PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 14, 2019) The United States Naval Academy Midshipmen face off against the U.S. Army Black Knights during the Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dana D. Legg)
The last week of college football’s regular season is reserved for the truest of all amateur sporting events. With no other games this Saturday, teams from West Point and Annapolis take the field in Philadelphia before a captive national audience. The Army and Navy squads carry few — if any — NFL prospects, so the game is a true showcase for amateur competition on college football’s national stage.
It’s that time of year again when we’re all subjected to the Army-Navy rivalrous antics leading up to the annual football game, which, let’s be honest, Navy will inevitably win. At this point, we just hope West Point doesn’t do anything too embarrassing on the field.
On Dec. 12, the Black Knights of the U.S. Military Academy and the Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy will play their 116th football game against each other. For some service members, especially members of the officer corps, this weekend is the military’s game day to beat all game days. If you’ll be one of many Americans watching the game, Task & Purpose’s Joe Ruzicka has a great rundown of what you can expect. However, if you’re a service member who isn’t an alum of either academy, then like me, you might not feel compelled to watch this, or any, matchup between the service academies.
Don’t tell Army’s head football coach Jeff Monken, or anyone else from Army, that the Black Knights can’t beat the Navy Midshipmen. When Monken first arrived two years ago, the first thing the former Navy assistant did was change the culture of Army football from one of despair to belief.
Oh how far we have come. The Army-Navy football game has always been a source of pride and patriotism for those both inside and outside of the military. But starting this year, “America’s Game”--- the only true amatuer college football game — has a chance to make a real impact on the college football world.