In one of the best rivalries of all time, two branches of the United States military will face off on the gridiron for the honor of bringing home the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy.
On Saturday, fans will pack the stands to watch Army football players from the United States Military Academy take on players from the United States Naval Academy. The game is being played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. EST.
Those who have a vested interest in either the Army Black Knights, the Navy Midshipmen or just wanted to spend the afternoon enjoying a football game could purchase tickets to attend the rivalry. However, for those who prefer to take in their sports from the comfort of their couch, there are multiple ways to watch it live.
The Army-Navy game is being broadcast by CBS on television, so people with cable can tune in directly from their television sets. CBS is also offering a free live stream of the game on CBSSports.com and through the CBS Sports mobile application.
Along with the many fans and future military leaders sitting in the stands at Saturday’s game, President Donald Trump will also be in attendance. Trump will be the 10th sitting president to attend the event after then-President Barack Obama attended in 2011. Trump went to the game in 2016 while he was president-elect, but opted to watch the 2017 game on television instead.
This is the 119th time the two historic rivals will meet on the gridiron and Navy is leading the all-time series 60-57-7. However, Army won last year’s rivalry 14-13 and has only lost two games during the 2018 season compared to the Midshipmen, who have only won three games this season.
James Nachtigal of the Army Black Knights celebrates the win over the Navy Midshipmen on December 9, 2017, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The two teams will face off again in Philadelphia on Saturday. Elsa/Getty Images
The rivalry began in 1890, the first year the Army had an organized football team. On November 29 of that year, Navy defeated the newly minted Army team 24-0. To finance the first game, 271 members of the Corps of Cadets contributed 52 cents each to pay half of the Navy’s traveling costs.
While the rivalry is generally thought to be a yearly event, there have been 10 occasions that the teams did not play. Following the 1893 game, the Army reported an Army general and a Navy admiral got into a heated argument that almost resulted in a duel. As a result, the two teams did not meet on the field from 1894 until 1898.
Army and Navy players also did not face off in 1909 because all games were canceled following the death of Cadet Eugene Byrne. While playing Harvard University in October, Byrne, who was captain at the time and playing left tackle, dove headfirst in front of three Harvard players to prevent them from gaining further yardage, according to The Harvard Crimson. His head was bent under his chest as players fell on him, putting him in a semi-conscious state until he passed away the next morning.
The rivalry game was not played in 1917 and 1918 in accordance from the War Department during World War I. In 1928 and 1929 the universities could not reconcile player eligibility standards, which prevented the games from taking place.
Although it’s a fierce competition on the field, following the game, players from both teams sing both alma maters. First, the winning team and losing team face the losing team’s students and sing. Then, they turn and face the winning team’s side of the field and sing the victor’s alma mater. Following a hard-fought game, it serves as an act of mutual respect and solidarity.