The annual croquet match between St. John’s College and the US Naval Academy takes place this year on Saturday, April 16. Hopefully the cooler, wet and windy weather we have had for the past week will be long gone by next weekend and the usual spring dresses, hats, suits and other garb will be a welcome change from the winter coats, gloves and scarves we have been wearing of late.
If you wonder how these two colleges ever got into an annual croquet match the story, as I have heard it, goes:
Many years ago a Mid and a Johnnie were sitting in a bar talking about how each school was better than the other. The Mid told the Johnnie that USNA could beat St. John’s in any sport they might choose. So, the Johnnie though about it and the croquet mallet was thrown down and the Annapolis Cup began. Now 34 years later the challenge for bragging rites will soon take place. It must be noted that St. John’s College has won the great majority of these contests but USNA has had some wins in the past 10 years. As I walked around town on Monday I saw the croquet team set up to practice on the front lawn of St. John’s readying for the competition. So, the Mids need to hone their skills and be ready for the challenge.
The match begins at 1 PM. Bring you picnic, your blanket, your dancing shoes (for the USNA provides live music throughout the afternoon) and, hopefully, your sun tan lotion for an afternoon of camaraderie watching this most unique intercollegiate sport.