With his longtime sweetheart, a junior at the University of Alabama, in the stands in Philadelphia for the Army-Navy game earlier this month, Navy linebacker and co-captain Brye French decided it was the perfect time to pop the question.
After all, it worked for Boise State running back Ian Johnson, who famously proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend immediately after the Broncos' 43-42 overtime victory against Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.
So French purchased an engagement ring and gave it to injured wide receiver John Howell for safe keeping on the sidelines. Just one problem: As a tribute to the senior, Howell was summoned to take the field for the Midshipmen's final play and momentarily forgot about his ring duty.
"John's got the ring in his hand-warmer," slotback Bo Snelson said. "After the kneel-down, everybody goes celebrating. John takes a peek in his hand warmer and says, 'Whew, it's still there. Good thing nothing happened to Brye's ring.'?"
After observing Army's alma mater, the Mids walked to their corner to sing "Navy Blue and Gold." French's girlfriend was seated with the brigade of midshipmen.
"After singing, everybody jumped up in the stands. We pulled Brye up in the stands, and he went ahead and proposed," Snelson said. "She said yes, and all the guys started a big chant: 'She said yes! She said yes! She said yes!'?"
Snelson figured French is getting the better end of the deal.
"She's about as good a girl as you can find," he said. "She puts up with us knuckleheads."
- Kevin Dunleavy