They started playing the game back in 1890, and Navy shut out the Army that year, 24-0. Last year they did it again, winning 34-0. They’ve now met 109 times, and the Navy holds a slight edge in the series, with 53 wins to the Army’s 49 (seven ties).
There was a time when this was not only a fierce rivalry, but one that actually mattered in college football. These schools, particularly the Army, were among the sport’s powers in the 1930s and 40s. In fact, in both the 1944 and 1945 seasons the national championship was at stake. The Army, blessed with two of the sport’s all-time greats in Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, won both games.
Part of what makes this game so special is the pageantry involved, as both student bodies march into the stadium, and cheer on their on-field heroes. Part of is the pranks the service academies play on the other leading up to the game. And part is the respect all Americans have for our military, as demonstrated by all the Presidents who have attended – Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, Coolidge, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford, Clinton, and George W. Bush. Eisenhower actually played in the game as a halfback and linebacker for Army (they lost).