A short drive from Aviva Stadium, site of the game dubbed the Emerald Isle Classic, and the team hotel are some of the most iconic landmarks in the country’s rich history, including the childhood home of Oscar Wilde, Trinity College and the Guinness brewery, makers of Ireland’s trademark export.
The Midshipmen won’t be visiting any of them.
“This is not a bowl game,” Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo said last week.
Niumatalolo and his staff have been delivering that message consistently and forcefully as Navy embarks on a season of redemption. The Midshipmen went 5-7 last year, their first losing record since 2002.
Last season was particularly disheartening because Navy lost five games by a combined 11 points. The most infamous among them was a 35-34 defeat to Air Force on Oct. 1, when the Midshipmen stormed back from an 18-point halftime deficit to force overtime.