The Navy Midshipmen vs Army Black Knights football game is taking place at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts. This change from the usual venue choice is due to the 250th anniversary of The Boston Tea Party celebration that is taking place this year. The Army vs Navy football game signifies the sad but inevitable end to the college football regular season, and follows the conference championship weekend.
Navy Midshipmen Patriots Ties
With Gillette not only being home to the Army vs Navy football game but also the New England Patriots, head coach Bill Belichick is expected to have a role in the build up to this game. Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, through high school, Belichick learned an appreciation of the hard work and dedication needed in life by watching his father as an assistant coach and scouting assistant of the Navy football program.
Steve Belichick, the father of Bill coached as a staff member for the Navy Midshipmen for 33 years. After his passing in 2006, Bill dedicated his collection of hundreds of books on football to the Navy library. The ‘Belichick Collection’ remains in Annapolis, a testament for a man now buried on the grounds of the Naval Academy.
Bill Belichick is expected to speak with the Navy squad, the evening before their Commander-in- Chief’s Trophy game. Additionally, he will be making a guest appearance on College Gameday to give his general insight, and to make his pick.
When speaking of the March On for the Corps of Cadets and the Midshipmen he said the following:
You look down and you see 4,000 men and women who are training to be our country’s leaders and our country’s defenders in the future. It’s a pretty impressive moment to recognize all those kids as they’re going through the process, and who they’re going to be and what’s going to come out of there.
It is a part of this game that takes place well before the kickoff that is tradition, as well as the ensuing joining of both bodies of the service academies to sing the alma mater songs.
Navy Midshipmen Alum
Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona , is a graduate of the Naval academy, currently serving as an officer in the Navy Reserve as a Lieutenant. Drafted out of college from the Navy Midshipmen by the Patriots, and despite having won two Superbowl championships, he has described the Army vs Navy games as the most important games that he has ever been a part of.
He had the following to say regarding the matchup:
There’s an importance of sports betting, and resurgence if NIL, and the transfer portal. These kids that are playing in this game couldn’t care less about any of those things. The only thing they care about is going out there and proving to their brothers that they have their back.
This quote from Joe Cardona came from him speaking of the changing landscape in college football. While players are now valued at millions of dollars as high schoolers, and the transfer portal allows for college athletes to test out their status as free agents, the service academies remain one of the few locations where the team will always be bigger than any individual status or stature.