Diary

Watercooler Saturday! — 12/10/16: The Greatest Rivalry

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Today, the greatest rivalry continues.

Not Duke and North Carolina.

No, not BYU and Utah.

Not even Ohio State and Michigan.

Today, America’s biggest rivalry will engage for the 119th time as No. 25 Navy hosts Army at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.

It’s been 14 years since the U.S. Military Academy defeated the U.S. Naval Academy, and that’s not expected to change today.

The Midshipmen are 9-3 on the season, coming off of a disappointing American Athletic Conference championship loss to Temple a week ago.

While the Black Knights have struggled a bit at times this season, including a loss to fellow service academy Air Force on Nov. 5, Army is bowl eligible with a 6-5 record. An improbable win would keep the Black Knights above .500 for the first time since 2010.

Navy will be without starting quarterback Will Worth, who injured his leg in the loss to Temple. The 6-1 senior has led the Midshipmen all season, completing 61 percent of his attempts for eight touchdowns. His more impressive feat is 25 rushing touchdowns. They’ll instead look to sophomore Zach Abey to lead the way. The 6-2 Florida native went 7-f0r-13 last week, but was sacked three times and gave up two interceptions.

Army will be led into battle by quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw and running back Andy Davidson. Bradshaw has completed just 41 percent of his passes this season, but has rushed for 646 yards and six touchdowns. Davidson has found the end zone nine times on the ground for 818 yards.

The two teams will play at 3:oo PM ET on CBS.

Facts about Army-Navy

While Army-Navy is easily the most patriotic football game of the season, there are many lesser known facts about this historic game. Here are just a few of them according to Soldiers Magazine.

• The first Army-Navy football game was played Nov. 29, 1890 on “The Plain” at West Point. Navy had been playing organized football since 1879, and defeated the newly established Army team, 24-0.

• Nov. 27, 1926, the game was held in Chicago for the formal dedication of Soldier Field in honor of the American servicemen who had fought in World War I.

• Going into both the 1944 and 1945 games, Army and Navy were ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Army won both games.

• The Rose Bowl is the only site west of the Mississippi River to host the Army-Navy game – it did so in 1983.

• A 1973 episode of “M*A*S*H” referenced a fictional Army-Navy game that ended 42-36 Navy. To this day, no Army-Navy game has ended with that score. The radio announcer in the episode says the game is the 53rd Army-Navy game. That game was played in 1952; Navy won, 7-0.

• Following the game, players sing both teams’ alma maters. The winning team joins the losing team, and sings facing the losing team’s students. Then the losing team joins the victors on their side of the field and sings the winner’s alma mater to its students. This act is a show of mutual respect and solidarity.

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And in case you’re wondering, President-Elect Donald Trump will be attending today’s game, according to The Washington Post.

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This is today’s watercooler! Let us know who you think will win in the comments section below.