One thing about fall that is generally universally loved in America is football season. Yeah, we know -- it’s a little more tense this year.
This is not about the National Anthem.
No matter how you feel about what's happening in the NFL, one thing we can all get behind is the excitement in the battle for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. It is the three-way rivalry between the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy -- and what a rivalry it is.
The rivalry is a great way to bond with the brother services. My family is an Army family and having friends who are Air Force or Navy is always fun on game days. Every Army member knows "Go Army, Beat Navy!" Even if that is the only football game they watch all year and the Army rarely wins, it is still a fun time.
For the game location, the Air Force will play one at home and one away, with the Navy hosting on even years and the Army on odd years. The Army-Navy game is done on a neutral field on the Eastern coast, usually in Philadelphia. And while the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy are also federal service academies, they are too small to compete and thus have their own rivalry for the Secretaries Cup, which will be played on November 1, 2017 at New London, Connecticut.
So, when are the games and when does the trophy get awarded anyway?
Navy-Air Force GameKicking off the series is the Navy-Air Force game. The first Saturday in October is when this game is played and this year is no different. On October 7, 2017 at 3:30 pm EST at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, the fight for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy begins. I feel like this game is often neglected in the media, so this year, we should come together and really bring awareness to the game. It is 50/50 on who will win as each team has an impressive record. The Air Force is defending their win this year and I like to root for the "underdog," so for me it's Go Navy 2017!
Army-Air Force GameNext up is the Army-Air Force game, traditionally on the first Saturday in November. The game will be on November 4, 2017 at 1:30 pm MST at the Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. You can still buy tickets if you are in the area or just really dedicated to football. Our family is currently near the school and we are strongly considering going. It is not every day you get the opportunity to go to one of these big games so if the military has stationed you nearby, it is not a bad way to spend a Saturday. The Air Force is also the reigning champion of this match up and as an Army family, it is really no contest. Go Army!
Army-Navy GameThe Army-Navy game is the second Saturday in December. This year it is on December 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm EST at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Army-Navy game is the last game in the series and is the one that gets the most press. Full disclosure, I did not even realize that the Air Force played the other academies growing up because "Go Army! Beat Navy!" is Such A Thing in Army culture. I will be rooting again for the Army to win. Last year was the first time they beat Navy in 14 years, so I hope that was the start of a winning streak. Go Army!
After all the games are played, the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is presented to the academy with the most wins out of the three games. If there is ever a tie (and that has happened four times) the previous winner gets to keep the trophy for the year.
The Air Force holds the records for most wins with 20 as of 2016. The Navy has won it 15 times and the Army only six -- which is a hard pill for this Army gal to swallow. The Air Force is the current champion so if you are in the Colorado Springs area, you can see the trophy at the Cadet Field House until December when the Army will take it. Wishful thinking anyone?
For the Secretaries Cup, the Merchant Marine Academy has won it 31 times and is the defending champion in the 2017 series. As a champion for the underdog, it would be great to see the Army and Coast Guard both win their cups this year.
Here's to a good season.