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This Saturday the old rivals meet again…..for the 107th time.

It’s the 80th game to be played in Philadelphia.

Army vs. Navy.

The rivalry and traditional pranks get pretty intense every Army-Navy Week and this year is no different. A Beat Army banner was discovered hanging from Washington Hall at West Point but the cadets had their revenge on Navy by sculpting the letter A in the middle of a green lawn in front of Michelson Hall, next to the midshipmen’s main walkway.

Navy has a better record than Army this year but that means nothing when it comes to predicting the winner of this storied series.

In 1996 Army came back from a big half time deficit of 17 points to beat Navy, capping off a perfect season of 10 wins. They played in the Independence Bowl game where they lost to Auburn 32-29. Army hasn’t won the CIC title since.

I was at the Army-Navy game that year and our son was a cadet. I was a subscriber to The Weekly Standard and recognized Fred Barnes at the game. I wrote him a letter about the game and he quoted me in his article about sports in an issue called Politics and Sports, a Symposium. (Volume 2, #19, January 27, 1997) The title was My Sports Right or Left.

Fred Barnes wrote……

A few weeks after the Army-Navy game, I got a letter from an Army fan, the wife of a West Pointer and the mother of a cadet. (She’d seen me at the game) “Wasn’t that a wonderful game?” she wrote. “At half-time, [with Navy ahead] my spirits were very low and I was wet and miserable.” Her son came by to cheer her up. “Don’t worry Mom.” he said, “We’re always down at the half. That’s our strategy. We’ll come back.” Army did. It wasn’t like those “shameful seasons” Army had in the early ’70s, she wrote. Those were the days of Nixon, Vietnam and silly hippie girls throwing flowers at the cadets, calling them “baby killers.” Nope, it wasn’t like that at all.

So all I am saying is…..don’t count Army out. Go Army! Beat Navy!

UPDATE: Don’t miss this piece on the real football game by Ian O’Connor…..

Everyone cares that these young athletes are all signed up to trade in their helmets and pads for warriors’ armor, and to do so at a time when half the planet is up in flames.

You know you’re a Marine-Army-Navy Mom when…….

My husband was a goat at West Point but he was proud of it.

Here’s an account of a prank phone call that he got in his plebe year that ended up in his walking the area.

More on Army-Navy Pranks

UPDATE: Navy defeated Army today - 26-14.