Monday, December 16, 2013

2013 Army Navy Game: It's All About The Tradition

On Saturday, the Navy Midshipmen and the Army Black Knights took the field for their 114th Annual football game.  The history between these two teams’ dates back to the late 1800’s and is even considered the one of the greatest rivalries in sports.  Servicemen and women from all branches came out for the game.  You could see nothing but military uniforms and pea coats filling out the stands.

The rivalry between Army and Navy is friendly but intense at the same time.  Dating back to 1953, the first reported kidnapping of “Bill the Goat” was announced.  A group of the West Point Cadets snuck onto Annapolis campus and stole the Navy midshipmen’s goat (Navy’s mascot.)  This was just the spark to some of the pranks they have pulled on each other throughout the years.  To this day the rivalry stays strong through social media and spirit videos.

Army was coming off a heartbreaking loss from last year where the Midshipmen made a huge comeback for their 11th straight win. They looked to break the streak this year in a snow storm that hit the northeast.  Before, during, and after the game the whole stadium, in and off the field, showed a great amount of spirit and pride.  A marriage proposal even took place on the field before the game with Army’s offensive lineman Carter Joy. A big difference between this game and any other college football game is that these guys play for the love of the game. Football is rarely in the future of these players yet they go out there every week and give it their all.
Navy started the game off strong putting up the first 17 points on the board. There was no looking back after that as Navy beat Army 34 – 7 winning their 12th straight game against Army. When asked about the streak, Coach Ken Niumatalolo said, “It’s hard to beat anybody 12 times in a row.  But to beat your rivals, I’m very proud of them.”

That respect is on full display throughout the game and especially at the end of the game when the losing team will sing its Alma mater in front of its respective student body with the winning team standing amongst them. The two teams then move over to the winning team’s side of the field where they sing their Alma mater in front of their student body.  The game is truly a sight to see and I truly believe it's the greatest rivalry in college football history.

Peter Azzarone @ Rothco