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Navy not going for the win? Unthinkable.

Sorry, I'm not buying Ken Niumatalolo falling on his sword yesterday and taking the blame for Navy's 17-14 loss to Maryland in the so-called "Crab Bowl" at M&T Bank Stadium.

Navy's smart, young coach was second-guessing himself after the game, saying he should have had the Midshipmen kick a field goal in the waning seconds instead of going for it on fourth down.

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Yes, Maryland stuffed Navy's terrific quarterback, Ricky Dobbs, as he tried to go off tackle on fourth down with the ball on the Maryland 1-yard line.

But it was still the right call. Niumatalolo went for the win. It was gutsy and the odds were with him. Seven out of 10 times, Dobbs plows into the end zone on that play and the clock runs out on Maryland.

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Not only that, but Navy's players wanted to go for the win. This is Navy, after all, not Juniata College. These are young men preparing to go into battle when their four years in Annapolis are up.

With a chance to win the game that tantalyzingly close, who among them would be content with a tie and overtime?

Did Navy settle for a tie in the Battle of Manila Bay?

During the Battle of Midway in World War II, did anyone on the USS Enterprise signal to the Japanese admiralty: "Hey, what say we call it a draw and we'll finish up tomorrow?"

Wouldn't be the Navy way.

But Ken Niumatalolo's decision sure was.

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