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Good Sunday Morning everyone. I hope you guys and gals all had a pleasant Saturday.
Yesterday, for the 124th time, Army and Navy met on the gridiron, and their season-ending game signals a close to the 2023 NCAA Football “regular” season (we’re a long way from college football being over, what with some 40-plus bowls still to come). Still, this game is the traditional capper to a season that began back in August.
While most of the nation (and our soldiers and sailors overseas) watch this game with a rooting interest (the first time Army and Navy met on a football field was way back in 1890), for the past 15 years this game has been as much about the uniforms for those of us who fancy ourselves Uni Watchers.
In case you missed it, Paul had the early previews on the Navy and Army uniforms. Of course, both Academies go a LOT more in depth, so if you want even more uni minutiae, click here for Army and click here for Navy. I also took a look back at the prior 15 years of specialty uniforms in a separate post yesterday. If you have any questions whatsoever about this year’s uniforms, please refer back to any of those for the very detailed specifics.
Unlike past years, we didn’t have any weather issues (rain, snow, fog), and the conditions were just about perfect. If the uniforms themselves weren’t specially created for this game, it would still have been good looking — color vs. color in fact — although unfortunately it was also mono vs. mono, with Army in a tannish-green uniform and Navy in a dark, almost midnight, navy blue. The contrast was excellent.
Victorious Army wore fairly plain uniforms, highlighted by a chevron design on the front and back, and “ROTM” down the pants leg (which stands for “Rock of the Marne,” a division which has been active since 1917).
Navy’s uniforms were similarly plain, with “NAVY” and numbers in white. Players went NOB for Navy.
Army, by contrast and tradition, eschewed NOB’s in favor of “ARMY” as their Name On Back.
Most of the game was rather boring, with both teams struggling to move the ball, but the final quarter was actually quite exciting, with Army needing to make a goal line stand on basically the game’s final play to preserve a victory.
By tradition, the winning team sings last, and this year — as last — that honor belonged to Army.
It was one of my first sporting memories, and I would be more than happy if every meeting looked like that one.
I even had the paper football I made for that game in my pocket yesterday.
AND YET…1971 didn’t even crack my Top Five. A lot of good matchups happened after (and before) then, so let’s get to those now, beginning with…
5. The “No, It’s Not The Blue Bombers vs Tiger-Cats” Matchup:
The Black Knights look good in black helmets, especially when they’re not trying to look like Darth Vader.
4. The “Camo Is For Actual Battle, Contrast Is For Football” Game:
Forget 2017’s Pando Commandos… these Cadet Gray pants looked *way* better in the snow!
3. The “Script Helmet Alert!” Game
Every now and then, I like Navy in a navy blue helmet.
2. The “I Taped This Game And I’m Never Taping Over It” Matchup:
LOVE Army’s number font, and even though they’re special unis, you instantly know that’s Army and that’s Navy.
1. Simply The Best:
Unfortunately, that’s the best photo I could find of helmet numbers vs anchors on helmets and shoulder stripes…with field numbers every five yards for good measure!
There’s only one thing worse than 2012’s white vs black with stealth numbers, and that’s white vs white with no numbers.
• • • • •
Army-Navy Uni Tracking
The SMUW crew had the weekend off, but that didn’t stop my ACC and B1G tracker, Rex Henry from whipping up a graphic just for the game. Thanks, Rex!
Guess the Game from the Uniform
Based on the suggestion of long-time reader/contributor Jimmy Corcoran, we’ve introduced a new “game” on Uni Watch, which is similar to the popular “Guess the Game from the Scoreboard” (GTGFTS), only this one asked readers to identify the game based on the uniforms worn by teams.
Like GTGFTS, readers will be asked to guess the date, location and final score of the game from the clues provided in the photo. Sometimes the game should be somewhat easy to ascertain, while in other instances, it might be quite difficult. There will usually be a visual clue (something odd or unique to one or both of the uniforms) that will make a positive identification of one and only one game possible. Other times, there may be something significant about the game in question, like the last time a particular uniform was ever worn (one of Jimmy’s original suggestions). It’s up to YOU to figure out the game and date.
Today’s GTGFTU comes from Jimmy Corcoran himself. Although not an Army-Navy GTGFTU, it does feature Roger “The Dodger” Staubach, famous Navy alum who had himself a pretty good career following his service to our nation.
Good luck and please post your guess/answer in the comments below.
…that’s all for the early morning. I am still feeling lingering effects from my recent bout with the flu, so apologies for a smaller-than-usual post today. We’ll have a full ticker shortly, and I’ll also be running my eighth and final installment of the “2+3+2 (+3) Project” later this morning, so be sure to check back later for that.
Everyone have a good week and please stay well! I’ll catch you back here again next Saturday.