In the City of Brotherly Love ...
December 14, 2013 10:04 AM   Subscribe

At 3 pm EST, the BLACK KNIGHTS of WEST POINT will meet the MIDSHIPMEN of the NAVAL ACADEMY in PHILADELPHIA. It is the 114th time since the two teams first met, in 1890. Navy leads the series, 57-49, and after an 11 year winning streak, spirits are running high...

CBS is broadcasting the game, and webcasting it. They have a game preview as well.

Army-Navy Game on wikipedia.

America's Game: A Brief History Of The Army-Navy Game And Why You Should Watch It
While the programs are no longer the NCAA champions of years past, the rivalry is still at "You can go 1-11 as long as you beat THEM!" levels.

The coin used for the coin toss will be the one JFK was supposed to use in 1963. Remembering The Army-Navy Game Of 1963. Roger Staubach reflects on his eventful season with Navy football in 1963

Showtime Sports documentary on the game: A Game Of Honor, preview
Making Of "A Game Of Honor"
The Army-Navy game has seen some important developments in the history of football, including the invention of the football helmet and instant replay and the modern pass-interference rule.

The night before, teams of cadets and midshipmen depart from their respective service academies to relay the game ball to Philadelphia, on foot. The Corps of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen will march in formation onto the field before entering the stands, like before every football game.

Both teams sing each school's alma mater (Navy, Army) after the game together, but the winning team sings last.

Reddit's r/CFB (collegefootball) ran "132 teams in 132 days" with both:
Army Black Knights
Navy Midshipmen
posted by the man of twists and turns (24 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:05 AM on December 14, 2013 [14 favorites]

Meanwhile, the Air Force waits patiently...
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:11 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh! So the winner of the football matches between the three major service academies (sorry, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine!) is awarded the Commander-in-Chief's trophy by the President. Since Navy beat Air Force this year, and AF beat Army, and in the event of a tie, it stays with the previous winner, the trophy will be staying in Annapolis.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:15 AM on December 14, 2013

With close relatives who served in the Navy and Army, I loved going to this game with them. You will never see so many buzzcut cigar-chomping sergeants in one place outside of a Duke Nukem cosplay event. And the traditions: the cannon, the pushups, the total sportsmanship...highly recommended.
posted by zippy at 10:32 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Short videos, known as "Spirit Spots," are made by midshipmen and fleet units and contributed - here are some of my favorites:

My N-Star Was Earned (the star indicates a win over Army)
Life of Plebe
Star Wars complaints
Old Spice Navy
Naval Diving Salvage Training Center

lots of them are parodies of songs:
MIDSHOP (Thrift Shop)
What Does The Zoomie Say?
Party Rock The Army
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:44 AM on December 14, 2013

Hopefully there won't be any railing collapses this year.
posted by SansPoint at 10:54 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's something noteworthy about the fact that Air Force has actually been historically dominant on the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy (though they obviously don't have the deep-seated rivalry that Army and Navy do.)
posted by Navelgazer at 10:54 AM on December 14, 2013

Beat Army.
posted by Seeba at 10:54 AM on December 14, 2013

There's a rumor going around that Army is going to soon unveil "the forward pass", maybe even today!

(Yes, I know the Duffel is a satire site. I love the fact that Army is still often a wishbone team. Go Army, Beat Navy!)
posted by Fortran at 11:32 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm assuming the current President never weighs in on who he's rooting for and why.

