The Army–Navy Game is an American college football rivalry game between the Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, and the Navy Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, Maryland. The Black Knights (alternatively, the "Cadets") and Midshipmen each represent their service's oldest officer commissioning sources. As such, the game has come to embody the spirit of the interservice rivalry of the United States Armed Forces. 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) near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Army–Navy game is one of the most traditional and enduring rivalries in college football. It has been frequently attended by sitting U.S. presidents. The game has been nationally televised each year since 1945 on either ABC, CBS, or NBC. CBS has televised the game since 1996 and has the rights to the broadcast through 2028. Instant replay made its American debut in the 1963 Army–Navy game. Since 2009, the game has been held on the Saturday following FBS conference championship weekend.
The game has been held in multiple locations, but outside the 1926 game in Chicago and 1983 game in Pasadena, California, it has been played in the Northeast megalopolis, most frequently in Philadelphia, followed by the New York area and the Baltimore–Washington area. The series has been marked by several periods of domination by one team or the other, with Navy's 14-game winning streak from 2002 through 2015 being the longest for either side. Through the 2018 meeting, Navy leads the series 60–52–7, but has lost the last three games.
|First meeting||November 29, 1890|
Navy 24, Army 0
|Latest meeting||December 8, 2018|
Army 17, Navy 10
|Next meeting||December 14, 2019|
|Stadiums||Lincoln Financial Field (2018–2020, 2022)|
MetLife Stadium (2021)
|Trophy||Third leg of triangular series for Commander-in-Chief's Trophy|
|All-time series||Navy leads, 60–52–7|
|Largest victory||Navy, 51–0 (1973)|
|Longest win streak||Navy, 14 (2002–2015)|
|Current win streak||Army, 3 (2016–present)|
Locations of Army and Navy
Army and Navy first met on the field on November 29, 1890. They played 30 times between that date and November 26, 1927. The series has been renewed annually since 1930. The game has been held at several locations throughout its history, including Baltimore and New York City, but has most frequently been played in Philadelphia, roughly equidistant from the two academies. Historically played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (a date on which most other major college football teams end their regular seasons), the game is now played on the second Saturday in December and is traditionally the last game of the season for both teams and the last regular-season game played in Division I FBS football. With the permanent expansion of the regular season to 12 games starting in 2006, several conference championship games joined the Army–Navy Game on its then-current date of the first weekend of December. In 2009, the game was moved from the first Saturday in December to the second Saturday; this means that it no longer conflicts with conference championship games and once again is the last non-bowl contest in college football.
For much of the first half of the 20th century, both Army and Navy were often national powers, and the game occasionally had national championship implications. However, since 1963, only the 1996, 2010, 2016 and 2017 games have seen both teams enter with winning records. Nonetheless, the game is considered a college football institution. It has aired nationally on radio since 1930, and has been nationally televised every year since 1945.
Some participants in the Army–Navy Game have gone on to professional football careers. Quarterback Roger Staubach (Navy, 1965) went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Dallas Cowboys that included starting at quarterback in two Super Bowl victories including being named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl VI. Wide receiver and return specialist Phil McConkey (Navy, 1979) was a popular player on the New York Giants squad that won Super Bowl XXI. Running back Napoleon McCallum (Navy, 1985) was able to complete his commitment to the Navy and play for the then-Los Angeles Raiders in 1986. After satisfying his Navy commitment, he joined the Raiders full-time. Running back Kyle Eckel (Navy, 2005) was a two-time Army–Navy Game MVP and played in the Super Bowl twice during a five year career, once with the team who originally signed him, the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, and winning the other with the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV.
At the end of the game, both teams' almae matres are played and sung. The winning team stands alongside the losing team and faces the losing academy's students; then the losing team accompanies the winning team, facing their students. This is done in a show of mutual respect and solidarity. Since the winning team's alma mater is always played last, the phrase "to sing second" has become synonymous with winning the rivalry game.
