Battleship! – A Different Approach to the Quicken Loan Carrier Classic

In honor of Veterans Day, and as a result of never growing out of our childhood passion for the iconic game Battleship, my fellow copy writer Eric Mally and I will pick our starting five battleships, one SUB-marine, and one player from Michigan State University or University of North Carolina to be the honorary Admiral for our game of Battleship.

We will pick ships according to position. For example, a ship with high firepower will go in the shooting guard position and a large ship with a lot of space will be in the center position.

While Eric and I share a passion for college basketball, retro Jordan sneakers and journalism, you will find that our preference for battleships is completely different.

So without further ado, I present you with the starting five of the 2011 Carrier Classic Copy Writer edition of Battleship!

Starting Destroyer Ships

(Power Forwards)

USS Gridley (DDG 101) vs. USS Cleveland (LPD 7)

Jon’s pick: USS Gridley (DDG 101)    Arleigh Burke-class destroyer

The USS Gridley (DDG 101) is not the largest destroyer in the Navy, but is more heavily armed than previous guided-missile destroyers.  As a member of the Pacific Fleet (homeported at Naval Base San Diego) the USS Gridley has a propulsion of 100,000 shp (shaft horsepower) capable of speeds 30 kn (35 mph) and carries two Seahawk helicopters.  The USS Gridley specs. include:

  • 509’ 6” (155.30 meters) long
  • Commissioned: 2007
  • 56 Tomahawk cruise missiles
  • Namesake: CPT Charles Gridley


USS Gridley



Eric’s pick: USS Cleveland (LPD 7)    Austin-class amphibious transport dock

The USS Cleveland is synonymous with longevity as she is the third-oldest commissioned ship in the US Navy.  The 570 foot transport dock can carry two Sea Knights, two Sea Stallions or four Iroquois utility helicopters.  In 1991 the USS Cleveland was deployed to Operation Desert Storm, and in 1993 Cleveland played a key role in the largest maritime drug seizure to date, as she embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET).  Some of the specs for the USS Cleveland are:

  • 570’ (173.7 meters) long
  • Commissioned: 1967
  • 8 x .50-cal machine guns
  • Two 25 mm Mk 38 chain guns

USS Cleveland








Winner: While Eric’s pick (the USS Cleveland) can haul more officers and troops (164 and 840 respectively) and more aircraft than my pick (the USS Gridley), I would use my Tomahawk missiles, triple torpedoes, and higher speed to attack and evacuate before he could unleash his aircraft support.  Therefore the winner is me and my USS Gridley Destroyer.

Starting Combat Ships

(Small Forwards)

USS Freedom (LCS 1) vs. USS Germantown (LSD 42)

Jon’s pick: USS Freedom (LCS 1) Freedom-class littoral combat ship

The USS Freedom is fast, capable of speeds over 40 knots (46 mph).  Designed for missions in shallow waters (but homeported in San Diego) the Freedom is used for anti-submarine warfare.  The USS Freedom’s specs include:

  • 378’ (115 meters) long
  • Propulsion: 4 Rolls-Royce waterjets
  • 9 guns, 66 Airframe Missiles
  • Motto: Fast, Fearless, Focused

USS Freedom









Eric’s pick: USS Germantown (LSD 42) Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship

The USS Germantown is the first ship in the Whidbey Island-class to serve in the Pacific Ocean.  This dock landing ship is used to carry Marines in watercraft and vehicles to support amphibious assault.  The USS Germantown specs include:

  • 610’ (190 meters) long
  • Commissioned: 1986
  • 2 x 25 mm MK 38 cannons
  • Propulsion: 16-cylinder diesel

USS Germantown









Winner:  If this fight had anything to do with luxury, I’m sure my four Rolls-Royce waterjets would be beneficial.  However, Eric’s USS Germantown can carry 413 marines and has a plethora of machine guns and Airframe Missiles.  While I’m apprehensive to admit that Eric is the winner of this ship battle, I must do my job as a journalist and provide you with fair and neutral reporting.  Thus, the winner of this round is Eric Mally.

Starting Missile Frigate

(Point Guards)

USS Rentz (FFG 46) vs. USS Princeton (CG 59)

Jon’s pick: USS Rentz (FFG 46) Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided missile frigate

The USS Rentz is equipped with AN/SPS-49 air search long-range radar good for providing bearing and range.  The firepower on the USS Rentz is truly engineered to amaze as the machine guns, triple-tube torpedo launchers, single-arm Harpoon missile launcher, and 40 round anti-ship air missiles will surely take care of whatever task is at hand.  Some of the USS Rents specs include:

  • 453’ (138 meters) long
  • CAS and STIR fire-control radar
  • 46 torpedoes, 2 machine guns
  • Carries 2 LAMP III helicopters

USS Rentz









Eric’s pick: USS Princeton (CG 59) Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser

The USS Princeton is notorious for firepower as she is armed with naval guns, anti-submarine missiles, and two Seahawk helicopters.  With air search radar, gunfire control radar, surface search radar, and active sonar, the USS Princeton is almost as sophisticated as the Ivy League university that shares its name.  The specs for the USS Princeton include:

  • 567 (173 meters) long
  • 4 x .50 cal (12.7 mm) guns
  • 8 x RGM 84 harpoon missiles
  • Speed: 32.5 Knots (60 km/h)

USS Princeton









Winner:  The USS Princeton is very sophisticated and has the ability to analyze the area around the ship very thoroughly like many point guards in the NCAA.  While Eric’s pick has comparable firepower to my pick (the USS Rentz), I believe the processing systems and nearly double the number of soldiers on the USS Princeton will give Eric the win at this stage.

