Of all the traditions and pomp surrounding the Army-Navy game, one of the coolest parts of the annual matchup is the special uniforms both teams wear.
Army went with sleek, black uniforms with red accents for Saturday’s 119th iteration to honor the 1st Infantry Division, which was formed during World War I and was the first permanent division in the Army. The Black Knights are calling the Nike uniforms “Big Red One,” the nickname of the division so earned because the "1″ insignia on the shoulder sleeve “was twice the size of either the allied or German divisions on the Western Front,” according to Army. This year, of course, marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
The matte black helmets, which feature a red "1″ on the front to mimic the shoulder patch on the division’s original helmets and have a World War I-era American flag (with 48 stars), are particularly slick. The uniforms also feature a kind of mythological-looking black lion on the shoulder in honor the first major American victory in World War I at the Battle of Cantigny — the 1st Division’s 28th Infantry was known as “the black lions of Cantigny.”
Navy chose a timeless inspiration this year in its mascot, Bill the Goat, and explained the design in an October news release.
“The Naval Academy appointed this goat the honorary mascot for the fourth-ever Army-Navy game, in which Navy beat Army in a momentous victory. To commemorate the win, the goat was appointed team mascot and became a valued symbol of the Navy football program,” the release said.
It’s a clean look the Mids are sporting Saturday; Under Armour gave them classic white pants and a white jersey with blue and gold accents. The helmets, which are navy with a gold and white stripe, feature an intricate depiction of Bill the Goat, as do the gloves — a particularly snazzy hidden treat. One of the Navy’s mottos, 'Don’t Give Up The Ship,” is stitched onto the bottom of the jerseys.
Navy has worn an alternate uniform in every Army-Navy game since 2014, when Under Armour became the school’s uniform supplier. Designs from past year’s include 2017′s Blue Angels-inspired get-up, which looked fabulous in last year’s game in the snow, 2014′s “Don’t Tread On Me” uniforms, and 2016′s throwback uniforms celebrating the Roger Staubach-led 1963 team.
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