Army-Navy game has redemption on the line
The nice thing about the ArmyNavy game today is that after a pretty dismal season, the Midshipmen have a chance at having all their football shortcomings forgiven. All they have to do is beat Army in the 119th matchup between the two service academies.
All they have to do is win, and they achieve redemption.
It may not be easy. Army has beaten Navy two years in a row and is a touchdown favorite at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:10 p.m.
Army runs onto the field today with a 9-2 record. Navy is at a disappointing 3-9, its worst record since 2002.
That’s the great thing about this game though a lot of that won’t matter.
Both teams will come out and fight for all their worth. What, after all, is more compelling than the nation’s premier collegiate sporting rivalry, extending far back into the misty formative years of college football in the 1800s?
Since 1890, this game has evolved from just another sporting rivalry to a beloved national ritual. It has been the venue for many innovations, from the first use of a football helmet (1893) to the premiere of “Anchors Aweigh” (1906) to the debut of instant replay (1963).
More important, as John Feinstein put it in the title of his 1996 book, it remains “college football’s purest rivalry” — played for the pride and honor of two great schools, by young men who, with extremely rare exceptions, are looking ahead to service to their country, not careers in the NFL.
This year, oddly enough, it will be the site of President Donald Trump’s announcement of the new chairman of the joint chiefs of staff — the nation’s highest military commander.
We always say it because it’s always true: This is one drama in which the good guys always win whether it is Army or Navy. And, as always, no one should be in any doubt about our favorite good guys:
Go Navy, beat Army!