Go Army! Beat Navy! I decided on Independence Day I would pick one of the best rivalries in college football. The Army-Navy game is the subject of today’s 99 Things. The two academies have met 122 times with Navy leading the series 62-53-7. Navy won the most recent matchup and has also won 19 of the last 25 games dating back to 1997. Army and Navy have traditionally met at the end of November or beginning of December. Recently the game was moved to the week following conference championships.
The first meeting between Army and Navy took place in 1890 playing at West Point. This was one of only four games to be played at West Point. Philadelphia has been the main site of the rivalry hosting 89 games in the series history. The New York City metro area, Baltimore, and Annapolis have all hosted at least three games. The Rose Bowl hosted the 1983 matchup where they paid travel expenses of all the students and supporters of both academies. The host site of the game will be rotating over the next five years between Philadelphia, Baltimore, East Rutherford, and Foxborough.
The Army-Navy game is an intense rivalry but deeply rooted with respect. While they may be going against each other on the gridiron, they will suited up next to each other when they are all called upon to serve their country. Both schools have a chant mentioning they want to be their rival. Navy’s phase is “Go Navy! Beat Army!” while Army’s is the exact opposite. One tradition at the game is a prisoner exchange. The prisoners are midshipmen and cadets who were spending a semester at the opposite academy.
One of the best traditions in college football happens after the game has been completed. Both schools will sing their alma mater following the completion of the game. Both teams go to the losing team’s corner and sing the first alma mater. Every team always wants to sing second because only the winners sing second. Both schools participate in the alma maters as a sign of respect for each other. Watching the celebration commence after the first alma mater has been completed is my personal favorite part. Players begin jumping into the stands to celebrate with their fellow service members.
The Army-Navy game will rarely feature a team in the top 25 but it will always be a quality game. The matchup is typically one of the cleanest games of the year because of much they are disciplined. The triple option is rarely used in college football so here is a chance to marvel at some of the best to run the system. This rivalry is truly one of the best games and helps make college football special.