The History of Navy vs Army Football Game
One the most ardent rivalries in college football is the Army Black Knights vs Navy Midshipmen. Every year, the game draws more viewers as it’s seen as one of the greatest game of the season. As an alumni of the Naval Academy, Navy football holds a significant place in my heart. The big game is something that I look forward to watching every fall. In 2015, the game played in Philadelphia, PA at the Lincoln Financial Field on December 12th with Navy winning 21 to 17. As a result of this win, Navy has been on a 14 year winning streak, the longest they have ever had.
The first game between the two great military rivals took place in 1890. Except for four years, the game has been held at various locations throughout the country. Considered neutral territory, New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia are often the host cities for the game due to their location between the two campuses. They haven’t been the only cities to hold the big game over the years. Chicago, Pasadena, and East Rutherford have all been hosts as well.
Only six games over the 125 years have taken place on the school’s campuses. While there are various reasons for this, the major reason is due to the stadium’s capacity. Due to the demand of the current students, alumni, civilians, and other military personnel to see such a historic game, it was logical to move to a bigger venue. Army’s Michie Stadium holds 38,000 people while Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium holds 34,000 people. It was in 1899, the first neutral territory game occurred. Since then, the only two games to play at one of the school’s stadium occurred in 1942 and 1943 due to World War II’s travel ban.
At first the games played the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the day the rest of the college teams ended their season. In recent years, it is now played the second Saturday of December as the last game of the season for both teams. One reason the date moved to the second weekend in December is due to the conference championship games for the other teams, which are always held on the first weekend of the month.
Besides winning the game this year, the Navy won the Commander in Chief trophy for the 15th time – a competition between the three branches of the military’s football teams. As of 2016, Navy leads against Army with a record of 60-49-7.
Go Navy, beat Army!