It’s one of the last purities left in college football.
There was a time when the Army-Navy game mattered on the national scale; when the two were actually elite programs. There were years where the game determined national championships (Army 1944-46), and Heisman Trophy winners like Roger Staubach.
Of course, those were the years when your grandfather could buy a Coke for a nickel after walking uphill in the snow (both ways) without any shoes. Now, at least in terms of BCS bowls and five-star recruits, “America’s Game” has slightly less meaning. Okay, a lot less meaning.
But Army-Navy still matters.
Never mind that Navy’s 31-17 win over Army today put the Midshipmen at a 9-game winning streak in the series. The event itself is such a large part of our country’s heart and soul that, in many ways, it’s more than just a game. Chants of “Beat Army!” and “Beat Navy!” are timeless in nature. The stories of fallen heroes who played in the game remind us so much of what has been sacrificed to keep our nation what it is.
The singing of the alma maters after the game is enough to give you goosebumps.
Army-Navy is nostalgic. It’s as synonymous with the holiday season as grandma’s house and crisp temperatures. I’m sure there were households all over the country with their living room television tuned to the game. Granted, it might have been on in the background as families and friends visited, but it was nevertheless a part of their lives.
There are great rivalries in college football, but sometimes even games like Ohio State-Michigan lose a little luster — like, now for instance. Not Army-Navy. The environment is too unique.
No matter how lopsided the game is now, we still turn it on. If nothing else, it is an homage to the game and the servicemen who play in it.