Clash of Future Warriors at Saturday's Army-Navy Game

Army has a chance for its first win in the rivalry in 11 years.

Army's Trent Steelman, left, runs into the end zone for a touchdown past Navy's Wave Ryder, right, as Malcolm Brown, center, celebrates during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Philadelphia.
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Few sports rivalries match the heat and real-world implications of the Army-Navy football game. The historic gridiron competition between the two warring service academies began more than 100 years ago and remains fiercely contentious.

An old and unsourced anecdote regarding a five-year gap in the games, which began just four years after the teams' first matchup in 1893, perhaps captures some of the intensity. A rear admiral and brigadier general were so incensed over the outcome of Navy's 1898 win, so the story goes, that they almost got into a duel.

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Resorting to such violence is now aimed squarely at the enemy, but it doesn't deter the ferocity of both schools, which is amped up even more by Navy's ongoing 11-year winning streak. The Midshipmen have shut down Army continually since 2002.

"We have all the respect in the world for one another as institutions. That doesn't necessarily mean affection, but respect," Army Head Coach Rich Ellerson said on CBS Radio this week. "This is what a rivalry can look like. This is arguably what a rivalry should look like: As fiercely contested a sporting event as you'll ever see, but teams and institutions that respect one another, that at a certain level share a mission.

"[These are] guys that are going to work together in the future, depend on one another in the future."

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A series of friendly competitions known as "Patriot Games" has led up to Saturday's game, the 114th in the matchup. Army won the pull-up and tug-of-war contests, tying the overall score as of Friday afternoon. released photos last week of the new uniforms Nike designed for each team.

The Army-Navy game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.


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