First, for a 1 pm game, we arrived at the Germantown Elementary School at around 8 am for our tailgate. A key piece of knowledge for those on the road. Get there early. $20 to park and the proceeds go to the local PTA. It is a five minute walk from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
We kept things simple for our tailgate since it was a road game. Subs to order, pasta salad, and munchies. Oh, and beer. Our neighbors were grilling up hot sausage and making Primanti style sandwiches with capicola. For those who don't know, a Primanti's sandwich is one that has cole slaw and fries added to the meat and cheese. If you care to know more, here is a link to the history of Primanti Brothers.
Everyone was in a festive mood. Even our four legged friends.
After having our fill of tailgate fare, we cleaned up and made sure to be in the stadium early. The Midshipmen form up on the academy grounds at Noon and the whole brigade marches into the stadium at 12:30.
One of the great things about being at the academy is all of the history and memorials. You can't walk 50 feet without running into another memorial. Ironically, the first memorial I ran into inside the stadium was one commemorating WWII submariners. My Great-Uncle served on the USS Perch, the fifth sub listed on the left. A few weeks into the war in the Pacific, his sub was sunk and he became a POW for the rest of the war. It was nice to see something that honors his crew mates that did not live to come home.