Ah, the holiday season is officially upon us because today is the very first day of December! In most houses the holiday season probably isn’t marked with a college football game. However, in this house the annual Army/Navy football game (also affectionately known as America’s Game) is the real holiday. In just one short week Justin and I will be traveling to Philadelphia to attend his last Army/Navy game as a cadet.
Since it’s pretty much the end of an era for us (until we go back and he’s an Old Grad and/or we take our children) I figured it would be a really fun idea if I had Justin make his first official appearance on the blog and talk to you guys a little bit more about Army/Navy!
What is your favorite thing about the Army/Navy game?
Probably the atmosphere, everybody in the cadet section is hyped and ready to go for the entire game. There isn't another sporting event that can really compare in terms of rivalry or excitement, at least for me anyways. The celebration afterwards is a close second.
How high would you rank Army/Navy on a bucket list?
I didn’t have it on my bucket list just because I didn’t follow college football before coming to West Point. Now that I’ve been there, I’d have to put the Army/Navy game close to the top if I was the kind of person to enjoy sporting events. I prefer trips and museums more so if you like those types of things it’d be closer to middle of the road.
What makes Army/Navy one of the biggest rivalries in college football?
I think it’s just the competitive nature of the relationship between the two schools. At least for West Point, we say and hear Beat Navy close to every day. It kind of builds up that expectation that we’re going to dominate Navy in every competition. Army/Navy is that culminating event where the we put our money where our mouths are. That’s why it's probably the biggest rivalry bar none.
What is the number one thing everyone should know about the Army/Navy football game?
I’d honestly just say know what’s going on. There are a lot of different things happening before the game and those experiences are half the fun of going to Army/Navy. If you’re looking to get the most out of your trip, get to the stadium early so you can spend some time checking out the different events that build up to the game itself.
(ESPN College Gameday is huge and before kick off, Cadets and Midshipmen parade on the field, there's a bunch of different flyovers, etc.).
If there was one piece of advice you have for someone going to their first Army/Navy game, what would it be?
Bring hand warmers and cash. It’s going to be a long day out in the weather so be prepared to keep warm. It can get pretty cold at the game. I’ve even seen it sleet pretty heavily. As for the cash, once you're in the stadium you won’t want to go far and risk missing a big play so be ready to cave and buy the overpriced stadium food.
What is the one Army/Navy game of the past that you would have wanted to experience?
It’s going to sound cheesy but I can’t imagine any other Army/Navy comparing to last year. We broke Army’s losing streak and rushed the field. Of course I already experienced last year’s game, but it just goes to show how awesome that game was that I’d easily pick last year’s game over any other past Army/Navy game.
How do you feel about the upcoming Army/Navy game on December 9, 2017?
I feel good, looking at the performances of both teams I feel that Army has a good chance of winning again. On the other hand, on any given day the game could go either way. It should be a close one and I’m looking forward to seeing how the teams match up.
If you could relieve any moment from the three Army/Navy games you’ve been to, what would it be and why?
Probably that last couple minutes of last year's game when everyone started to realize that we were going to win. That was a crazy feeling of anticipation to see that clock wind down and just hoping that nothing happened.
If you could pick the location of the next Army/Navy game, where would you choose and why?
I’d probably keep it in Philly, I enjoy checking out the town and spending the weekend exploring. It’s almost like a mini vacation without too much hassle of travelling. I wouldn’t want it to be any farther away from West Point than it is now just because of the driving and how much time it takes away from the weekend.
What is the thing you’re going to miss most about going to Army/Navy games every year?
Not having to pay out of pocket for my ticket. It can get expensive to find a hotel and pay for food. Adding on $100+ per ticket, especially now that the game isn’t a one sided streak, exacerbate the financial strain that going to the game can have on someone who is just starting out.
(For context, my ticket for last years Army/Navy game was $85. This year they were impossible to get and now one week out, people are selling them for $200 a piece at the lowest. This year, I'll be watching from the comfort of a local bar).
Army/Navy Score Prediction?
Obviously 50-0, Army. Is that even a question?