The rivalry between Annapolis and West Point, while friendly, is intense. The cadets live and breathe the phrase "Beat Navy!" while for midshipmen the opposite phrase, "Beat Army!" is ingrained. They have become a symbol of competitiveness, not just in the Army–Navy Game, but in the service of their country, and are often used at the close of (informal) letters by graduates of both academies. A long-standing tradition at the Army-Navy football game is to conduct a formal "prisoner exchange" as part of the pre-game activities. The prisoners are the cadets and midshipmen currently spending the semester studying at the sister academy. After the exchange, students have a brief reprieve to enjoy the game with their comrades.
The game is the last of three contests in the annual Commander-in-Chief's Trophy series, awarded to each season's winner of the triangular series between Army, Navy, and Air Force since 1972. In years when Navy and Army have each beaten Air Force before the Army–Navy Game (1972, 1977, 1978, 1996, 2005, 2012 and 2017) the Army-Navy game has also determined whether Army or Navy would win this trophy. In years when Air Force has split its two games, the Army-Navy game determines whether the trophy is shared or won outright by the winner of the game.
The rivalries Army and Navy have with Air Force are much less intense than the Army–Navy rivalry, primarily due to the relative youth of the USAFA, established in 1954, and the physical distance between the USAFA and the other two schools. The Army–Air Force and Navy–Air Force games are usually played at the academies' regular home fields, although on occasion they have been held at a neutral field.
Navy won 14 Army-Navy games in a row from 2002 to 2015, the longest winning streak in the history of the series. On December 10, 2016, Army snapped its 14-game losing streak against Navy with a 21–17 victory for the first time since 2001.
On December 8, 2018, Army beat Navy 17-10 to increase their winning streak in the series to 3 games. Army also won the Commander in Chief's Trophy outright for just the eighth time in the trophy's history.
The American national anthem was usually sung by combined members of the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy choirs. Unlike other football games, a notable recording artist does not perform the national anthem.
Philadelphia has been the traditional home of the Army-Navy game. Eighty-eight of 119 games have been contested in Philadelphia including every game from 1932-1982 excepting three that were relocated due to World War II travel restrictions. Philadelphia is typically selected as the site due to the historic nature of the city and the fact that it is approximately halfway between West Point and Annapolis. For decades, the Pennsylvania Railroad and its successors offered game-day service to all Army–Navy games in Philadelphia using a sprawling temporary station constructed each year near Municipal Stadium on the railroad's Greenwich freight yard. The service, with 40-odd trains serving as many as 30,000 attendees, was the single largest concentrated passenger rail movement in the country.
All games contested in Philadelphia through 1935 were played at Franklin Field, the home field of the University of Pennsylvania. From 1936 through 1979, all games contested in Philadelphia were held in Municipal Stadium, renamed John F. Kennedy Stadium in 1964. From 1980-2001, all games contested in Philadelphia were hosted by Veterans Stadium. Since 2003, all games contested in Philadelphia have been played in Lincoln Financial Field. In these games, Navy holds a 10-2 advantage, although the last game was won by Army.
Only six games have ever been held on the campus of either academy, primarily because neither team plays at an on-campus stadium large enough to accommodate the large crowds that attend the game. Army's Michie Stadium seats only 38,000, while Navy's Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium seats only 34,000. The rivalry's first four games were hosted on the parade grounds of the respective academies and two games were held on campus due to World War II travel restrictions (1942 at Navy's old Thompson Stadium and 1943 at Michie Stadium).
Outside of Philadelphia, the New York area has been the most frequent Army-Navy site. The Polo Grounds holds the record for most games hosted outside of Philadelphia with nine, hosting all New York City games through 1927. Yankee Stadium hosted the game in 1930 and 1931. New Jersey has hosted five games; 1905 at Osborne Field at Princeton University and four games at Giants Stadium from 1989-2002.
