On Saturday, December 13, 2014, the cadets of the United States Military Academy (USMA) and the midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) will face each other in one of America’s most beloved sporting traditions—the Army-Navy game. This year marks the 115th Army-Navy game. The two football teams will play in Baltimore this year, though the city of Philadelphia has hosted the Army-Navy game more times than any other city.
The first Army-Navy game took place in 1890; Navy defeated Army 24-0 at West Point in the inaugural game. Since 1890, the contest has become more even-sided. The prowess of both teams makes the rivalry all the more exciting. Navy has been on a winning streak since 2002, so the results of tomorrow’s game will prove interesting in the history of the football competition.
The Army-Navy game has not been played every year since 1890, though. In 1918 and 1919, for example, the Army-Navy game was cancelled due to World War I. However, from 1930 to the present day, the Army and Navy football teams have played each other every year.
The Army-Navy game presents an opportunity for America’s young service members to meet each other in the spirit of friendly competition. Pranks and fetes of school spirit have become a part of the Army-Navy game tradition. The two school mascots (the USNA goat and the USMA mule) have been at the center of many practical jokes. The following article from the United States Naval Institute traces the history of the Navy goat and its role in the Army-Navy game antics: http://news.usni.org/2014/12/12/brief-illustrated-history-navy-goat.
At the end of the day, though, the Army-Navy game marks more than just an occasion for jokes and tomfoolery. The Army-Navy game is a time when the American public comes together to celebrate the nation’s service members and recognize them for their dedication.