Army vs Navy – it is the “nation’s football game.” At the end of each football season, there unfolds a pageantry that began in 1890..
Each player took the same oath that brought him to this game. Each has a mission far beyond football. When arriving at a military academy, each person takes this oath:
HAVING BEEN APPOINTED A MIDSHIPMAN (or appropriate academy designation ) IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY (or other service), DO YOU SOLEMNLY SWEAR (OR AFFIRM) THAT YOU WILL SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC; THAT YOU WILL BEAR TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE SAME; THAT YOU TAKE THIS OBLIGATION FREELY, WITHOUT ANY MENTAL RESERVATION OR PURPOSE OF EVASION; AND THAT YOU WILL WELL AND FAITHFULLY DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF THE OFFICE ON WHICH YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER, SO HELP YOU GOD.The Oath of Enlistment
Not exactly a common oath one must take to play football somewhere.
For this game, those sworn to the same mission are rivals for one glorious late Fall afternoon.
The Army-Navy football game has been played annually since 1930. It has involved players who went on to sports careers as well as military service: Glenn Davis, Roger Staubach, Pete Dawkins, Napoleon McCallum, Doc Blanchard, and so many more.
Army vs Navy – The Game
Keegan Wetzel played for Navy and in his senior year was selected as a 1st Team All Independent linebacker. He played in the 2012 game that saw Navy beat Army for the 11th consecutive time.
Across the line from him for that game was Army quarterback Trent Steelman. Steelman is the only modern era Army QB to start every game in his four years at West Point. He holds the Army career record for TDs and is second all-time in career yards.
It was a game decided in the final minutes when Navy took the lead and held on as Army saw a final drive end on a turnover.
What was the intensity playing in those Army vs Navy games? How did playing in those games shape the lives of the players involved? What are the memories of Wetzel and Steelman about facing each other?
Listen to the depth of feeling from these two as they answer those questions and breathe individual life into the rigors and honor of playing football at the academies.
Rivals? Army vs Navy and THE GAME, as good as it gets. Enjoy.
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