Maryland has hosted a number of games throughout the history of the series as well. In Baltimore, Municipal Stadium hosted the 1924 and 1944 games and M&T Bank Stadium has hosted four games since 2000. In Landover, FedExField hosted the game in 2011.
The Rose Bowl is the only site west of the Mississippi River to host the Army–Navy game; it did so in 1983. The city of Pasadena, California paid for the travel expenses of all the students and supporters of both academies – 9,437 in all. The game was held at the Rose Bowl that year because there are a large number of military installations and servicemen and women, along with many retired military personnel, on the West Coast. The game has been held one other time in a non-East Coast venue, at Chicago's Soldier Field, which played host to the 1926 game.
All games through 2020 will be held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey will host the 2021 game. The game will then return to Lincoln Financial Field for 2022. Games beyond 2022 have yet to be awarded.
|Venue||Games||Army victories||Navy victories||Tie games||First game||Most recent game|
|John F. Kennedy Stadium||41||16||22||3||1936||1979|
|Lincoln Financial Field||12||2||10||0||2003||2018|
|M&T Bank Stadium||4||1||3||0||2000||2016|
|Municipal Stadium (Baltimore)||2||2||0||0||1924||1944|
|City||Games||Army victories||Navy victories||Tie games||First game||Most recent game|
|New York City||11||7||3||1||1913||1931|
|East Rutherford, New Jersey||4||1||3||0||1989||2002|
|West Point, New York||3||0||3||0||1890||1943|
|Princeton, New Jersey||1||0||0||1||1905||1905|
|State||Games||Army victories||Navy victories||Tie games||First game||Most recent game|
|CSA||Games||Army victories||Navy victories||Tie games||First game||Most recent game|
|New York–Newark, NY–NJ–CT–PA||19||8||9||2||1890||2002|
|Los Angeles–Long Beach, CA||1||0||1||0||1983||1983|
|Army victories||Navy victories||Tie games|
Navy Midshipman (and later Admiral) Joseph Mason Reeves wore what is widely regarded as the first football helmet in the 1893 Army–Navy Game. He had been advised by a Navy doctor that another kick to his head would result in intellectual disability or even death, so he commissioned an Annapolis shoemaker to make him a helmet out of leather.
On November 27, 1926, the Army–Navy Game was held in Chicago for the National Dedication of Soldier Field as a monument to American servicemen who had fought in World War I. Navy came to the game undefeated, while West Point had only lost to Notre Dame, so the game would decide the National Championship. Played before a crowd of over 100,000, the teams fought to a 21–21 tie, but Navy was awarded the national championship.
In both the 1944 and 1945 contests, Army and Navy entered the game ranked #1 and #2 respectively. The 1945 game was labeled the "game of the century" before it was played. Army defeated a 7–0–1 Navy team 32–13. Navy's tie was against Notre Dame.
In 1963, shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy urged the academies to play after there had been talk of cancellation. Originally scheduled for November 30, 1963, the game was played on December 7, 1963 also coinciding with the 22nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. In front of a crowd of 102,000 people in Philadelphia's Municipal Stadium, later renamed John F. Kennedy Stadium, junior (second class Midshipman) quarterback Roger Staubach led number two ranked Navy to victory which clinched a Cotton Bowl national championship matchup with Texas played on January 1, 1964. Army was led by junior (second class Cadet) quarterback Rollie Stichweh. Stichweh led off the game with a touchdown drive that featured the first use of instant replay on television. Army nearly won the game after another touchdown and two point conversion, Stichweh recovered the onside kick and drove the ball to the Navy 2 yard line. On 4th down and no timeouts, crowd noise prevented Stichweh from calling a play and time expired with the 21–15 final score. Staubach won the Heisman Trophy that year and was bumped off the scheduled cover of Life magazine due to the coverage of the assassination. Stichweh and Staubach would meet again in 1964 as First Class where Stichweh's Army would defeat Staubach's Navy. In that game, Calvin Huey of Navy became the first African-American to play in the series. Staubach went on to serve in the Navy and afterward became a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys. Stichweh served five years in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Stichweh was inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
On December 10, 2016, Army defeated Navy for the first time since 2001 with a 21–17 victory snapping its 14 losing streak against Navy.