Starting Carrier


USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) vs. USS Makin Island (LHD 8 )

Jon’s pick: USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) United States Navy Nimitz-class supercarrier

The USS Carl Vinson (the Gold Eagle) has versatility in abundance as its range is unlimited (20 years) and it has a marine propulsion mechanism that employs 2 x Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors.  The 1,092 foot vessel (named after Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson) also carries 90 fixed wing planes and helicopters.  The specs for the USS Carl Vinson are as follows:

  • 1,092’ (333 meters) long
  • 2 x Mk Sea Sparrow anti-aircraft missile weapons
  • 2 x RIM 116 Rolling Missiles
  • Versatile: Carrier/Fighter ship

USS Carl Vinson









Eric’s pick: USS Makin Island (LHD 8 ) Wasp-class amphibious assault ship

The USS Makin Island is a ship notorious for power projection as the amphibious assault carrier releases Harrier fighters, ASW helicopters, and LCU hovercraft during its roll of sea-control.  Specs for the USS Makin Island include:

  • 847’ (258 meters) long
  • Motto: Gung Ho
  • 4 x .50 inch machine guns
  • Speed: 25 kn (46km/h)

USS Makin Island









Winner:  The USS Carl Vinson not only provided a sea burial to one of the most notorious Al-Qaeda terrorists, it’s also the home of the highly anticipated transformative events of the year.  The Winner is the USS Carl Vinson, hands down.

Starting Cruiser


USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) vs. USS Devastator (MCM 8 )

Jon’s pick: USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) Ticonderoga class cruiser

The USS Lake Champlain is smooth from long distance as its phased array radar scans at thousands of degrees per second, fast enough to track many individual targets while still running a wide-ranging search periodically.  The Lake Champlain’s specs include:

  • 567’ (173 meters) long
  • 8 x RGM-84 Harpoon Missiles
  • Speed: 32.5 knots
  • 80,000 shaft horsepower (shp)

USS Lake Champlain









Eric’s pick: USS Devastator (MCM 6) Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship

The USS Devastator clears mines from vital waterways by finding, classifying and destroying bottom mines.  It has a diesel engine propulsion system and compliments 81 servicemen.

  • 224’ (68 meters) long
  • Commissioned:  1990
  • Avenger Minesweeper
  • Propulsion: Diesel Engines

USS Devastator









Winner:  The USS Devastator is the perfect ship to find mines.  However, in this game of Battleship, no mines will be used making my ship (the USS Lake Champlain) winner by default!


(6th man)

USS Woodrow Wilson (SSBN 624) vs. Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709)

Jon’s pick: USS Woodrow Wilson (SSBN 624) Lafayette-class ballistic missile submarine

The USS Woodrow Wilson (capable of speeds of 20 knots surfaced) was converted into an attack submarine in 1990.  It has a top speed of 20 knots surfaced and 25 knots submerged.  The USS Woodrow Wilson is equipped with Mark 48 torpedoes and vertical Poseidon ballistic missiles.  The specs for the Woodrow Wilson include:

  • 425’ (130 meters) long
  •  4x 21” (530) Mark 65 torpedo
  • Speed: 25 knots submerged
  • Draft: 31’ 6”  (9.60 meters)

USS Woodrow Wilson









Eric’s pick: USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) Los Angeles-class Submarine

The USS Hyman G. Rickover is similar to the first submersible warship of the U.S. Navy, the oar-propelled Alligator.  The Alligator set sail in 1862 for the first time to destroy a bridge in Virginia.  Unfortunately, the river was not deep enough to allow the 47-foot-long Alligator to submerge.  The specs for the USS Hyman G. Rickover include the following:

  • 362’  (110 meters) long
  • Commissioned:  1984
  • 4 (533mm) Torpedo Tubes
  • Homeport: Norfolk, Virginia

USS Hyman G. Rickover









Winner:  Using a modified version of Pythagoras’ Theorem, I calculated the winner of the SUB division.  My submarine has more firepower, more length, and therefore is more awesome, making me the winner!



Draymond Green (MSU) vs. Harrison Barnes (UNC)

I picked my Admiral, Draymond Green of MSU, because he is a team leader who is as willing to help the team through rebounding and defending as he is through taking and making the big shot.

Draymond Green









Eric picked his Admiral, Harrison Barnes of UNC, because he is the number 1 ranked player in the NCAA with a promising NBA career ahead of him.

Harrison Barnes









Thus, after thorough quantitative mathematical analysis (I have 4 wins, Eric has 2), I hereby crown myself as the champion of the 2011 Carrier Classic Copy Writer edition of Battleship! I hope you enjoyed our game!

I also hope you will tune in to the 2011 Quicken Loans Carrier Classic this Friday (Veterans Day) at 7:00 PM ET.

About Jon Slappey

Jon is a sports enthusiast with a passion for journalism.

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