America’s Game: The 2016 Army-Navy Game

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Today is America’s Game – The Army/Navy Football Game is like no other sporting event in the world. Today America’s finest, the Cadets of West Point and the Midshipmen of Annapolis gather to ‘renew’ their annual rivalry that dates back to 1890.

This game is less a rivalry and more about comradery. Even with all the jesting back and forth, at its soul, this gathering is about Duty, Honor, Country. The rivals on the field today will serve together in the defense of our nation. The teams that took the game field leading up to, and during WWII fought together to defeat Germany and Japan. 60 years later, these football rivals would join together after 9/11 to help defeat the forces of terrorism. What happens on the football field stays on the football field.

Those that served in the military ‘joke’ with each other about the branches we served in, but in our heart we know that we served as one united force. We respect and trust each other, as brothers and sisters in the service of our great country. As brothers and sisters will do we rib each other, but we are always proud of our time together in service to our nation. We mean it when we say we are ‘Brothers’ and ‘Sisters’….a true family. And as such, family takes care of family.

Today’s game, like all the games in the past, is steeped in tradition. How the Cadets and Midshipmen gather and act before, during, and after the game has a historical rhythm. However, today’s game will break from one tradition so that the Cadets of West Point may honor one of their fellow Cadets. The tradition that the prevailing team sings the song of their Alma Mata last will be different this year. In honor of Cadet Brandon Jackson, who died in a car accident, winning or losing will not determine the order of the traditional singing of each academy’s song (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/12/09/army-navy-game-holds-special-meaning-black-knight-tragedy.html). Family respecting the loss of one of their own….Duty, Honor, Country.

Every American needs to watch America’s Game if for nothing more than to see first-hand why we should be proud of our country. Viewers will see the ‘Long Grey Line’ and the ‘Sea of Navy Blue and Gold’ gather. Within theirs ranks are Cadets and Midshipmen of both sexes, every religion, every race and ethnicity, and Americans from every social, economic condition. Viewers will see themselves.
The Army – Navy Game is more than just a game. It is America.

 

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