Army-Navy: Honoring tradition, football and otherwise

The annual Army vs. Navy game is one of the nation's oldest football rivalries, dating back to 1890. The football teams from the US Military and US Naval Academies honor all those who came before them.

Matt Slocum/AP/File
In this file photo, Army cadets hold up a sign as Navy midshipmen march off the field before an NCAA college football game between Army and Navy in Philadelphia. No single game is as important to its participants than Army-Navy.

The 113th edition of Army-Navy football takes place Saturday in the City of Brotherly Love, which is appropriate since the young men who will play on the gridiron will ultimately be brothers-in-arms defending the United States.

And like most brothers, the two teams will compete fiercely for 60 minutes (if not more), then salute each other's academy. For those of you who haven't traveled to either West Point or Annapolis, you owe it to yourself to take a regular season game at both locations (these days, the Army-Navy game is not played at either campus).

The US Military Academy in New York state sits on a bluff high above the Hudson River, 50 miles north of New York City. When I visited in the mid-1990s, the foliage around Michie Stadium was a cavalcade of color. The 'Long Gray Line' of cadets marched smartly on the campus parade grounds, prior to the football game. Statues of some of this nation's greatest generals watch over all. And the sounds of the game - everything from Howitzers firing to salute Army touchdowns to traditional marches performed by the Army cadet band - are impressive.

The US Naval Academy in eastern Maryland is located where the Severn River flows into Chesapeake Bay. During another mid-90s excursion, I witnessed one of the closest flyovers anyone might experience. A handful of Navy jets screamed over the top of Navy-Marine Corps Stadium just as the national anthem finished. The names of Navy and Marine battles, fought over the years in far-flung places, were written on the stadium walls.

Another highlight of the afternoon was running into former Baltimore Oriole and Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson on the sidelines. He, too, appreciated all the traditions of the service academy.

All of that tradition from each academy comes into play when these two schools meet at the end of their respective seasons. This fall, Navy is enjoying the better football campaign, with seven wins and a bowl game later this month. The Midshipmen are led by senior running back Gee Gee Greene, who's accounted for just over 1,000 yards of total offense this season.

Army is 2-and-9, but they own the nation's best rushing attack, averaging almost 370 yards per game. The Black Knights are looking at Saturday's encounter as their bowl game.

The Army-Navy football game will be televised by CBS, beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Army-Navy: Honoring tradition, football and otherwise
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today