This week marks the 122nd Army-Navy Game, a storied rivalry between the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
The game has shifted locations over the years but has been dubbed “America’s Game” for its focus on future military officers battling it out in a friendly football rivalry.
Some fast facts about the game’s history and this year’s matchup, from academy files:
The series started in 1890. Navy beat Army 24-0 that year.
The game has been played each year since 1930, even during World War II.
However, there have been cancellations, some for years. The game was not played from 1894 to 1898. The Army canceled all remaining games for their season in 1909 after a cadet died following an injury in an October game against Harvard. From 1917 to 1918 the game was canceled due to participation in World War I. For the 1928-29 seasons the two academies could not agree on eligibility requirements for players so they did not hold the game.
The overall record heading into the 2021 game is Navy 61, Army 53 and seven recorded tie games.
Most often, the game has been played in neutral territory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
But it has also been played in New York and the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area.
This is the first Army-Navy Game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
However, this will be the sixth time that the game has been played in New Jersey.
The USMA mascot is the Army Mule. The USNA mascot is Bill the Goat.
The last time the game was played in New Jersey was in 2002 at Giants Stadium.
Navy beat Army 58-12. To date, Navy is 4-1 against Army in the Garden State.
Beginning in 1972, the Commander-in-Chief trophy award commenced.
That trophy goes to the best record of games between three service academies — Army, Navy and the Air Force Academy.
Army won the Commander-in-Chief trophy in 2020.
If they win in the 2021 matchup, they’ll keep it.
But if they lose, the trophy will be shared between the three academies due to their mirrored records against each other.
The last time the three academies shared the trophy was in 1993. It has been shared four times in its history.
Note: Travel accommodations for Army Navy Game coverage by Military Times were provided by USAA, a military-focused insurance company.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.