Army–Navy Game

The Army-Navy Game is an American college football rivalry game between the Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, and the Navy Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, Maryland. The Black Knights, or Cadets, and Midshipmen each represent their service's oldest officer commissioning sources. As such, the game has come to embody the spirit of the interservice rivalry of the United States Armed Forces. The game marks the end of the college football regular season and the third and final game of the season's Commander-in-Chief's Trophy series, which also includes the Air Force Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Army–Navy Game or America's Game
First meetingNovember 29, 1890
Navy 24, Army 0
Latest meetingDecember 14, 2019
Navy 31, Army 7
Next meetingDecember 12, 2020
StadiumsLincoln Financial Field (2019–2020, 2022)
MetLife Stadium (2021)
TrophySecretary’s Trophy
Third leg of triangular series for Commander-in-Chief's Trophy
Meetings total120
All-time seriesNavy leads, 61–52–7
Largest victoryNavy, 51–0 (1973)
Longest win streakNavy, 14 (2002–2015)
Current win streakNavy, 1 (2019–present)
Locations of Army and Navy

The Army–Navy game is one of the most traditional and enduring rivalries in college football. It has been frequently attended by sitting U.S. presidents.[1] The game has been nationally televised each year since 1945 on either ABC, CBS, or NBC. CBS has televised the game since 1996 and has the rights to the broadcast through 2028.[2] Instant replay made its American debut in the 1963 Army–Navy game.[3] Since 2009, the game has been held on the Saturday following FBS conference championship weekend.[4]

The game has been held in multiple locations, but outside the 1926 game in Chicago and 1983 game in Pasadena, California, it has been played in the Northeast megalopolis, most frequently in Philadelphia, followed by the New York area and the Baltimore–Washington area.

Through the 2019 meeting, Navy leads the series 61–52–7.

Series history

Army and Navy first met on the field on November 29, 1890 and have met annually since 1930. The game has been held at several locations throughout its history, including New York City and Baltimore, but has most frequently been played in Philadelphia, roughly equidistant from the two academies. Historically played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (a date on which most other major college football teams end their regular seasons), the game is now played on the second Saturday in December and is traditionally the last regular-season game played in Division I FBS football.

For much of the first two thirds of the 20th century, both Army and Navy were often national powers, and the game occasionally had national championship implications. However, since 1963, only the 1996, 2010, 2016 and 2017 games have seen both teams enter with winning records. Nonetheless, the game is considered a college football institution. It has aired nationally on radio since 1930, and has been nationally televised every year since 1945.

Some participants in the Army–Navy Game have gone on to professional football careers. For example, Quarterback Roger Staubach (Navy, 1965) went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Dallas Cowboys that included starting at quarterback in two Super Bowl victories including being named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl VI and Alejandro Villanueva (Army, 2010) is currently an offensive tackle with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

At the end of the game, both teams' almae matres are played and sung. The winning team stands alongside the losing team and faces the losing academy's students; then the losing team accompanies the winning team, facing their students.[5] This is done in a show of mutual respect and solidarity. Since the winning team's alma mater is always played last, the phrase "to sing second" has become synonymous with winning the rivalry game.

The rivalry between Annapolis and West Point, while friendly, is intense. The phrases "Beat Navy!" and "Beat Army!" are ingrained in the respective institutions and have become a symbol of competitiveness, not just in the Army–Navy Game, but in the service of the country. The phrases are often used at the close of (informal) letters by graduates of both academies. A long-standing tradition at the Army-Navy football game is to conduct a formal "prisoner exchange" as part of the pre-game activities. The prisoners are the cadets and midshipmen currently spending the semester studying at the sister academy. After the exchange, students have a brief reprieve to enjoy the game with their comrades.[6]

The game is the last of three contests in the annual Commander-in-Chief's Trophy series, awarded to each season's winner of the triangular series between Army, Navy, and Air Force since 1972. The rivalries Army and Navy have with Air Force are much less intense than the Army–Navy rivalry, primarily due to the relative youth of the USAFA, established in 1954, and the physical distance between the USAFA and the other two schools. The Army–Air Force and Navy–Air Force games are usually played at the academies' regular home fields, although on occasion they have been held at a neutral field.


