Army Navy

This is a post from last year’s Army/Navy game.  I couldn’t say it better, and it bears repeating.  Today’s game was equally exciting.  I must add that next year’s Army/Navy game will be held at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.  Yes, here!  I am already excited and have reached out for tickets.  It’s far more than a football game, it’s an event, and… well, read on.

Today was the 122nd Army-Navy football game.  I watch it every year.  I am glued, because it is far more than a football game.  It is a rivalry between brothers.  I call it a ‘band of brothers’, much like how it was in WWI and WWII.  They are warriors on the football field, and the war field.  They live their lives with respect, purpose, honor, integrity, and kindness.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Our son was a Naval Academy graduate in 2003.  When he was in high school, he was assigned to a Blue and Gold Officer, someone who could answer his questions, and judge if he had the ‘right stuff’.  The three words he said have resonated with me ever since:

Ship.  Shipmate.  Self.

It’s what the Navy lives by.  It’s Life-101.  First take care of your ship, then take care of your shipmate.  Lastly take care of yourself.  Ever since I heard those three words I have incorporated that philosophy into my teaching and classroom.  Modern terms say ‘kindness’ and ‘giving’.  The Navy knew that well over 100 years ago.

I was lucky to attend the 100th Army-Navy football game.  That was when I understood.  The stands were full of people who could have been my dear friends.  Honestly, I could have left my seat and asked someone nearby to watch my belongings.  There were ‘Spirit Spots’, spoofs made by the Midshipmen and Black Knights on the giant video screen.  Parachuters landed on the 50-yard line.  The home team ran the football from Annapolis to the stadium.  I got an email today from a friend who was stuck in traffic outside of New York; Army (this year’s home team) was running the football into the stadium.  Our son was part of Navy’s 13th Company who ran the ball from Annapolis onto the field in 1999.

Army was cheering today.

Navy was cheering today.  That is my great nephew.

Tradition runs deep.  Tradition is a foundation.  It builds who we are.  The tradition at the end of the Army-Navy game is singing the Alma Mater.  That’s ship.  The team who wins joins the other team as they sing their Alma Mater.  That’s Shipmate.. The team who wins then sings their own Alma Mater.  That’s Self.

Army singing their Alma Mater

Navy singing their Alma Mater

The Naval Academy has a beautiful Japanese brass bell on the campus (now a replica), a gift from Commodore Matthew Perry in 1854.  The bell is only rung when Navy beats Army.  It has been a number of years since the ringing of that bell.  Tradition lives on.  When that bell rings, winning the football game is important, yet what that win means is far more important – hard work, brotherhood, team work… and all the values of Army-Navy football.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in America, Expressing words and feelings, Family, Inspiration, Learning About the World, military and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Army Navy

  1. beth says:

    What an exciting

  2. beth says:

    And so much to look forward to for next year!

  3. petespringerauthor says:

    It is a rivalry game, but it’s played the right way. The players give it their all but seem to respect their opponents. There isn’t a bunch of trash-talking as you see in many games. I only watched the overtime today, but it was nice to see the coaches so supportive of one another after the game.

  4. cindy knoke says:

    I worked as a civilian psychotherapist/mental health director with The Navy and Marines for 16 or more years. I remain in grateful admiration of our Armed Forces and their families. Thank you Jennie.

  5. Ritu says:

    That is so exciting!

  6. Norah says:

    What a beautiful story, Jennie.

  7. GP says:

    The spectators didn’t seem very excited until the overtime – both sides had a good run for their money. Go Army!

  8. Don Ostertag says:

    This post was a treasure that deserved to be reblogged, Jennie. As for the great game yesterday, I didn’t watch it. I wish I had.
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the only combat our Army/Navy personnel experienced was on a football field.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Don. I’m glad you can see why I had to reblog it. Yes, it would be wonderful if their only combat was on the football field. They are a true band of brothers.

  9. beetleypete says:

    We don’t have that here, but it is good to see brotherhood in sport, instead of just competition and financial reward.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  10. quiall says:

    Values that we should all aspire to! May they be the best of us.

  11. Great post. I have one child in each group–don’t ask how that happened–so I don’t cheer for anything beyond patriotism! Sharing…

    • Jennie says:

      It is very interesting to have one of each. Actually, quite wonderful! Of course the patriotism shines through at the game, especially singing the anthems (with the opposing team) at the end.

  12. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Your excitement and enthusiasm reads clear through this post, Jennie. The values listed here are truly what all should inspire to incorporate into their own lives. My heart soars to “feel” the patriotism through these brothers. Gives us hope for the rest of the earth.

    • Jennie says:

      Well said, Amy. It’s the values that are most important, the game is just one event to show the values, and patriotism. It does give us hope. I’m so glad my excitement and enthusiasm shined through.

  13. L. Marie says:

    I love these rivalry stories. What a fun thing to also impart to your students, Jennie. I talk to friends who love talking about their school football team rivalries.

  14. One of the great rivalries in all of sports, and this year’s game lived up to the hype by being the first overtime game in the history of the series. I have never gotten to one, but I did get to see Navy play Notre Dame one time and enjoyed the pageantry of the Midshipmen as they entered the stadium to watch the game. Great post, Jennie.

    • Jennie says:

      It is one of of the best sports rivalries. seeing the game in person is far different, and I hope to make the game next December. Bruce, you’re a sports buff. Do you know why Navy plays Notre Dame every year? It goes back to WWII. Navy did not have enough space on their campus to educate future officers. Notre Dame stepped in and offered to educate students. After the war was over, Navy was one of the best football teams, but Notre Dame was just up and coming. Navy said they would play Notre Dame every year as a thank you for their wartime help. That still holds true today. I love these stories!

      • When I was little, I actually had an Army-Navy bedspread. A football field with the two team names in the end zones. Slept under it every night. Philadelphia has hosted the game most of the time, and this area gets fired up for the event. I did not know the story regarding Notre Dame’s offer to help Navy from an education standpoint led to that series being played regularly. That’s a great story!

      • Jennie says:

        Wh knew there was an Army-Navy bedspread? That is very cool! When I went to the 100th, it was played in Philly. I’m glad I told you about Notre Dame. Really nice!

  15. dgkaye says:

    How exciting this must be! ❤

  16. Thanks for sharing this interesting information on the Navy traditions. I had not known this before, but it’s very interesting. Best wishes, Michael

  17. Pingback: Army Navy | TNI_77#

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s