Today marks the 113th time that the US Military Academy has played the US Naval Academy in football. The first game was played on 29 Nov 1890. The Midshipmen have won 56 of the 111 previous games, including the last 10 in a row. The Black Knights of Army have won 49 of the games. There have been 7 ties.
Navy is 7-4 going into today's game and will play in a bowl game, while Army is 2-9. Oddly enough, Army beat Air Force for one of those two wins. That means that if the Black Knights beat the Midshipmen today, Army wins the Commander in Chief Trophy. That can make a season for a service academy. Navy would take the C-in-C Trophy if they win.
I am in favor of a playoff system to determine the national champion in college football and will once again boycott all bowl games. In fact, I haven't watched any college football all season. I do love some of the tradition and pageantry in college football. 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 there are young people in this country who do understand the words duty, honor, country, and commitment. And they come from all backgrounds.
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 team's 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 spring 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. Air Force finished 6-6, losing to Navy 28-21 in OT in October and to Army 41-21 in November. The Falcons will play in a bowl game.
Yes, at 6-6 you get to go to a bowl game. That's one of those reasons I'm boycotting bowl games forever. If you don't earn a winning record, how can you play in the post season?
United States Air Force Academy
Integrity first, Service before self, Excellence in all we do