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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Military Teams Play to Defend and WIn

When we think of the military we think of discipline, basic training, sending our boys off and welcoming them back home after battle but I normally do not think of them playing sports. The sport would be football and the branches of military would be U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. So the first thought is how long have they been playing and when did it all begin. It all began as a challenge issued by the Navy to the Army. A football game would be played at West Point.

The first game between the two great military teams started November 29, 1890 Since 1930 the football game between the two has been an annual tradition. The two teams Army vs. Navy have played a total of 116 times. Navy has won more games including that first time all that many years ago when the Navy defeated the army. While the two teams have played each other many times there was several years when the two did not play the anual game.

The annual army vs. navy game was not played between years 1894 to 1898. The reason was a debate between the Army general and Navy admiral that occured after the 1893 game that ended in a duel. The game was not played in 1909 either due to the death of Cadet Eugene Byrne who had been injured in October game against Harvard and later died. However, those were just a few of the games cancelled during the years of competition. 

During World War I the games that would be played in 1917 an 1918 were cancelled. The War Department called the games as the troops were needed elsewhere. The Army / Navy game was held in Chicago Soldier Field to honor all American servicemen November 27, 1926. Academic eligibility standards failed to allow players to play in the years 1928 and 1929. 

The Army and Navy teams both have mascots that they are proud of . The mule showed up as the Army mascot in 1899. The navy has long loved their goat mascot. 

In 1983 the Rose Bowl hosted the Army Navy game. The Army / Navy games are full of comradare as both teams sing the alma maters of the teams at the end of each game. The winning team will join the losing team and sing facing the teams students. The losing team will then travel to the other side of the field and sing the winner's alma mater. A show of mutual respect and solidarity.

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