The 1890 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1890 college football season. The team compiled a 5–1–1 record and outscored its opponents 204 to 49. The game featured the inaugural meeting in the Army–Navy Game, which ended in a 24–0 victory for Navy. After the victory, Navy cadets in Annapolis "fired twenty-four great guns, and then paraded the streets with horns." Charles Emrich was the Navy team captain in 1890.1891 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1891 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1891 college football season. The team compiled a 5–2 record and outscored its opponents 205 to 40.To be noted the Western King Field was tore down to be replaced by Worden Field. In the second installment of the Army–Navy Game, Army prevailed by a 32-16 score. Charles Macklin was the Navy team captain in 1891.1899 Army Cadets football team
The 1899 Army Cadets football team represented the United States Military Academy in the 1899 college football season. In their third season under head coach Herman Koehler, the Cadets compiled a 4–5 record and were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 100 to 57. In the annual Army–Navy Game, the Cadets defeated the Navy by a 17 to 5 score.1901 Army Cadets football team
The 1901 Army Cadets football team represented the United States Military Academy in the 1901 college football season. In their first and only season under head coach Leon Kromer, the Cadets compiled a 5–1–2 record, shut out four opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 98 to 22. The team's only loss was by a 6 to 0 score against an undefeated Harvard team that has been recognized as a co-national champion for the 1901 season. The Cadets also tied with Yale (5–5) and Princeton (6–6). In the annual Army–Navy Game, the Cadets defeated the Midshipmen by an 11 to 5 score.Two members of the 1901 Army team have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame: quarterback Charles Dudley Daly and tackle Paul Bunker. Both are also recognized by the NCAA as consensus first-team players on the 1901 College Football All-America Team. Daly received first-team honors from Walter Camp, Caspar Whitney, the New York Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Bunker received first-team honors from Camp and the New York Post and second-team honors from Whitney.President Theodore Roosevelt attended the Army–Navy Game in Philadelphia on December 1. A newspaper account noted: "For the first time in the history of foot-ball a President of the United States added dignity to a noted contest by his presence."1912 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1912 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1912 college football season. In their second season under head coach Douglas Legate Howard, the team compiled a 6–3 record, shut out four opponents, and defeated its opponents by a combined score of 126 to 61.The annual Army–Navy Game was played on November 30 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia; Navy won 6–0.1913 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1913 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1913 college football season. In their third season under head coach Douglas Legate Howard, the team compiled a 7–1–1 record, shut out seven opponents, and defeated its opponents by a combined score of 304 to 29.The team's sole loss came in the annual Army–Navy Game, played on November 29 at the Polo Grounds in New York City; Army won 22–9.1914 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1914 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1914 college football season. In its fourth season under head coach Douglas Legate Howard, the team compiled a 6–3 record, shut out three opponents, and defeated its opponents by a combined score of 174 to 83.The annual Army–Navy Game was played on November 28 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia; Army won 20–0.1916 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1916 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1916 college football season. In their second season under head coach Jonas Ingram, the Midshipmen compiled a 6–3–1 record and outscored their opponents by a combined score of 199 to 76.
The annual Army–Navy Game was played on November 25 at the Polo Grounds in New York City; Army won 15–7.1919 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1919 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1919 college football season. In their third season under head coach Gil Dobie, the Midshipmen compiled a 7–1 record, shut out five opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined score of 298 to 18.After cancellation in 1917 and 1918 due to World War I, the annual Army–Navy Game was played on November 29 at the Polo Grounds in New York City; Navy won 6–0.1920 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1920 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1920 college football season. In their first season under head coach Bob Folwell, the Midshipmen compiled a 6–2 record, shut out three opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined score of 164 to 43.The annual Army–Navy Game was played on November 27 at the Polo Grounds in New York City; Navy won 7–0.1921 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1921 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1921 college football season. In their second season under head coach Bob Folwell, the Midshipmen compiled a 6–1 record, shut out six opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined score of 147–13.
