They May Fight Each Other Today, But They Will Die For Us Tomorrow

By Ray Cardello for December 10, 2023, Season 23 / Post 36

It is impossible not to have a wave of patriotism and pride take over your body as you settle in for the annual Army-Navy Game. This year, it is even more special as the Cadets and Mid-Shipmen gather in Foxboro, Massachusetts, the home of the Original Patriots and the six-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. The young men taking the field today are not your typical student-athletes. These men take the field today in their unique uniforms designed just for this game, but tomorrow, they will don the United States Army or Navy uniforms. These are the future leaders of the most powerful military in the world. But for sixty minutes today, they will defend their end zone from the team on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Adversaries today, men united on a mission tomorrow to keep the enemy away from you and me. These men are football players, but they are also our heroes. They are indeed a unique lot.

This game is the greatest rivalry in sports. Forget the Yankees and Red Sox. This matchup eclipses the Celtics and Lakers. Move over, Bruins and Canadians. On this Saturday, it is not Tom and Peyton exchanging touchdowns. Today, only one game is on the schedule: Army vs Navy. The khaki vs the navy blue and the spread doesn’t matter. These men will leave everything on the Gillette Stadium Field. As the Black Knights of the Army and the Midshipmen of the Navy ran onto the field, their respective classmates roared with support. This meeting is the 124th edition of a tradition like no other. It is not only sport but Americana.

Of course, these teams are playing to win and the bragging rights for the year, but to us, they are all winners. The score is immaterial to the rest of us. Every player on that field is a winner. There will be a losing team but never a losing player. At the end of this game, hard knocks will turn to firm handshakes and friendly embraces. The next time some of these players meet, they may be on a battlefield on the other side of the world.

At a time when the country cannot be more divided comes a sporting event in which every American can find pride. The Left and Right may differ on when we should use our military might, but both sides love our men and women with the American flag on their shoulders. These men represent the best and brightest our country has to offer, and God Bless those young men and women willing to put their personal lives on hold while they serve their country. There was no outstanding offensive outburst, and it was a defensive battle, which is fitting for defending the homeland is what these young men will do. The game ended at the one-foot line with a mass of twenty-two massive athletes in a stand-off. Army won the game today, but all these men will be Brothers in Arms forever.

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