America's Game: Army-Navy Football

Coming from a family of sports fanatics, I have grown up with many loyalties. My mother’s side hails from Baltimore, making us diehard Ravens’ fans. My dad has roots in Florida, creating generations of University of Florida Gator fans. But perhaps our strongest loyalty is our love of Navy football.

Much like the strong love we have for our nation, our Navy fandom derives from my grandfather’s service as a naval aviation officer, serving our country through approximately five years of imprisonment in Northern Vietnam through his eventual return, and until his retirement in 1995. My father also served in the Navy, is an alumnus of the United States Naval Academy and a former member of SEAL Team FOUR.

Much like many other Americans across the country, I feel incredibly proud to salute our nation’s armed forces, veterans, and fallen soldiers, and it is an experience unlike any other to do this at the annual Army-Navy football game. This game, referred to as “America’s Game,” is considered by many the greatest rivalry in college sports, as it merges our great nation’s love of football with our love of the country.  

George Mason University is conveniently located a few hours from the typical hosting stadiums of the annual game, M&T Bank and Lincoln Financial Field. Beginning my freshman year of college in 2014, I was given the family’s season tickets. This began a yearly tradition for my roommate and me.

2014: 115th Annual Army Navy Game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD

Our first Army-Navy game would be the Navy’s 13th win against Army in a row and our most spontaneous trip. Without a tailgate and car to set up, we wandered through the parking lot until a random and kind Navy family offered us to join in on their tailgate, food and beverages.

2015: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA

This year’s game would be our most frantic but best prepared. The traffic making it into Philly on game day was a hassle but the weather was warm, sunny and didn't require a jacket until game time. We finally had a car to prepare our tailgate, and even had friends to meet up with. And best of all, it ended with Navy’s 14th win in a row against Army!

2016: M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD

This game was our coldest and required multiple layers to be comfortable. While this game’s outcome was the first Navy loss we had to witness during our short three-year history, we were still able to make the best of such a great game and the chilly temperatures.

2017: Good times still to be determined! But regardless of location or winner, year after year, the Army-Navy tradition is the GOAT… literally!