When Army and Navy run out of the tunnel next Saturday, it will be for more than just bragging rights.
The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy will be on the line. That's a switch from last year when Air Force claimed the coveted award. And, according to Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk, the service academy protecting the skies didn't take the best care of the trophy.
"It looks a little dirty. They could have polished it up for us," Gladchuk joked at yesterday's media luncheon.
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Jokes aside, the city of Philadelphia is proud to be hosting the Army-Navy Game again after a one-year absence (it was held at Maryland's FedEx Field last year). The inter-service rivalry is scheduled for Dec. 8 at Lincoln Financial Field. This marks the 113th edition and the 84th time Army and Navy will clash on Philadelphia soil.
"This is truly a Philadelphia tradition," Mayor Michael Nutter said. "We're proud and honored to have it back."
Navy leads the overall series, 56-49-7, including wins in the last 10 meetings. In fact, the last time Army raised its arms high in victory was at Veterans Stadium in 2001. Army, with a 2-9 record, will enter as huge underdogs again. Don't underestimate the Cadets' motivation.
"To bring the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy back to West Point would be almost unimaginable because it hasn't been done in so long," said Army senior quarterback Trent Steelman. "It's always mentioned in our preseason goals, and it's always No. 1."