All You Need To Know About The Army Navy Game

The Army Navy game forms one of the greatest cultures of America. It is a football game comprising two prestigious teams from America. Namely, the match takes place between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen. The Knights are from the United States Military Academy(USMA) at West Point, New York. On the other hand, the Midshipmen are from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, Maryland. Each of these teams represents the oldest officer in charge of sources. It is a significant American heritage that first came to be on November 29, 1890. The tradition also witnessed the President of the US attending the tournament. Let’s dive into the American tradition of football and get to know more about its significance:

The History of The Game’s Making

The first initiation of the Army Navy game took place on November 29, 1890. The two teams have played the games annually in every season since 1930. The game takes place around certain locations in America. New York City and Baltimore were some of those before fixing it in Philadelphia. The game takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. However, the game currently takes place on the second Saturday in December. The game is often implicated in national championships. However, the limits for weight, height, and other physical features became competitive over time. Thus, only the Army and Navy teams have winning records in the matches of 1996, 2010, 2016, and 2017 since 1963. Despite the competitive grounds, the tournament is a college football institution. The casters show the game through over-the-air broadcasts.

How Many Presidents Have Attended It?

There have been a total of 10 Presidents of the US to attend the game. Theodore Roosevelt was the first President who attended the games in 1901 and 1905. Harry S. Truman had attended one edition during his eight-year tenure. Eventually, he missed one match in 1951 due to a vacation. Both George W. Bush and Donald Trump had attended the games thrice each. Bush had attended the 2001, 2004 and 2008 tournaments. On the other hand, Trump had attended the 2018, 2019 and 2020 ones. Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge attended the Army-Navy games in 1913 and 1924, respectively. Additionally, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama attended the event in 1974, 1996, and 2011. Moreover, John F. Kennedy had also attended two games in 1961 and 1962 during his presidency.

The Significant Traditions

The  Army Navy game becomes an emotional platform, especially for seniors. Both the Army and Navy academies call these seniors “first classmen”. The game is typically the last competitive tournament between the seniors. Two teams, Annapolis and West Point, share a friendly rivalry in the game. Phrases like “Beat Army!” and “Beat Navy!” have become very popular lately. These form the most common cheering slogans and are a token of the competitive spirit. Pre-game proceedings also become a traditional start to the most-awaited game. The “prisoner exchange” involves the Cadets and Midshipmen studying at the sister academy. Pupils shortly follow, playing with their comrades after the exchange is over. Both the USMA & USNA sing the American National Anthem in choirs. Moreover, the outcome of the match is followed by either side facing the losing academy’s students. Above all, this symbolizes the feeling of solidarity among them.

What Were Some of The Notable Tournaments?

The game took place in Chicago on November 27, 1926. The chosen location served to show respect to the American servicemen who fought in World War I. The Navy team was undefeated when it came to play the tournament. Whereas the Army team had already lost to Notre Dame. Over 100,000 spectators had joined the match. The game ended in a tie between the Army and Navy by 21-21. The 1945 game became the “game of the century”. The Army had defeated the Navy by 32-13 in the same year’s tournament. The game had nearly reached its swan song after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. However, his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, had urged the academies to conduct the tournaments. The next game’s former schedule was November 30, 1963. However, it took place on December 7. Additionally, the seventh of December, 1963, also saw the 22nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.


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