The stakes for the Army-Navy game were set high with a promotional video displaying Army’s new uniform this year, set in the trenches of World War I alongside the 1st Infantry Division.
In an exciting game, watched by President Donald Trump and members of his Cabinet, the Black Knights overcame the Midshipmen for a third straight year with a final score of 17-10. More than that, Army captured the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for a second straight year — a feat not seen since Navy won in 2012 and 2013.
However, you may ask: what is the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy? Enter, stage right: the Air Force Falcons from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Our friends from the sky are not about to let themselves be forgotten. This trophy, first awarded by President Richard Nixon in 1972, is given to the winner of the triad of Army-Navy, Navy-Air Force and Air Force-Army football games.
The idea came from Gen. George B. Simler, a former Air Force Academy athletic director. As it stands, the Air Force has 20 trophy wins, Navy 15 and Army eight — after Saturday’s win. Army’s win continues their hold on the trophy. However, a loss would have meant the sharing of the trophy between them and Air Force — a shared trophy having occurred only five times in history.
This battle for trophy supremacy is not only unique to the three service academies — given that the Coast Guard and Merchant Marine academies are Division III schools, and too small to play their Division I compatriots — but also among the few annual college football trophies awarded to tri-school rivalries.
Despite the coveted Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy being the ultimate prize, the crown jewel of the series between the three schools is undoubtedly Army versus Navy. The heritage of Cadets and Midshipmen battling it out beginning in 1890 boosts this prestige, as well as the fact that 10 sitting presidents have watched the games in-person.
The trophy remains the coup de grace, the trophy to end all trophies for West Point, Annapolis and the Academy. Ultimately, the greatest honor is the three academies coming together for some friendly rivalry, playing some good ball and strengthening that bond between future officers of the armed forces.
Just like with the Turkey Bowl here on Fort Bragg a few weeks back, you root for your side but ultimately recognize the shared victory’s role in building further respect. Or, you can just go with the old expression: Go Army!