Philadelphia has been the traditional home of the Army-Navy game. Eighty-nine of 119 games have been contested in Philadelphia including every game from 1932-1982 except three that were relocated due to World War II travel restrictions. Philadelphia is typically selected as the site due to the historic nature of the city and the fact that it is approximately halfway between West Point and Annapolis. For decades, the Pennsylvania Railroad and its successors offered game-day service to all Army–Navy games in Philadelphia using a sprawling temporary station constructed each year near Municipal Stadium on the railroad's Greenwich freight yard. The service, with more than 40 trains serving as many as 30,000 attendees, was the single largest concentrated passenger rail movement in the country.[7][8]

All games contested in Philadelphia through 1935 were played at Franklin Field, the home field of the University of Pennsylvania. From 1936 through 1979, all games contested in Philadelphia were held in Municipal Stadium, renamed John F. Kennedy Stadium in 1964. From 1980-2001, all games contested in Philadelphia were hosted by Veterans Stadium. Since 2003, all games contested in Philadelphia have been played in Lincoln Financial Field.

Only six games have ever been held on the campus of either academy, primarily because neither team plays at an on-campus stadium large enough to accommodate the large crowds that attend the game. Army's Michie Stadium seats only 38,000, while Navy's Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium seats only 34,000. The rivalry's first four games were hosted on the parade grounds of the respective academies and two games were held on campus due to World War II travel restrictions (1942 at Navy's old Thompson Stadium and 1943 at Michie Stadium).

Outside of Philadelphia, the New York area has been the most frequent Army-Navy site. The Polo Grounds holds the record for most games hosted outside of Philadelphia with nine, hosting all New York City games through 1927. Yankee Stadium hosted the game in 1930 and 1931. New Jersey has hosted five games; 1905 at Osborne Field at Princeton University and four games at Giants Stadium from 1989-2002.

Maryland has hosted a number of games throughout the history of the series as well. In Baltimore, Municipal Stadium hosted the 1924 and 1944 games and M&T Bank Stadium has hosted four games since 2000. In Landover, FedExField hosted the game in 2011.

The Rose Bowl is the only site west of the Mississippi River to host the Army–Navy game; it did so in 1983. The city of Pasadena, California paid for the travel expenses of all the students and supporters of both academies – 9,437 in all. The game was held at the Rose Bowl that year because there are a large number of military installations and servicemen and women, along with many retired military personnel, on the West Coast.[9] The game has been held one other time in a non-East Coast venue, at Chicago's Soldier Field, which played host to the 1926 game.

Future venues

The 2020 and 2022 games will be held at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey will host the 2021 game. Games beyond 2022 have yet to be awarded.[10]

Total games by venue and geography

Venue Games Army victories Navy victories Tie games First game Most recent game
John F. Kennedy Stadium411622319361979
Franklin Field18117018991935
Veterans Stadium17115119802001
Lincoln Financial Field13211020032019
Polo Grounds953119131927
Giants Stadium413019892002
M&T Bank Stadium413020002016
The Plain202018901892
Worden Field211018911893
Municipal Stadium (Baltimore)220019241944
Yankee Stadium220019301931
Osborne Field100119051905
Soldier Field100119261926
Thompson Stadium101019421942
Michie Stadium101019431943
Rose Bowl101019831983
City Games Army victories Navy victories Tie games First game Most recent game
New York City1173119131931
East Rutherford, New Jersey413019892002
West Point, New York303018901943
Annapolis, Maryland312018911942
Princeton, New Jersey100119051905
Pasadena, California101019831983
Landover, Maryland101020112011
State Games Army victories Navy victories Tie games First game Most recent game
New York1476118901943
New Jersey513119052002
CSA Games Army victories Navy victories Tie games First game Most recent game
Philadelphia–Reading–Camden, PA–NJ–DE–MD894045418992019
New York–Newark, NY–NJ–CT–PA1989218902002
Washington–Baltimore–Arlington, DC–MD–VA–WV–PA1046018912016
Chicago–Naperville, IL–IN–WI100119261926
Los Angeles–Long Beach, CA101019831983

