Culture

Army’s opening salvo ramps up annual Army vs. Navy football game anticipation

Go Army, beat Navy.
Joshua Skovlund Avatar
Army vs Navy game
(Task & Purpose composite image)

The U.S. Army fired the first shots of the annual pre-game shit-talking ahead of the 2023 Army-Navy Game. Instagram reels are flowing from the U.S. Army with no response from the U.S. Navy — yet. 

The rivalry dates back to the very first military football game on Nov. 29, 1890, where the Army and Navy played each other for the first time on “The Plain” at West Point. Tragically, the Navy beat the newly formed Army team 24 to 0. According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, the Navy has won 62 of the past 123 Army-Navy games, while the Army has won 54. Seven games have ended in a tie.

With the rivalry as strong as ever, and the advent of social media, much of the annual festivities start online. The opening salvo of this year’s humorous videos dropped over the weekend, courtesy of the official U.S. Army Instagram account. The second reel came soon after, depicting a horned goat ramming a donkey. Unsurprisingly, both reels fired up the comment sections. 

The Navy’s official Instagram account has not fired back at the Army’s reels yet, so we asked an Army and a Navy veteran about who they think will take the ‘W’ home. 

Army veteran Scott Davidson is the Managing Principal at The GCO Consulting Group (GCO), founder of the Veteran Success Resource Group, and on the leadership council of the NFL’s Washington Commanders charitable foundation. He served for almost nine years and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and is also a Mustang — an officer who served on the enlisted side before getting commissioned

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“Army will beat Navy this year! Although the Army is sitting at 5-6 going into the game, they are on a winning streak that started with the 23-3 destruction of the Air Force,” Davidson said. “Navy was crushed by the Air Force 17-6 earlier this year and has lost 3 of the last five games. Go Army! Beat Navy!” 

But Navy veteran Sean Matson has a bit of a grudge from last year’s game where the Army Black Knights beat the Navy Midshipmen. Davidson said he is likely “one of the last SEALs without a book or TV deal.” 

Matson served in the Navy’s elite SEAL Teams for 10 years before transitioning into the Navy Reserve. While on active duty, he worked his way up the ranks to platoon commander and, later in the Navy Reserves, a troop commander.

“Historically, the match-up is pretty even, nearly a 50/50 shot,” Matson said. “So, since the Army squeaked (cough, cheated) their way to victory last year, your money has to be on the Navy! Go Navy, Beat Army!”  

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