Army Navy Game – Tradition at its Finest
Saturday, December 13, is the Army Navy Game, the best of college rivalries. All the others are great…USC-UCLA, Michigan-Michigan State…the list goes on…but none compare or mean as much as Army Navy. A win-less season is a success with a win over Army (or Navy). I am fortunate to have been able to March On the field prior to 4 ARMY Navy games (68, 69, 70, 71). This intense rivalry is on the minds of the Mids and Cadets, constantly. So much that it is a plebe requirement to always know (and be able to recite) the 4 most important dates at the Academy…the days until the next Leave (vacation), the number of days until Second Class (Juniors) Ring Dance, the days until First Class Graduation, and the number of days until we “Beat the hell out of Army.”
And while the rivalry on the field is as intense as it gets, we all were taught and realized that we were “comrades in arms” and that although we are on different sides during the game, when it is over, we are all on the same team, Team USA.
When I was a Mid, at the conclusion of the game, it was the duty of plebes to go onto the filed and face the Army side while the cadets sang their Alma Mater. The Army plebes would then face our side as we sang Navy Blue and Gold. Plebes then sought out a plebe from the “other Academy” and exchanged a cuff link. That cuff link was to be worn on the left cuff, and our USNA cuff link to be worn on the right cuff (visible when saluting). This made you technically “out of uniform,”‘ but no one was ever called on it, as it was expected.
I still have both cuff links (I know, “what is a cuff link?”).
Go Navy, Beat Army! But if you lose, we still win as a nation. To the Brigade of Midshipman, and the Corp of Cadets, thank you for your dedication, commitment, sacrifice and service.
Good luck tomorrow.