Some people say “The Game” is Harvard vs Yale or Michigan vs Ohio State. Hell even some assholes consider Hampden-Sydney vs Randolph-Macon “The Game”. Seriously? Two Division III schools call their matchup “The Game”, give me a break. Anyway, I have to respectively disagree, especially with that minor league college BS. Army vs Navy is THE GAME.
Not only is it THE GAME, It’s America’s game. To me, this is the biggest football game of the year (unless Penn State is in the Rose Bowl). Two of America’s biggest rivals who shout all year, “GO ARMY BEAT NAVY” or “GO NAVY BEAT ARMY”. All the hate and loathe finally meet on the football field and decide who has bragging rights for the year. For some, those bragging rights continue throughout their military career.
Not only is the Army/Navy game itself steep in tradition. There are a number of other traditions that occur besides the football matchup.
“The March On”
The March On occurs every Army/Navy game before kickoff. Each service academies corps of cadets march onto the field in military formation. Not just a few cadets, the entire student body!
The Prisoner Exchange
According to We Are the Mighty, “Before the game kicks off, seven West Point cadets and seven Annapolis midshipmen will march to midfield in Philadelphia to be returned to their home military academies. These “prisoners” were sent to their rival service academies in the Service Academy Exchange Program, which sends students from each of four service academies (along with West Point and Annapolis, the Air Force Academy and the Coast Guard Academy also participate) for the fall semester. The prestigious, competitive exchange program began its semester-long life in 1975 and has remained the same ever since. Each academy sends seven sophomore students to the other academies. The “Prisoner Exchange” allows the visiting cadets and mids to sit with their team’s fans.”
Nine sitting Presidents have attended the Army-Navy Game. Truman holds the record for attendance (7 games). Presidents are usually asked to perform the coin toss at the start of the game. Another well known tradition is the President switching sides at halftime. When the time comes, the President is escorted to mid-field and turned over to the opposing service academy.
Both teams are led onto the field by some big dick swinging military power. Army is led onto the field by AH-64 Apache helicopters. Navy is led on by F35 Lightning fighter jets.
West Point grad Dwight D Eisenhower put this rivalry best. “The Army and the Navy are the best of friends in the world 364-1/2 days a year, but on one Saturday afternoon, we’re the worst of enemies.”
Every day we support the men and women in the armed forces, but for that one Saturday afternoon you pick a side. ARMY or NAVY?
GO ARMY BEAT NAVY !!!
featured image – As for Football