Army-Navy Game
December 2, 2000
PSI Net Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

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The Bonfire


Parents: We would appreciate any photos and memories you may be able to send to us. Please send to the Nobles for inclusion on the page. We need all the help we can get.

Thanks to the following who have added to our Army Navy collection:
  • Anonymous
  • the Dacosta Family
  • the May Family
  • the Moudy Family
  • the Rishel Family
  • Dan Rodricks

The following account, originally published Dec 4, 2000 in the Baltimore Sun, is reprinted with permission:

Army-Navy game lets us feel good once more
Dan Rodricks

I hope Baltimore gets the Army-Navy game back again because, in my 24 years in the Queen City of the Patapsco Drainage Basin, few events reached the heights this one did for grandeur, good feeling and civic pride - and I'm including the papal visit in 1995, the World Series in 1983 and the Elvis concert in 1977.

There are days - too many days - when a Baltimorean can get thoroughly depressed by the grind of human issues in our midst: the poverty, the drug addiction, the lead-paint poisoning, the declining population, the sense that nothing good can stay in this town under the weight of our heavy social problems. Whenever we get national television attention, it's for our rates of homicide and venereal disease.

But there are other days - Saturday was one of them - when your pessimistic tendencies disappear and your cynical instincts seem inappropriate. You might even find yourself feeling a little wide-eyed and childlike again. You make room for the fact that, hey, your city has a unique character and attractive amenities - a redeveloped Inner Harbor that looks fantastic in bump shots on a national telecast, a modern sports complex that impresses visitors and creates a buzz - and there's reason, after all, to take some pride in being a Baltimorean.

Especially if you've stuck around through all the bumpy years and remained a city bird.

It doesn't mean you've taken leave of your senses or your sense of outrage; you just want to enjoy some of the good stuff, too. You get sucked in. You can't help it.

Army-Navy was not only a big event, but it carried with it the kind of ritual and tradition that no one can contrive. Few things in sports seem as genuine and as wholesomely spirited as the century-old rivalry between the two service academies. Maybe nothing is.

So that was a great thing to have experienced in Baltimore, something to brag about.

Plus, the game spawned a whole weekend of downtown activities at feel-good time of year, and gave this city a heady dose of national recognition. (And it was the only football game that ever gave me my money's worth before the opening kickoff.)

Philadelphia gets the Army-Navy game most years, and that's too bad.

This is a movable feast of ritual and tradition - and sometimes exciting football - so why not move it around? Stage the game on neutral turf (Broad Street, Philadelphia) one year, closer to Army's home turf (Giants Stadium in New Jersey, or Yankee Stadium in the Bronx) another, and closer to Navy's home waters (Baltimore) another.

I hope it happens.

Pylon passage

West Point cadets and Naval Academy midshipmen displayed starkly different ways of handling a fixed obstacle Saturday morning during their march to the big game.

I refer here to one of two concrete pylons, about 3 feet high, barrel-shaped and painted blue, that mark a brick exit from the Harborplace promenade onto Light Street.

The pylons made the exit far narrower than the rest of the brick promenade and posed a potential bottleneck for cadets and midshipmen marching eight abreast.

The cadets, in their traditional gray capes-and-coats and caps, strutted smartly and solemnly north from Rash Field along the promenade, then made a left turn toward Light Street on their way west to Camden Yards. Before they could cross Light Street, however, they had to negotiate the concrete pylons. This called for a deft maneuver.

"Half turn!" nearly every unit leader was heard to call as cadets on the right shifted smoothly around the pylon on that side - without losing a step, causing the most incidental of bends in the long gray line. I didn't see a cadet out of step the whole time. I also didn't see a smirk or a smile.

When the midshipmen approached this same pinch point, they had a far more - how should I put this? - relaxed response.

Most negotiated the pylon with a conventional half turn - without anyone telling them to. But others took it with a quick skip to the right, some with a wide end-run, and at least two jumped over it, leap-frog style.

The crowd loved it.

Dan Rodricks
Baltimore Sun columnist
The game was fantastic! It was one of those hair-raising, voice losing, crazy games that makes you glad you are sitting there. Of course, there was that very ugly call at the end of the game that pretty much left us all dejected:( The STADIUM was awesome, though! I liked most things about it and liked the way it was close to downtown and stores and was an easy walk from the motels. There were some things that weren't so great about it, of course, but overall it was super. When I think back over the past four A-N games, we have had it much worse.