The annual Army–Navy Game was played on November 26 at the Polo Grounds in New York City; Navy won 7–0.1922 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1922 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1922 college football season. In their third season under head coach Bob Folwell, the Midshipmen compiled a 5–2 record, shut out four opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined score of 185 to 37.The annual Army–Navy Game was played on November 25 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia; Army won 17–14.1924 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1924 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1924 college football season. In their fifth season under head coach Bob Folwell, the Midshipmen compiled a 2–6 record and outscored opponents by a combined score of 84 to 69.The annual Army–Navy Game was played on November 29 in Baltimore, Maryland; Army won 12–0. The Midshipmen defeated Vermont 53–0, but were outscored 69–31 in their other seven games.1927 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1927 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1927 college football season. In their second season under head coach Bill Ingram, the Midshipmen compiled a 6–3 record, shut out two opponents, and outscored all opponents by a combined score of 192 to 84.The annual Army–Navy Game was played on November 26 at the Polo Grounds in New York City; Army won 14–9.1941 Navy Midshipmen football team
The 1941 Navy Midshipmen football team represented the United States Naval Academy during the 1941 college football season. In their third season under head coach Swede Larson, the Midshipmen compiled a 7–1–1 record, shut out five opponents and outscored all opponents by a combined score of 192 to 34.In the annual Army–Navy Game, the Midshipmen beat the Cadets for the third straight year, and finished the season ranked tenth.Commander-in-Chief's Trophy
The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is awarded to each season's winner of the American college football series among the teams of the U.S. Military Academy (Army Black Knights), the U.S. Naval Academy (Navy Midshipmen), and U.S. Air Force Academy (Air Force Falcons).
The Navy–Air Force game is traditionally played on the first Saturday in October, the Army–Air Force game on the first Saturday in November, and the Army–Navy Game on the second Saturday in December. In the event of a tie, the award is shared, but the previous winner retains physical possession of the trophy. The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy and the Michigan MAC Trophy are the only NCAA Division I FBS triangular rivalry trophies awarded annually. The few others, such as the Florida Cup and the Beehive Boot, are contested sporadically.
Through 2018, the Air Force Falcons hold the most trophy victories at 20 and the Navy Midshipmen have won 15. The Army Black Knights trail with 8, but are the current holders having won the last two. The trophy has been shared on four occasions, most recently in 1993.List of Army–Navy Game broadcasters
The following is a list of the television networks and announcers who have broadcast the college football's Army–Navy Game throughout the years.Michie Stadium
Michie Stadium is an outdoor football stadium on the campus of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. The home field for the Army Black Knights, it opened 95 years ago in 1924 and has a current seating capacity of 38,000.The stadium sits at the upper portion of campus, directly west of Lusk Reservoir. The field is at an elevation of 335 feet (102 m) above sea level and runs in the traditional north-south configuration, with the press box above the west sideline. Due to the view offered by its location overlooking the Hudson River and the Neo-Gothic architecture of the campus below, it was rated as Sports Illustrated's #3 sports venue of the 20th century.The Army-Navy Game (M*A*S*H)
"The Army–Navy Game" is episode #20 of the first season of the TV series M*A*S*H, originally airing on February 25, 1973; its repeat on September 9, 1973 was the last official telecast in M*A*S*H's first season on CBS. The episode was co-written by cast member McLean Stevenson ("Lt. Col. Henry Blake").
|Bowls & rivalries|
|Culture & lore|
National championship seasons in bold
|Bowls & rivalries|
|Culture & lore|
National championship seasons in bold
American Athletic Conference football rivalries
NCAA Division I FBS independents football rivalries
|Lore televised by CBS|
|Games televised annually|