouth, Mich., whose son Tyler is a sophomore linebacker for the Midshipmen. "I always figured they’d work something out. It happened early enough in the week, they'd figure out a way for the game to go on. It’s just too bad the other [academy] teams didn’t get to play this week. That’s unfortunate."
The game was very much in doubt until midweek, but the only noticeable thing missing at gametime was the traditional flyover, but that part of the pregame festivities fell victim to budget cuts well before the shutdown.
The pregame festivities did include a poignant moment of silence for the victims of the Navy Yard shootings in Washington, D.C., three weeks ago, as well as the traditional march-on by the brigade of Midshipmen.
The game drew a crowd of 38,225, the largest in the history of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.