Army vs Navy – A One-of-a-kind Rivalry
In December, Army and Navy will renew one of the most unique rivalries in college football. The military schools will play for the 116th time in a series that dates back to 1890.
It is a rivalry that’s featured some of the greatest players in college football history. Roger Staubach and Joe Bellino, both Heisman Trophy winners, spearheaded some great Navy teams while Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard, both of whom also won college football’s most prestigious award, etched their names in the annals of Army football.
The game marks the end of college football’s regular season and is the third and final one of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series which includes the Air Force academy. Lately, it has been a one sided. Navy has won the last 14 meetings and leads the all-time series 60-49-7.
Win or lose, just about every senior on the field will be playing in his last competitive football game. After graduation, there is a military commitment and, by the time that ends, most will be too old to compete for a job in the NFL.
The Army-Navy game is truly played for pride and for the love of the game. There isn’t a national championship, endorsement deal, or big contract at stake. It’s all about a competition played between two very special institutions. The rivalry has been played in New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia over the course of the series and is always popular on TV.
Arguably, the most unique aspect of the series comes after the final score has been determined. At the end of the game, both teams' songs are played. The winning team stands alongside the losing one and faces the students of the losing academy. The losing team then accompanies the winning team, facing their students. This is done in a show of mutual respect and solidarity. Since the winning team's alma mater is always played last, the phrase "to sing second" has become synonymous with winning the rivalry game.
Army vs Navy. There is nothing in college football quite like it.