With Veteran’s Day this past Friday and it being football season I figured I could get away with this post! Anyone who knows me knows I’m a diehard Army Football fan (and an Army Brat). My father went to West Point and every year we attend at least one home game for a day of tailgating, cheering, and lots of fun.
Army football has a wonderful history—a winning history up until recently! That’s something they can’t seem to do these days: win! Not that that’ll ever make me root for any other team. I will root for them through the good and bad (I just with they’d get out of this bad slump…tens years of it has been hard to endure!) Okay, back on track. This past weekend I attended the Army-Rutgers game at Yankee Stadium. That was an experience. I can’t say a baseball field is the best place to play a football game, but it was something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now, and I had a good time (even if Army tore my heart out, oh it was a painful loss!)
Army football began in 1890 when Navy challenged the cadets to a game. This was a relatively new sport, but a historic rivalry began with this first game. Navy defeated Army at West Point that year, but the following year Army avenged its loss, defeating Navy at Annapolis. The Army-Navy game is now played on neutral territory every December in Philadelphia. There’s always been a certain energy about these games, and if you’ve never watched one I recommend you catch this year’s game!
Army plays its home games at Miche Stadium at West Point, a beautiful stadium that overlooks the campus and Hudson river beyond. Unlike other colleges the cadets’ attendance is mandatory at football games and the Corps stands for the duration of the game. At home games, one of the four regiments marches onto the field in formation before the team takes the field. (I didn’t catch this on video this weekend, but in the video below you can see some of the cadets on the field waiting to welcome the Army team to the field after they’ve broken formation.)
Yankee Stadium Video as the cadets take the field:
Back to Yankee Stadium… The University of Notre Dame and Army have a football rivalry that dates back to 1913. They played their first game at Yankee Stadium, where Army was trounced but redeemed themselves the following year. Last year the teams resumed their rivalry in the new Yankee Stadium for their 50th game against each other. Yes, Army lost, but still the history of the two teams being renewed and seeing the game played at Yankee Stadium was neat!
Notre Dame contracted with Explore Media to produce the following video, which I really like. (Though it’s in favor of Notre Dame, it’s well done and gives a great overview of the history between these two teams).
Notre Dame-Army Rivalry
Army football isn’t just football. It’s a history filled with great legends, glorious moments, agonizing moments, but most of all it instills a pride in you. It is just a game, and at the end of the day (or in the cadets’ case at graduation) reality awaits—a life that involves service to our country. Thank a veteran. It doesn’t just have to be on Veteran’s day.
I leave you with these parting words from the Army Fight song!
On, brave old Army team!
On to the fray.
Fight on to victory
For that’s the fearless Army way.