Breadcrumb army navy A Storied Rivalry From day one as a new cadet, you constantly see and hear these words: “Go Army! Beat Navy!” Every cadet is instilled with an appreciation for the friendly--yet intense--inter-service rivalry. One of the oldest college football rivalries in the nation, the game has come to embody a celebration of service, a tradition of excellence, and a tradition of winning – both on and off the field. The History In 1890, Cadet Dennis Michie accepted a challenge by a group of midshipmen to a pickup football game between Navy and the newly-formed West Point team. View Larger Image The two teams met on the Plain on November 29, 1890, with the much more experienced Navy team defeating the fledgling Army team. View Larger Image In 1891, Army would avenge the defeat with a 32-16 win, and a rivalry was born. Pictured, Michie Stadium, named for Cadet Michie, circa 1924. View larger image. The 1916 Game at the Polo Ground in New York City. View larger image. Army and Navy have met annually since 1930. View the 1930 Army-Navy game newsreel. The Tradition The bonfire is an annual tradition before the Army-Navy game, where the Corps of Cadets and community members take to the field for a spirit rally. The rally centers on a bonfire that burns a 20-foot boat representing Navy in effigy. The rally is filled with music, cheers, and passing the game ball to the West Point Marathon runners who traditionally run the ball to Philadelphia. The Patriot Games is a spectacular two-day competition between Cadets & Midshipmen. Learn more about this year's Patriot Games. The team with the most points will win bragging rights for the year, and be presented with the Patriot Games trophy on the field during the Army-Navy Game. Learn more about this year's Patriot Games. Prior to the start of the game, the midshipmen spending the semester at West Point will be led to midfield by the USMA first captain and the West Point cadets will be brought out by the USNA brigade commander. USNA and USMA academy leaders exchange their prisoners before returning to their seating sections, allowing the cadets and midshipmen to cheer on their teams from friendly areas. At the end of the game, both teams come together to sing each others anthem. The losing teams anthem gets sung first, in a sign of good sportsmanship The game marks the end of the college football regular season and the third and final game of the season's Commander-in-Chief's Trophy series, which also includes the Air Force Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). The Goat-Engineer Flag Football game is played between the top (academically ranked) half of the class, against the lower half (the Goats), for that years bragging rights. The Game General Douglas MacArthur USMA Superintendent from 1919-1922 On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days, upon other fields, will bear the fruit of victory. The day of the game is an opportunity to showcase America’s finest – the men and women of the Corps of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen. The Corps of Cadets takes to the field to showcase these incredible young men and women who have stepped forward to serve their country. The Corps of Cadets and the Army Black Knights show what the nation expects when they step onto that big field of the crucible of ground combat – they’re willing to lay it all on the line for their brothers and teammates. A recent grad and former Army football player said, “We bleed together on the football field before we bleed together on the battlefield” – willing to lay it all on the line for their brothers and teammates. Most importantly, after the final play is run and the final whistle is blown, both teams clasp hands and become part of a bigger team - America’s Team - and a greater brotherhood – standing shoulder to shoulder with each other in harm’s way and ready to stand in the gap to defend this great Nation. Ready to be part of this? At the U.S. Military Academy (USMA), all cadets are athletes, and what you learn on the athletic field translates to success and excellence on the battlefield. Athletics teaches discipline, grit, determination, will to win, mental and physical toughness, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. These are the same traits we carry with us when we graduate and go on to lead and fight in the crucible of ground combat. Apply Now!