Army-Navy Game More Than Just Football

Army (2-9) meets Navy (7-4) in the 113th Army-Navy Game on Saturday December 8th.

Army (2-9) meets Navy (7-4) in the 113th Army-Navy Game on Saturday December 8th in Philadelphia, PA.

College football rivalries are among the oldest and most intense in American sports. College football itself is full of passion, with millions of fans gathering every year to support their schools, their communities, and their teams on the gridiron. Saturday marks the continuation of one of America’s finest football rivalries with the playing of the 113th Army-Navy Game.

Pitting the football teams between the United States Military Academy (Army) and the United States Naval Academy (Navy), the Army-Navy Game is one of the most anticipated college football games every season. Not only is the actual game always competitive, but the camaraderie and tradition of the game makes it so special.

Both academies enter the stadium in full dress uniform, marching in close formation. Fireworks, marching bands, and a flyover highlight the game’s many off-field activities. And most impressive, both teams sing the losing team’s alma mater before turning to the winning team’s fans and singing their alma mater.

But undoubtedly the greatest aspect of the game is the senses of patriotism and service the game embodies. More than 25 players in Saturday’s game will be playing in their final football game, before graduating and entering active military service. Many of those cadets and midshipmen could be headed to areas of war and conflict. The Army-Navy Game gives us a chance to reflect on the courage and determination of these brave student-athletes and to appreciate their devotion to the armed forces of the United States.

Both the Army's Corps of Cadets (front) and Navy's Brigade of Midshipmen actively participate in the game's ceremonies. (Source: US Army)

Both the Army’s Corps of Cadets (front) and Navy’s Brigade of Midshipmen actively participate in the game’s ceremonies. (Source: US Army)

But as traditional and inspirational as the Army-Navy Game is, there is still football to be played. For the 82nd year, the game will be played in Philadelphia, PA, a city equidistant from both West Point, NY and Annapolis, MD. Navy (7-4) comes into the 2012 game with a ten-game winning streak in the rivalry. The Midshipmen are led by senior RB Gee Gee Greene, who leads the team in both rushing and receiving yardage. Army (2-9) features two 1000-yard rushers in QB Trent Steelman and RB Raymond Maples.

Look for the 2012 game to be dominated by the ground game. Both teams play a ground-and-pound style of football; Army leads the nation in rushing yardage while Navy’s rushing attack ranks sixth in Division I football. Navy is bowl eligible with seven wins, and although Army will not reach a bowl game this season, they still have a chance to win a coveted trophy. The Commander-In-Chief Trophy, awarded to the best service school team each season, is up for grabs in the 2012 game. Both Navy and Army defeated Air Force earlier this season, so the winner of the game takes the trophy and the bragging rights.

Character. Tradition. Honor. These are just some of the principles of the Army-Navy Game. It is far more than just a football game, it is a tribute. A tribute to the bravest young men in college football. The rivalry between Army and Navy might be fierce, but these young men all play for the same team: the United States of America.

 

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2 Responses to Army-Navy Game More Than Just Football

  1. Sean Breslin says:

    I love watching this game so much. It’s such a wonderful event for patriotism and pride.

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