WEST POINT, NY — While many are feeling the negative effects of the government shutdown, leaders and students at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point are hoping it continues into the new year, saving them from another humiliating and crushing defeat at the Army-Navy football game.
"It's just one of those little blessings that will help make the next round of cutbacks that much easier to handle," said Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, the West Point superintendent, as he looked out his window where cadets were being released for the weekend instead of remaining behind to practice drill and ceremony for the next Saturday morning football parade.
The team, which is scheduled to play against the U.S. Naval Academy in December, is renowned for their historic 2003 NCAA record, when the Black Knights went 0-13.
"Here at USMA we strive to produce the best football players on the planet," Caslen told reporters, while getting a tattoo of 'Beat Navy' on his forehead. "Our entire school revolves around the team. Mandatory rallies, no seating for cadets in the bleachers, and the banning of alcohol at the games all help ensure that we provide the best possible atmosphere for our players to succeed."
Since the team hasn't beaten Navy in more than a decade, the institution has realigned its mission from training the next generation of officers to "just beating those goddamn midshipmen," according to the mission statement on the academy website.
"Our number one priority is beating them. We put it everywhere: On walls, powerpoint presentations, hell-we even make the freshmen say it instead of a normal 'hello' or 'good morning'. Really gets the motivation up."
Despite the changes, Caslan noted that many young men and women are focused on some other mysterious force, other than supporting their football team.
"Why would you come to the country's oldest football school to do anything other than support the Black Knights, the most storied team in NCAA history?" Caslen asked, as he changed into a Black Knight mascot uniform before he was to run around campus. "The Army-Navy game is the number one conflict facing our future officers, and they should prepare for the coming struggle accordingly by designing Spirit Posters, making homoerotic YouTube videos that insinuate everyone in the Navy is gay, or mindlessly shouting slogans along with your classmates instead of communicating like a fully developed adult."
Maj. Ryan Thompson, a professor of military football science at the school, agrees wholeheartedly.
"This government shut-down is a real gift," said Thompson. "It gives us that much more time to prepare for the next year's battle without having to deal with the pall of shame that comes over the school after each soul-crushing loss to a team that is represented by a fucking goat for a mascot."
When asked how many graduates were serving in Afghanistan, Caslen looked confused.
"Where's that school again?" Caslen asked reporters. "Do we have some kind of exchange program there? More importantly, do they have a football team?"
At press time, Caslen was informed that Afghanistan was a theater of war under the U.S. Central Command that had claimed the lives of dozen of graduates, but he clapped his hands over his ears and began loudly singing the Army fight song until reporters left.