    Game results

    Army victoriesNavy victoriesTie games
    1 November 29, 1890 West Point, NY Navy 24–0
    2 November 28, 1891 Annapolis, MD Army 32–16
    3 November 26, 1892 West Point, NY Navy 12–4
    4 December 2, 1893 Annapolis, MD Navy 6–4
    5 December 2, 1899 Philadelphia, PA Army 17–5
    6 December 1, 1900 Philadelphia, PA Navy 11–7
    7 November 30, 1901 Philadelphia, PA Army 11–5
    8 November 29, 1902 Philadelphia, PA Army 22–8
    9 November 28, 1903 Philadelphia, PA Army 40–5
    10 November 26, 1904 Philadelphia, PA Army 11–0
    11 December 2, 1905 Princeton, NJ Tie6–6
    12 December 1, 1906 Philadelphia, PA Navy 10–0
    13 November 30, 1907 Philadelphia, PA Navy 6–0
    14 November 28, 1908 Philadelphia, PA Army 6–4
    15 November 26, 1910 Philadelphia, PA Navy 3–0
    16 November 25, 1911 Philadelphia, PA Navy 3–0
    17 November 30, 1912 Philadelphia, PA Navy 6–0
    18 November 29, 1913 New York, NY Army 22–9
    19 November 28, 1914 Philadelphia, PA Army 20–0
    20 November 27, 1915 New York, NY Army 14–0
    21 November 25, 1916 New York, NY Army 15–7
    22 November 29, 1919 New York, NY Navy 6–0
    23 November 27, 1920 New York, NY Navy 7–0
    24 November 26, 1921 New York, NY Navy 7–0
    25 November 25, 1922 Philadelphia, PA Army 17–14
    26 November 24, 1923 New York, NY Tie0–0
    27 November 29, 1924 Baltimore, MD Army 12–0
    28 November 28, 1925 New York, NY Army 10–3
    29 November 27, 1926 Chicago, IL Tie21–21
    30 November 26, 1927 New York, NY Army 14–9
    31 December 13, 1930 New York, NY Army 6–0
    32 December 12, 1931 New York, NY Army 17–7
    33 December 3, 1932 Philadelphia, PA Army 20–0
    34 November 25, 1933 Philadelphia, PA Army 12–7
    35 December 1, 1934 Philadelphia, PA Navy 3–0
    36 November 30, 1935 Philadelphia, PA Army 28–6
    37 November 28, 1936 Philadelphia, PA Navy 7–0
    38 November 27, 1937 Philadelphia, PA Army 6–0
    39 November 26, 1938 Philadelphia, PA Army 14–7
    40 December 2, 1939 Philadelphia, PA Navy 10–0
    41 November 30, 1940 Philadelphia, PA Navy 14–0
    42 November 29, 1941 Philadelphia, PA #11 Navy 14–6
    43 November 28, 1942 Annapolis, MD Navy 14–0
    44 November 27, 1943 West Point, NY #6 Navy 13–0
    45 December 2, 1944 Baltimore, MD #1 Army 23–7
    46 December 1, 1945 Philadelphia, PA #1 Army 32–13
    47 November 30, 1946 Philadelphia, PA #1 Army 21–18
    48 November 29, 1947 Philadelphia, PA #12 Army 21–0
    49 November 27, 1948 Philadelphia, PA Tie21–21
    50 November 26, 1949 Philadelphia, PA #4 Army 38–0
    51 December 2, 1950 Philadelphia, PA Navy 14–2
    52 December 1, 1951 Philadelphia, PA Navy 42–7
    53 November 29, 1952 Philadelphia, PA Navy 7–0
    54 November 28, 1953 Philadelphia, PA #18 Army 20–7
    55 November 27, 1954 Philadelphia, PA #6 Navy 27–20
    56 November 26, 1955 Philadelphia, PA Army 14–6
    57 December 1, 1956 Philadelphia, PA Tie7–7
    58 November 30, 1957 Philadelphia, PA #8 Navy 14–0
    59 November 29, 1958 Philadelphia, PA #5 Army 22–6
    60 November 28, 1959 Philadelphia, PA Navy 43–12
    61 November 26, 1960 Philadelphia, PA #7 Navy 17–12