The president traditionally switches sides at halftime, although I don't think anyone was under any illusions about who, for example, JFK wanted to win.
posted by dsfan at 11:59 AM on December 14, 2013

There's also a new book called "All American" about the game and two players from the 2001 meeting; I heard a piece on NPR about it on Friday. Sounds pretty good.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:01 PM on December 14, 2013

Sentiment must go to the Navy, though among my wife's familial detritus is a team photo and program from the 1902 game in which some great great uncle played for Army. (It must be said, I can't make the fellow out in the video, but I've no doubt he played manfully.(22-8 over Navy))

The president traditionally switches sides at halftime

Which explains this video
posted by BWA at 12:23 PM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't really watch college football but I love the throwback offenses of the service academies. Triple option from the flexbone! It's the coolest, like watching a clock unwind over and over, every piece moving in perfect synchronization. So Navy is my favorite college team, which is kind of weird for someone who never served I suppose.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:26 PM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

The were just explaining that Auburn is playing the national championship this year with essentially the same offense that Army ands Navy run.
posted by COD at 1:06 PM on December 14, 2013

I love how the dive gets 2 yards a carry for a quarter and a half and then all of a sudden they break a long one. Just like that.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:21 PM on December 14, 2013

posted by OHenryPacey at 1:45 PM on December 14, 2013

GO ARMY BEAT THE HELL OUT OF NAVY! (They probably won't though)
posted by A Bad Catholic at 2:28 PM on December 14, 2013

Oh thank God, we actually scored.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 2:31 PM on December 14, 2013

My family lived in West Point about 30 years ago (Dad was a graduate who returned to teach) and the Army-Navy game and surrounding pageantry was probably the most exciting part of the year (along with graduation and lining up every summer to watch the new plebes march back from training).

On base, in the fields up near Trophy Point, there'd be this huge rally the night before the game. One year was really over the top -- the cadets had constructed an enormous navy ship out of 2x4s and plywood and a billowing sail, and they manned it with a half-dozen life-size dummies in white cotton t-shirts, with NAVY painted in huge letters across the chest. Drums sounded. Lots of shouting in unison GOOOO ARMY GO (pound pound pound) GO ARMY GO!

And then they lit the ship with torches with great ceremony -- the whole thing must have been doused with gasoline because the flames shot up a good 20 feet, a cadet who had climbed on top of the ship to light it had to jump down and stumbled on the fall, nearly spraining an ankle, and then fabric from the sails and from the dummies' costumes would lift and fly, on fire, burning into the night sky.

It was a sight to behold! And also quite terrifying. I was only eight and had recently been reading about witch burnings, and I thought of those poor doomed women, and the madness and fervor of those fire-hungry Puritan crowds, and thought yes, it must have been just like this, all chaos and confusion. So of course I started howling, and Dad had to haul me off to the edge of the field and stand with me (in what I am sure was sheer confusion) until I stopped sobbing about the poor, burned witches and could breathe again.

Army almost always loses, and we know that, going in. It's part of the stern-jawed, steely reserve that West Pointers seem to have, the one that seems to soften a little as they go gray. (But, we like to note, it's called the Army-Navy game, not the Navy-Army game.)

posted by mochapickle at 2:32 PM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is so bad.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 3:34 PM on December 14, 2013

Last year's game had one of the most poignant moments I've ever seen in sports. Army was driving down the field very late. It looked like they were going to score. But then the quarterback, Steelman, fumbled and Navy recovered. He was in tears, and rightly so; he'd just lost the chance to end the long losing streak to Navy. The Navy coach, Ken Niumatalolo, went right to find him and hug him at the end of the game moments later; while you're always glad to win a game, even the opposing team knew that moment was absolutely crushing for Steelman. Anyone who saw that sequence unfold is never going to forget it.
posted by azpenguin at 5:29 PM on December 14, 2013 [3 favorites]

I was a Naval Academy midshipman once, and Army-Navy is insane. It's an entire week of pranking, plebe-firstie bets, contests, pep rallies, and as much fun as you can have at a school as locked down as USNA. Then it culminates in the game itself which is just too much. You feel mobilized. We aren't, of course, part of the team proper, but you feel like it when you're in those stands, in your long coats, yelling for dear life that he'll run, run, run. I'm not a huge football guy, but the whole experience is overwhelming and awesome. Then, at the end, the two school alma maters play, with both schools joining in, and though one side has to go away with a less enthusiastic exit than entrance, there's such a mingling of satisfaction and of an experience well earned.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:14 PM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]

« Older The dark powers   |   Poor Man's Pappy Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments