December 12, 2020 will mark the 121st playing of the Army-Navy game and will be played at West Point. The game is being moved from Philadelphia due to attendance limits placed on outdoor events in the state of Pennsylvania that would not allow the entire Corp of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen to attend. As the designated home team in 2020, Army West Point will host the 121st iteration at the historic Michie Stadium.
This marks the first time the Army-Navy game has been played at a home site since world War II when Annapolis hosted the 1942 game and West Point the 1943 game. The two schools also rotated the first four games from 1890 - 1893.
Embodying the spirit of the United States Armed Forces inter-service rivalry, the Army- Navy Game is an American college football game between the Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, NY and the Navy Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, MD. This game, coined "America's Game," marks the end of the college football regular season and the third and final game of the season's Commander-in-Chief's Trophy series.
The Army-Navy game is one of the most traditional and enduring rivalries in college football. It has been frequently attended by sitting U.S. presidents and has aired nationally on the radio since 1930, and has been nationally televised on a broadcast network every year since 1945. The game is considered a college football institution.
Army and Navy first met on the field on November 29, 1890, and have met annually since 1930 and has been held at several locations throughout its history, including New York and Baltimore, but has most frequently been played in Philadelphia, roughly equidistant from the two academies. Historically played on the second Saturday after Thanksgiving (a date on which most other college football teams end their regular seasons), the game is now played on the second Saturday in December and is traditionally the last regular-season game played in NCAA Division I football.
The rivalry between Annapolis and West Point, while friendly, is intense. the phrases "Beat navy!" and "Beat Army!" are ingrained in the respective institutions and have become a symbol of competitiveness, not just in the Army-Navy Game but in the service of the country. The phrases are often used at the close of 9informal letters by graduates of both academies. A long-standing tradition at the Army-Navy game is to conduct a formal "prisoner exchange" as part of the pre-game activities. The prisoners are cadets and midshipmen currently spending the semester studying at the sister academy. After the exchange, students have a brief reprieve to the enjoy the game with their comrades.
The American national anthem is usually sung by members of the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy choirs. Unlike other football games, a notable recording artist or marching band does not perform the national anthem. At the end of the game, both teams' alma maters are played and the crowd sings along. The winning team stands alongside the losing team and faces the losing academy's students; then the losing team accompanies the winning team, facing their students. This is done in a show of mutual respect and solidarity. Since the winning team's alma mater is always played last, the phrase "to sing second" has become synonymous with winning the rivalry game.
Navy leads in the all-time series, 61-52.