    62 December 2, 1961 Philadelphia, PA Navy 13–7
    63 December 1, 1962 Philadelphia, PA Navy 34–14
    64 December 7, 1963 Philadelphia, PA #2 Navy 21–15
    65 November 28, 1964 Philadelphia, PA Army 11–8
    66 November 27, 1965 Philadelphia, PA Tie7–7
    67 November 26, 1966 Philadelphia, PA Army 20–7
    68 December 2, 1967 Philadelphia, PA Navy 19–14
    69 November 30, 1968 Philadelphia, PA Army 21–14
    70 November 29, 1969 Philadelphia, PA Army 27–0
    71 November 28, 1970 Philadelphia, PA Navy 11–7
    72 November 27, 1971 Philadelphia, PA Army 24–23
    73 December 2, 1972 Philadelphia, PA Army 23–15
    74 December 1, 1973 Philadelphia, PA Navy 51–0
    75 November 30, 1974 Philadelphia, PA Navy 19–0
    76 November 29, 1975 Philadelphia, PA Navy 30–6
    77 November 27, 1976 Philadelphia, PA Navy 38–10
    78 November 26, 1977 Philadelphia, PA Army 17–14
    79 December 2, 1978 Philadelphia, PA Navy 28–0
    80 December 1, 1979 Philadelphia, PA Navy 31–7
    81 November 29, 1980 Philadelphia, PA Navy 33–6
    82 December 1, 1981 Philadelphia, PA Tie3–3
    83 December 4, 1982 Philadelphia, PA Navy 24–7
    84 November 25, 1983 Pasadena, CA Navy 42–13
    85 December 1, 1984 Philadelphia, PA Army 28–11
    86 December 7, 1985 Philadelphia, PA Navy 17–7
    87 December 4, 1986 Philadelphia, PA Army 27–7
    88 December 5, 1987 Philadelphia, PA Army 17–3
    89 December 12, 1988 Philadelphia, PA Army 20–15
    90 December 9, 1989 East Rutherford, NJ Navy 19–17
    91 December 8, 1990 Philadelphia, PA Army 30–20
    92 December 7, 1991 Philadelphia, PA Navy 24–3
    93 December 5, 1992 Philadelphia, PA Army 25–24
    94 December 4, 1993 East Rutherford, NJ Army 16–14
    95 December 3, 1994 Philadelphia, PA Army 22–20
    96 December 2, 1995 Philadelphia, PA Army 14–13
    97 December 7, 1996 Philadelphia, PA #23 Army 28–24
    98 December 6, 1997 East Rutherford, NJ Navy 39–7
    99 December 5, 1998 Philadelphia, PA Army 34–30
    100 December 4, 1999 Philadelphia, PA Navy 19–9
    101 December 2, 2000 Baltimore, MD Navy 30–28
    102 December 1, 2001 Philadelphia, PA Army 26–17
    103 December 7, 2002 East Rutherford, NJ Navy 58–12
    104 December 6, 2003 Philadelphia, PA Navy 34–6
    105 December 4, 2004 Philadelphia, PA Navy 42–13
    106 December 3, 2005 Philadelphia, PA Navy 42–23
    107 December 2, 2006 Philadelphia, PA Navy 26–14
    108 December 1, 2007 Baltimore, MD Navy 38–3
    109 December 6, 2008 Philadelphia, PA Navy 34–0
    110 December 12, 2009 Philadelphia, PA Navy 17–3
    111 December 11, 2010 Philadelphia, PA Navy 31–17
    112 December 10, 2011 Landover, MD Navy 27–21
    113 December 8, 2012 Philadelphia, PA Navy 17–13
    114 December 14, 2013 Philadelphia, PA Navy 34–7
    115 December 13, 2014 Baltimore, MD Navy 17–10
    116 December 12, 2015 Philadelphia, PA #21 Navy 21–17
    117 December 10, 2016 Baltimore, MD Army 21–17
    118 December 9, 2017 Philadelphia, PA Army 14–13
    119 December 8, 2018 Philadelphia, PA #22 Army 17–10
    120 December 14, 2019 Philadelphia, PA #23 Navy 31–7
    Series: Navy leads 61–52–7

