Army vs Navy

Posted: Saturday, December 11, 2010 by Travis Cody in

Today marks the 111th time that the US Military Academy has played the US Naval Academy in football.  The first game was played on 29 Nov 1890.  The Midshipment have won 54 of the 110 previous games, including the last 8 in a row.  The Black Knights of Army have won 49  of the games.  There have been 7 ties.

Both teams will play in bowl games.  Navy is 8-3 going into today's game and will play San Diego State on 23 December in the Poinsettia Bowl presented by San Diego County Credit Union.  Army is 6-5 and will play SMU on 30 December in the Armed Forces Bowl presented by Bell Helicopter.

I am in favor of a playoff system to determine the national champion in college football, but I also love the tradition and pageantry of the game.  That's one of the things that draws me to this game every year.  I love the spirit clips the students from both academies make.  I love the seniors who introduce themselves and the branches of service they will enter upon graduation.  

This game reminds me that young people in this country do understand the words duty, honor, country, and commitment.

Once the competition has ended, the losing team goes to its student section.  The players are called to attention on the field with the students in the stands.  And the band plays the school alma matre.  The winning team stands at attention behind them in respect and solidarity.  Then both teams proceed to the winning teams students for a repeat of the ritual.

Football, and as such sport itself, is in its proper perspective for these young men.  Playing is fun.  To play with intensity is important.  To win is important.  But above that, to play with honor and respect for your opponent is more highly valued.  This game defines sportsmanship.

Congratulations to the seniors from both academies.  I thank them for their commitment to becoming the future leaders of our armed forces, and wish them well as they graduate next sprint to the defense of our country and our liberty.

United States Military Academy
Duty, Honor, Country

United States Naval Academy
From knowledge, seapower

I include the graduating class of seniors from the US Air Force Academy in my admiration and gratitude.  Air Force finished 8-4 and won the 2010 Commander-in-Chief trophy, beating Navy 14-6 in October and Army 42-22 in November.  The Falcons will face Georgia Tech on 27 December in the Independence Bowl presented by AdvoCare V100.

United States Air Force Academy
Integrity first, Service before self, Excellence in all we do


  1. Thanks for adding the USAF academy symbol.

  1. Kate says:

    I hadn't heard of this...thanks for sharing. Good reminder of the greatness of the human spirit. Of what is true and good.

  1. I have always enjoyed that game, but even moreso after Sept. 11. We played Army here on Sept. 22, the first weekend of college football after Sept. 11.

    It was quite humbling to meet those young men and realize that many of them, especially the seniors, would soon be headed overseas to Afghanistan and the Middle East.

    It was great to see the hospitality that our fans showed their fans, especially the players' families.

  1. I missed it. I do usually like to watch this game.

  1. Jamie says:

    My dad was an Army lifer. This meant that he rooted for Army and I got Navy. Thanks for a great post and a nice memory.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love this game. I love the pageantry, too. Even more so when the Commander-in-Chief attends - with the formality of POTUS switching sides at halftime. Can't remember the last president to attend, but I know I saw it on TV. Thanks for sharing, Trav.

  1. Mike: My dad was Air Force, and the academy often gets left out. Since they won the CIC trophy, they definitely belong in this post.

    Kate: I think we choose it for ourselves.

    Southern: I think it's a special thing to choose to serve, and then to choose to lead.

    Charles: I tend to root for a competitive game. Navy has made it back to national relevance, and I think Army may almost be there.

    Jamie: I tend to be impartial unless there's a competitive imbalance. I've been tending toward Army for the last few years.

    GGG: I think Mr Bush attended a few times. I don't recall if Mr Obama has been to a game yet.