The NFL’s anthem-kneeling antics have certainly put many Americans off of football, but it’s a safe bet that every player will be standing during one particular game next week.
One of the most anticipated match-ups of the year won’t be taking place in the professional league, but rather between two military service rivals: the Army Black Knights versus the Navy Midshipmen.
That rivalry between the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Naval Academy in Annapolis is one of the most storied of all sports legends.
With a football competition that goes back to 1890, national history and service pride are deeply woven into the December 9 game.
Of course, military service academies take their uniforms pretty seriously, and the football field is no exception. The Navy just unveiled stunning new uniforms designed specifically for the Army-Navy clash… and they pay homage to the famous Blue Angels.
— Rothco (@Rothco_Gear) November 29, 2017
“Although the uniform departs from our customary characteristics, this tribute to the Blue Angels reflects the enthusiastic pride and appreciation we have for the Navy’s premier flying team and the motivation they convey to Navy football and the fleet at large,” Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk explained to the Capital Gazette.
“Anyone who has had the privilege of watching the Blue Angels perform knows there is no show quite like it,” added Adam Clement of the company Under Armor, which designed the new uniforms.
“It inspires and excites all who stand witness and we couldn’t think of a better way to pay homage to their great feats than creating a uniform that pays tribute to them,” he continued.
The Army has not yet revealed their uniform design for the game, but is expected to do so soon.
The Blue Angels, of course, are the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration team. Currently, the group uses F/A-18 Hornet jets for its spectacular maneuvers at airshows around the country.
In order to build hype for the game, the Naval Academy released a series of dramatic photos and a video of the new uniforms.
— Army-Navy Game (@ArmyNavyGame) November 27, 2017
The Army won last year’s game with a score of 21 to 17. However, the Navy has dominated by winning every other previous match-up back to 2002, meaning that the Black Knights have a lot of catching up to do.
To be sure, a football game is never the most important thing in the world, but it’s hard to not rally behind these two teams as they do battle on the gridiron.
After all, the cadets who make up both teams could soon be doing battle for real once they deploy around the world. As future officers, the men who continue the football tradition next week will also be America’s next military leaders.
If there’s one football game the country can finally justify tuning in to watch, this is it.
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