Army-Navy is more than a football game. The pageantry, gritty battles and pure emotion are what makes me want to come back year after year. As a photographer, you always want your photos to have valuable content, good composition and emotion. The Army-Navy contests provide all of the above.
From the the Brigade of Midshipmen and Corps of Cadets marching onto the field and the classic battles unfolding on the field, to the game ending with players from both teams coming together, there are few events like it in sports today. No matter who wins, the players congratulate and admire one another. The game lives up to the hype as “America’s Game.” After this game, many players will be going on to their military careers, and they will be playing for the same team.
Army and Navy first met on the gridiron on Nov. 29, 1890. The game is a college rivalry between the Army Black Knights of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Navy Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. The game marks the end of the regular college football season. Navy has won the contest 59 times, Army has won 49 times, and there have been seven ties. The game has been held at several locations but has most frequently been played in Philadelphia, roughly equidistant from the two academies.
The 118th Army-Navy game on Dec. 9 was an instant classic, with driving snow, blustery winds and poor field conditions. Both quarterbacks, Ahmad Bradshaw for Army and Navy’s Malcolm Perry, led their teams down to the wire. With three seconds on the clock, Navy had a chance to redeem last year’s loss, but Bennett Moehring’s 48-yard field goal attempt missed left, and the Army celebration erupted. The retiring superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., was right in the middle of the action, being hoisted on shoulders as members of the Corps rushed the field.
Despite being wet, cold and exhausted as I walked off the field, I can’t wait for next year.
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