With the 120th Army-Navy Game coming up tomorrow we decided to delve into the meaning of the game to some of the Forgotten 5 staff.
It’s another reminder of how being in the service has shaped my life. It was never going to be perfect, and it wasn’t, but being in the Army is a big part of the person I’m proud to have become. I love having the game stand-alone because the one thing these men will NEVER get in their lifetime is sufficient recognition for their service. This gives everyone another opportunity to do so, and Goddamnit they better.
Army-Navy is a very important game for me. While football is the main focus, it is not the only focus. This game is one of those rare moments where the men playing on the field are the same players who will enter active duty following graduation and risk their lives in protecting this country’s freedom. I think that is one of the coolest and most unique aspects of this rivalry.
My family is intertwined in this historic meeting every year, as both my uncles served in the Army. Uncle Jayantha was a Promotable E5 stationed primarily in Fort Shafter, Hawaii while Uncle Rangan was a Marksman Corporal in the 101st Airborne Assault Division out of Fort Cambell in Kentucky. While they root for West Point, the family dynamic gives an added spark to an already exciting showdown between two of the greatest service academies in the world.
My love for the Naval Academy began to take shape in 9th grade. The tradition, the history, the culture of prominence and the structure of disciple that is ever-present in Annapolis drew me to embracing the school as well as the United States Navy. While my path towards becoming a Midshipmen at Navy, unfortunately, did not come to fruition, I still respect what the Academy stands for in its quest to train and prepare the future sailors of the most powerful navy in the world.
From Ricky Dobbs to Heisman hopeful Keenan Reynolds, to our 14-year win streak against Army, to our CFP rankings, being a Navy fan is truly an honor and a privilege. While my career is instilled in the sports and business industries, my main dream is to one day work for the United States Navy and do my small part in helping defend this great country and to truly experience that honor in working directly for the benefit of the United States of America.
Two words were taught to me from the day I was born: “Beat Navy”. Those words aren’t just any words. Those two four-letter words will bring a smile to my face no matter who says them or how I was feeling before those words are spoken.
To me, Army-Navy Game was filled with a lot of pain for almost all of my childhood. On December 10th, 2011 the game was in Washington D.C. (where we lived at the time). My dad and I went and long story short, Navy won their 10th straight Army-Navy game. During the USMA Alma Mater, I broke down in tears and left the stadium sobbing.
The following year, on December 8th, 2012, my favorite player ever Trent Steelman and the Army team would lose again. Steelman would leave USMA without ever beating Navy. Just like the year prior, the tears began to flow during the Alma Mater.
That pain, however, led to one of the greatest days of my life.
December 10th, 2016, 2nd and 8, down by three, 6:07 left in the game. Ahmad Bradshaw forces his way into the endzone to give Army a lead they would never relinquish, ending 15 years of pain and suffering.
My dad, a class of 1995 graduate of USMA, and I shared a hug neither of us will ever forget. We got to sing second, tears of joy were shed during the Alma Mater this time.
The Commander-in-Chief Trophy coming home in 2017 was another day I will never forget. Before that day, it had been 21 years since the trophy was last at USMA. The feelings shown in the video below are very similar to those that were felt in my house on December 9th, 2017.
On the surface, this is a football game, but this game was the game that kept my dad and I connected when he was deployed. If we were able to talk in the week leading up to the game it would be all we talked about. Beating Navy was the only thing that mattered. In a way, the Army-Navy game made it feel like he wasn’t deployed anymore and that he was with our family watching our beloved team take the field.
Now our team takes the field against that familiar foe from Maryland again on December 14th, 2019. While my dad is in Washington D.C. and won’t be able to watch the game with me in person, you best believe we will be on the phone for the entire game cheering the Army team on to victory.
I leave you with one more video. The third verse gets me every time. Enjoy.
BEAT NAVY AND SING SECOND