Tag Archives: Naval Academy

Army-Navy game: always so very special

Army beat Navy today by a single point.

The Black Knights beat the Midshipmen 14-13 while snow fell on the football field during the entire game.

I’ll stipulate that I was pulling for Army and I am delighted the Black Knights beat the Middies. There, I got that out of the way.

But this game always brings out the best in college sports. We’re all proud of these young athletes and not just because of their athletic prowess. They are scholars. They excel in the classroom.

They also are preparing to do something relatively rare among college students. They are going to serve their country while wearing military uniforms. The Middies either will receive their Navy commissions or they might become officers in the U.S. Marine Corps. The Knights are heading to service in the Army.

They’ll perform their duty. Many of them might see combat duty somewhere in one of the many trouble spots where the Pentagon is deploying young men and women.

As I watched most of the game today, I couldn’t help but think of the futures that await these young men. They make me proud, as I am sure they make you proud.

Think of this for a moment. There once was a time — a couple of generations ago — when Americans didn’t express this level of pride in their military academy students, let alone for the soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines who came home from their active duty assignments.

But that was then. The here and now fills us with pride in these young Americans.

To see them compete today on a snow-covered athletic field filled me with pride not just at watching them playing tackle football, but in anticipating the contributions they are set to make in defense of the country we love.

Army, Navy players all on the same team

army navy

Do you ever hear something and then wish you could remember later precisely who said it?

Such a thing happened today to me while watching the pre-games show prior to the annual Army-Navy college football game.

Navy won for the 14th straight year against Army by a score of 21-17 — to my chagrin. When I was a boy, I rooted for Navy. Why? Dad saw plenty of combat while serving in the Navy during World War II. He cheered for Navy; therefore, so did I. That all changed in the summer of 1968 when I was inducted into the Army. Then I became an Army football fan.

During today’s pre-game show, one of the players — I think it was an Army guy — who said the game is special in this regard: All the young men, the Army cadets and the midshipmen, shared a common mission, which is to defend the nation. They’ll do that when they graduate from their respective service academies, receive their commissions and then serve their nation during this perilous time.

Another young man noted that it is the “only game where all the players are willing to lay down their lives for everyone watching it.”

How true. How profound. How difficult it becomes, therefore, to worry too much about who wins or loses a football game.

Each of these young men — and all the young men and women at all the service academies — are special.

Winning a football game? No big deal. Quite soon, many of them will be fighting for something much bigger and more important to all of us.