Ri­valry boasts rich tra­di­tion of Amer­i­can he­roes

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS - Kevin Allen

The Army-Navy game has fea­tured five Heis­man Tro­phy win­ners: Army’s Doc Blan­chard (1945), Glenn Davis

(1946), Pete Dawkins (1958) and Navy’s Joe Bellino (1960), Roger Staubach

(1963) and some prom­i­nent NFL play­ers. But there are many for­mer Army-Navy play­ers who dis­tin­guished them­selves be­yond the foot­ball play­ing field. A sam­pling:

Dwight Eisen­hower, Army: The fu­ture pres­i­dent was a let­ter-win­ning back on the 1912 team that lost 6-0 to Navy. But he was un­able to play be­yond that sea­son be­cause of a knee in­jury. He grad­u­ated in 1915, part of a class that pro­duced 59 gen­er­als, none more ac­com­plished than Eisen­hower. Be­fore be­ing elected pres­i­dent, Eisen­hower was Supreme Com­man­der of the Al­lied Ex­pe­di­tionary Force in Europe dur­ing World War II.

Slade Cut­ter, Navy: A Chicago na­tive, Cut­ter owns an es­teemed place in Army-Navy foot­ball lore be­cause he booted a 20-yard field goal for the only points in Navy’s 3-0 win in 1934. It was Navy’s first win since 1921. Cut­ter is in the Col­lege Foot­ball Hall of Fame, but he is even more re­spected as a World War II sub­ma­rine com­man­der. He sank 19 Ja­panese mil­i­tary ships and re­ceived four awards of the Navy Cross and two awards of the Sil­ver Star. He died in 2005. Omar Bradley, Army: Played with Eisen­hower, but didn’t let­ter in 1912. He was a cen­ter on the 1914 Army team that de­feated Navy 20-0. He be­came a note­wor­thy World War II gen­eral, com­mand­ing U.S. First Army in the Nor­mandy in­va­sion. William “Bull” Halsey, Navy: Was Navy’s start­ing full­back for two years be­fore grad­u­at­ing in 1904. He went on to be­come one of Amer­ica’s most ac­com­plished naval lead­ers. He was an im­por- tant fig­ure in World War II, reach­ing the rank of Fleet Ad­mi­ral in 1945. Lt. Gen­eral Dar­ryl A. Wil­liams, Army: Five months ago, Wil­liams was named Su­per­in­ten­dent at West Point. He is the first African Amer­i­can to com­mand West Point in the academy’s 216year his­tory. He was a de­fen­sive line­man for Army from 1979-82, post­ing 63 tack­les as a se­nior. One of his ca­reer sacks was against Dan Marino. Stephen “Chase” Pras­nicki, Army: Re­cruited as a quar­ter­back, Pras­nicki played only one game in his first three sea­sons. Switch­ing to de­fense as a se­nior in 2009, Pras­nicki earned play­ing time as a safety. First Lt. Pras­nicki de­ployed to Afghanistan two years af­ter grad­u­a­tion and was killed by road­side bomb three days af­ter ar­riv­ing in coun­try. He had vol­un­teered to go on that pa­trol. Bob McEl­wee, Navy: The Cam­den, N.J., na­tive was a line­backer and cen­ter on the 1954 Navy team that fin­ished No.

5 in the polls af­ter go­ing 8-2 and win­ning the Sugar Bowl 21-0 over Ole Miss. Navy beat Army 27-20 that sea­son. But McEl­wee gained even more no­to­ri­ety af­ter his mil­i­tary ca­reer as an NFL of­fi­cial for 27 years. He owns the dis­tinc­tion of ref­er­ee­ing a Su­per Bowl in three dif­fer­ent decades: 1988, 1993 and 2000. McEl­wee, 83, re­tired from the NFL in

2003. Mike Hast­ings, Army: Af­ter let­ter­ing as a se­nior cen­ter in 2002, Hast­ings won a Bronze Star while serv­ing in Iraq and then earned a mas­ter’s de­gree in busi­ness man­age­ment and a law de­gree. To­day, Hast­ings, 38, is in his fifth year as a state sen­a­tor in Min­nesota. Stans­field Turner, Navy: Played guard for the Mid­ship­men be­fore grad­u­at­ing in 1946. Navy was ranked No. 2 in the na­tion in 1945, but lost to No. 1ranked Army 32-13. Turner ended up achiev­ing the rank of Ad­mi­ral and then be­came CIA di­rec­tor when Jimmy Carter was pres­i­dent.

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