I will say, though, that the Navy fans were wonderful throughout. We stayed in a motel where it was 1/2 Army, 1/2 Navy. Everyone had such a good time together, even after the game. They didn't chide us or poke at us, just a few fun jokes here and there. We all walked back to the motel together, Army and Navy, and felt that camaraderie that comes from being academy fans. I didn't know them and they didn't know me, but we knew enough.

The march-on was terrific and Army, as always, looked fantastic. Sharp, in step, uniformed and downright awesome. Those cadets sure looked wonderful out there (and looked so old!). The flyovers were great (the jets from Navy and the helicopters from Army), and the parachuters were breathtaking. (I know, there are better terms for all of this, but I just haven't learned them all yet.)

So, there's my scoop from the game. I could go on, but I'll let someone else do that. Oh, I forgot....I believe they said the Army-Navy game was the biggest crowd they have had at that stadium, even more than the Ravens bring in!

Teresa, '01 mom

We had a wonderful time at the Army/Navy game!! We flew from Seattle back to Newark, rented a car, drove up to WP and spent our first night at the Thayer Hotel on Post. It was tiring, but not bad. Next morning was the WP parade - what fun! We watched all from our room on the 5th floor.

While our cadet was in classes, we repacked the car, toured WP and picked up a few souvenirs. After classes, we all piled into the car and headed to Baltimore. Only getting lost a couple of times (grin) - we finally made it and found our hotel. Everyone at the hotel was there for the same reason - and everyone was in a festive mood.

The next day our cadet left very early to join the pack - and we followed shortly behind - and were able to see the entire march - and actually walked along side of his company. Then we headed into the stadium to experience both academies "march on". What an event!! The game was interesting - but nothing compared to the watching the academies marching onto the field. If the appearance of those 8000 plus cadets is any indication of our future - we think it looks fairly bright!!

At the game - we nearly froze!! Our seats never did see any sun, so we shivered a lot. But anyone could tell that the cadets were all enjoying themselves. Afterwards we all headed back to the hotel to warm up and "celebrate?" It didn't seem to matter that Army finished a few points less than Navy - everyone seemed to be having fun. Sunday we drove all the way back to WP, dropped off our cadet and spent one last night at the Thayer. Monday we flew back to Seattle - totally exhausted but very glad we had made it to one A/N game in four years.

In considering all the other things we have attended thus far in three years - this seems to be one of the highlights - we strongly recommend it to all parents - try to see just one of these games if possible.

So until next year - GO ARMY/ BEAT NAVY!!!!

Joanne & Ray Moudy, '02 parents
We had a wonderful time at the Army-Navy game also. It was very cold especially for us South Floridians, but we were blessed with Club seats where we were able to go inside and watch on the T.V. while we thawed out. Our cadet and some friends also found it a warm and cozy place after they had marched the streets and the field before the game. They were complaining of their toes and hands being frozen. We stayed with some friends while in town for the game which proved to be a wonderful showing of hospitality from them.

After the game our cadet, a fellow cadet from our hometown, and a midshipman ( yes, one of the enemy) came back to our friends' house to a home cooked meal of lasagna. The midshipman was one of our son's best friends in school, and they both received an appointment from one of the academies.

Anyway... they had a great time of badgering each other and testing each other's skills in military knowledge and ranking of different officers. Our friends were so gracious they even put up a patriotic Christmas tree for the cadets and midshipmen. After filling us to the rim with lasagna, our host proceeded to the kitchen to make the guys some chocolate chip cookies to eat with their ice cream for dessert. What was left over she later bagged up and gave each cadet and midshipmen a bag of cookies to take back to the post with them. It made for a nice treat for the long bus ride home. The evening came to a close with a picture taking with the two cadets and the midshipman in between the two of them. A lot of fun and memory-building took place and, of course, I had to make sure we took pictures and video for the two set of parents who did not get to attend the game.

The game was fun, the parachuting teams and fly-by were great, but the best of all was the tradition of the Army-Navy game. I hope that we will be able to attend the next three years because it's worth it.

Faithe 04' Mom