Those who know me know that I long for that time of the year when college football season starts. So often it goes by fast and then we come to the end of the season. However, there is one anticipated game that officially marks the end of the college football season. It is known as “America’s Game.” It is Army vs. Navy. Yes, I love my Tennessee Volunteers, and we are heading to a bowl game against Iowa, but there is something special about this coming Saturday. There is even an incredible connection between the Army and my alma mater, Tennessee. It was during the Mexican War when the military cadets at Tennessee volunteered, leaving the campus and forming a Company of Dragoons. Our impeccable football stadium on the Tennessee River is named after US Army Brigadier General Robert Neyland who was known as “the General.” And, as I recently shared, the University of Tennessee had one of our alumni awarded the Medal of Honor earlier this year for his service as an Army attack helicopter pilot in Vietnam.
The Army-Navy game is the only college football game where every player on the field will take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of these United States of America. That means every young man on that field will be willing to give the last full measure of devotion to this nation.
I must admit, I see college football losing its unique character. The advent of the transfer portal has created a sense of “free agency” in the game. Then you have the “Name in License” (NIL) commercial sponsorship and advertising deals paying certain players. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in some stipend for these athletes, but they should remember that they are scholar athletes, not compensated athletes. The back of the uniforms for the Black Knights of West Point do not have individual players’ names. There is a simple word on the back, ARMY. They play as a team, not as individuals, which is how they will win on the battlefield. Perhaps that is something other schools can learn from, drop the names on the college sports team uniforms, and teach them to play as a team.
This year the Army team will honor the US 3rd Infantry Division, based at Ft. Stewart, Georgia. The Division is referred to as the “Rock of the Marne.” That moniker came from their World War I defense against a German offensive, and their subsequent counterattacks. As well, the 3rd Infantry Division song is titled, “Dog Faced Soldier.” In World War II the most decorated Soldier was Texas’ own Audie Murphy who distinguished himself as a member of the 3rd Infantry Division. Sadly, too many American kids — Americans period — have no idea about this type of famed history. Perhaps, these same individuals will not even watch this storied game.
Sure, last week we were all dialed into the respective college football conference championship games. But, the true heroes and champions of this nation will take the field this week, and for the first time in Massachusetts. Perhaps that is a fitting place, since Massachusetts was the place where the Sons of Liberty took the field on April 19, 1775, at Lexington Green and Concord, Massachusetts against the tyranny of the British, who were marching inland to destroy a weapons and armaments factory. On that day in 1775 there was no America, no Army, no Navy, but there was a spirit of freedom and liberty. On June 14, 1775, America did establish the Continental Army, before our Country was formed, an Army whose motto is “This We’ll Defend.”
But, my, how things have changed in Massachusetts! Reports are that attendees for the Army-Navy game are having their hotel reservations canceled. The rooms are being made available for illegal immigrants. The state where free men came out armed to declare that they would not be subjects is now one of the most virulent gun control states in the country. I guess the British did get their way after all.
This is what happens when we do not learn our history, instead we emphasize cultural Marxist dogma and ideology.
The Army-Navy game may not produce the college football national championship team. It just produces young men who will be our champions on battlefields across the globe. It produces that which George Orwell asserted, “A nation sleeps peacefully at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on her behalf.” On this Saturday, for 60 game time minutes, these young men of West Point and Annapolis will struggle hard against each other. In the end there will be tears and each will stand in humble honor as the respective Academy songs are played. In this game, you want to be the one who “Sings Second.”
USC sings “Fight On.” Michigan sings “Hail to the Victor.” Notre Dame sings “Cheer Cheer for ol’ Notre Dame.” Alabama sings “Yea, Alabama.” Texas sings “The Eyes of Texas.” Georgia sings “Glory Glory Georgia.” And at Tennessee we sing “Rocky Top.”
All of that is nice, but as a retired career Army soldier, now retired, nothing sounds better than, “Go Army, Beat Navy!” You want to know what America is all about? Watch the Army-Navy game. It is America’s game! Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson do an outstanding job calling it.
Steadfast and Loyal, the motto of the US Army’s 4th Infantry Division.