    Notable games

    Navy Midshipman (and later Admiral) Joseph Mason Reeves wore what is widely regarded as the first football helmet in the 1893 Army–Navy Game. He had been advised by a Navy doctor that another kick to his head would result in intellectual disability or even death, so he commissioned an Annapolis shoemaker to make him a helmet out of leather.[11]

    On November 27, 1926, the Army–Navy Game was held in Chicago for the National Dedication of Soldier Field as a monument to American servicemen who had fought in World War I. Navy came to the game undefeated, while West Point had only lost to Notre Dame, so the game would decide the National Championship. Played before a crowd of over 100,000, the teams fought to a 21–21 tie, but Navy was awarded the national championship.[12]

    In both the 1944 and 1945 contests, Army and Navy entered the game ranked #1 and #2 respectively.[13] The 1945 game was labeled the "game of the century" before it was played. Army defeated a 7–0–1 Navy team 32–13. Navy's tie was against Notre Dame.[14]

    In 1963, shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy urged the academies to play after there had been talk of cancellation. Originally scheduled for November 30, 1963, the game was played on December 7, 1963 also coinciding with the 22nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.[15] In front of a crowd of 102,000 people in Philadelphia's Municipal Stadium, later renamed John F. Kennedy Stadium, junior (second class Midshipman) quarterback Roger Staubach led number two ranked Navy to victory which clinched a Cotton Bowl national championship matchup with Texas played on January 1, 1964. Army was led by junior (second class Cadet) quarterback Rollie Stichweh. Stichweh led off the game with a touchdown drive that featured the first use of instant replay on television. Army nearly won the game after another touchdown and two point conversion, Stichweh recovered the onside kick and drove the ball to the Navy 2 yard line. On 4th down and no timeouts, crowd noise prevented Stichweh from calling a play and time expired with the 21–15 final score. Staubach won the Heisman Trophy that year and was bumped off the scheduled cover of Life magazine due to the coverage of the assassination. Stichweh and Staubach would meet again in 1964 as First Class where Stichweh's Army would defeat Staubach's Navy. In that game, Calvin Huey of Navy became the first African-American to play in the series.[16] Staubach went on to serve in the Navy and afterward became a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys. Stichweh served five years in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Stichweh was inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.[17][18]

    On December 10, 2016, Army defeated Navy for the first time since 2001 with a 21–17 victory, snapping its 14-game losing streak against Navy.

    See also

    Other neutral site rivalries



    1. Staff writer (November 18, 2008). "President Bush Will Attend Army-Navy Game for First Time since 2004"". ESPN. Associated Press. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
    2. Staff writer (May 18, 2017). "CBS SPORTS TO REMAIN HOME OF ANNUAL ARMY-NAVY FOOTBALL CLASSIC THROUGH 2028". Navy Sports Webpage. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
    3. Gelston, Dan (December 5, 2008). "Army–Navy, Instant Replay, Tony Verna, 45 Years Later ..." Los Angeles Daily News. Associated Press. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
    4. "Army, Navy have no plans to move game for College Football Playoff schedule". USA Today. May 22, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
    5. Blansett, Sarah (December 12, 2014). "Tradition and History Wrapped into 115th Army–Navy Game". Retrieved November 19, 2016.
    6. Eastwood, Kathy. "West Point, Naval exchange students gear up for big game". United States Military Academy. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
    7. Cupper, Dan (1992). Crossroads of Commerce: The Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar Art of Grif Teller. Stackpole Books. p. 138. ISBN 9780811729031 via Google Books.
    8. Froio, Michael (December 11, 2015). "To The Game: A Pennsylvania Railroad Tradition". Retrieved August 24, 2016.
    9. Clark, N. Brooks (December 5, 1983). "The Week" Archived October 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Sports Illustrated. Accessed December 24, 2009.
    10. Staff writer (August 22, 2017) "MetLife Stadium to Host 2021 Army-Navy Game". "" Accessed August 22, 2017
    11. "History of the Football Helmet" from Past Time Sports. Accessed Jan 1,2010
    12. Nimitz Library | U.S. Naval Academy Archival Images: Army Navy Football: 1926. Accessed Dec 31, 2009 Archived January 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
    13. Fernandes, Andréa (December 10, 2011). "Army-Navy: Football's Greatest Rivalry". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
    14. "Middies All Hepped Up to Knock Over Cadets". Los Angeles Times, November 27, 1945. "Navy, far from conceding next Saturday's football 'game of the century' to Army, will field a spirited, offense-minded team determined to win and 'not merely hold down the score,' Public Relations Chief Lt. William Sullivan said today."
    15. Norlander, Matt. "Film on '63 Army-Navy game shows impact of rivalry, JFK tragedy". CBS Sports. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
    16. Hoye, Walter B (2 January 1965). "Naval History". Detroit Tribune. p. 7.
    17. "Carl Roland Stichweh HOF profile". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
    18. "Army Sports Hall of Fame Members – By Induction Class". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.


    • Feinstein, John (1996). A Civil War: Army Vs. Navy – A Year Inside College Football's Purest Rivalry. Diane Books Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7881-5777-6
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