Hard and soft power: Emmet Ryan on a spectacular sporting experience

Hard and soft power: Emmet Ryan on a spectacular sporting experience View Gallery
Malcolm Perry scores the decisive touchdown for Navy against Air Force this month

Gridiron comes to Dublin next August when Navy and Notre Dame face each other at the Aviva Stadium. Ahead of the showpiece fixture, Emmet Ryan went to Annapolis in Maryland to see all the pomp and circumstance for himself

On a dreary November day in 1996, the cries were clear and pointed. “We beat Air Force,” the Navy Midshipmen supporters taunted the travelling Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans on their way into Hill 16.

That Notre Dame side had lost in shocking fashion to Air Force just two weeks prior to the Fighting Irish and Navy both making their first ever trip overseas to play in Croke Park. The Fighting Irish would win the day that...

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