Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    America's Game



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Roys 

    All Hands Magazine

    America’s Game

    Go Navy, Beat Army --- In the weeks leading up the Army-Navy Game, these words will be shouted by Sailors, Midshipmen and fans of Navy football. Hearing this has become synonymous when discussing the game, with their Army counterparts having their version of these famous words. The Navy Midshipmen played the Army Black Knights a total of 122 times since the first game in 1890. Navy currently leads the all-time series with 62 wins and 53 losses. The teams have tied seven times. They have played in locations ranging from their respective campuses to Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and all the way to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Future venues for the game include Foxborough, Massachusetts. Keenan Reynolds, one of the best Academy football players during his time on campus, spoke about the game during an interview on the Paul Finebaum Show. “I’ve never been to a super bowl or been a fan of a super bowl winning team but I would assume it’s the equivalent of that” said Reynolds when asked what it’s like to beat Army. “Everybody from the coaches all the way down to the youngest plebe feels the same excitement and joy. The brotherhood of current and former Navy football players celebrate the win in the locker room. It’s an amazing feeling to be there and a tremendous reward for all the hard work you put in.” The history and pageantry of the game are some of the most recognizable anywhere in college football. The game is played on the second Saturday in December, the week after the regular season of college football ends. This is the only game played that day, and all eyes are on it. “I get goosebumps just thinking about it,” said Reynolds. “The pageantry, the flyover, the alma mater, singing second, beating Army. These are all things that make this game special. Seeing the traditions surrounding the game on television is one thing, but there’s nothing like seeing it in person.” Marine Capt. Amos Mason, a 2017 graduate of the Naval Academy, played four seasons on the football team. He played in four Army-Navy games and beat Army three times. He grew up playing little league football with Keenan, whose advice was a big reason he ultimately attended the Academy. “Playing in the game 1000% lives up to the hype” said Mason. “Before the game starts, and even up to the first couple plays, your adrenaline is pumping and everything feels like it’s moving a mile a minute. Once you settle in, you realize you’re just playing football and you start to rely on your training and preparation for the moment.” The game has traditionally been at neutral, large venues for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that neither on-campus stadium is large enough to hold the crowds this game typically attracts. In a game played in 1963, shortly following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a crowd of more than 100,000 filled Municipal Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The most recent game in 2021 attracted upwards of 80,000 fans alone. Ten sitting U.S. presidents have attended at least one game. “I was fortunate enough to play in some big-time games while I was attending the academy,” said Mason. “I played against Notre Dame on the road, Ohio State on the road and against some other historic programs. No game matched the atmosphere of a sold-out Army Navy game. You look one way and you see a bunch of Army cadets, you look the other way and you see a bunch of Midshipmen. It’s unlike anything else.” One of the more unique traditions surrounding this game happens before the opening kickoff. The event is called “The March On” and features the entire attending student body of both academies marching in military formation across the field. This event marks the future military service of students from both academies. The pride around this game goes well beyond the players strapping their shoulder pads and buckling their helmets. The student athletes playing in this game will go onto become officers in the different branches of the military. They will deploy around the world in service to our nation. This fact was not lost on Mason during his years playing for the academy. “This is the only game in the entire world where everyone playing on the field is willing to go into harm’s way for everyone watching,” said Mason. “That didn’t really hit me until I got to the fleet. I saw how everyone who played in the game would go on to serve their country and fulfill a purpose bigger then football.” One moment from the Army-Navy game that impacted the sport of football happened in 1893. A Midshipman named of Joseph Mason Reeves, who would later become an Admiral, asked an Annapolis, Maryland shoemaker to help him craft head protection. The result of this would be Reeves wearing what is widely considered the first helmet in football history. The game has featured five Heisman Trophy winners and several prominent National Football League Players, in its history. Former president Dwight D. Eisenhower played in the 1912 game, in which Navy won 6-0. After each game, both teams visit each other’s sideline where they sing the losing school’s song while facing the students from that school. After the first song is complete, they go to the winning team’s students and sing their song. The phrase “sing second” has become a tradition for the team hoping to win the game. Mason was asked any final words on his experience playing in the game and he simply said, “Go Navy, Beat Army.” The 2022 Army-Navy Game will be played on Dec. 10, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.



    Date Taken: 12.28.2022
    Date Posted: 12.28.2022 11:14
    Story ID: 435963
    Location: US

    Web Views: 43
    Downloads: 0