Army vs. Navy 1963: Remembering Kennedy
1:26 | College Football
Army vs. Navy 1963: Remembering Kennedy
Thursday December 11th, 2014

The Army-Navy football rivalry is over a century in the making. Two of the nation's service academies will meet on Saturday for the 115th time, this time in Baltimore, with Navy leading the all-time series 58-49-7, a record that has only been reinforced during its current 12-game winning streak.

Those enrolled at the five United States service academies are not ordinary students. These individuals represent the most selfless, strong, relentless and patriotic population of young men and women in our country.

Here are some of the most important and entertaining games from the illustrious 125-year history of the Army-Navy game:

The First Game

Nov. 29, 1890
Navy 24, Army 0
Location: "The Plain" (West Point, N.Y.)

The first game in the Army-Navy series was played after Army Cadet Dennis Mahan Michie accepted a challenge from the Naval Academy to play a football game. Not only was this the first game in the Army-Navy series, but also the first official football game in Army's history. Navy had fielded an organized football team for over a decade and proceeded to shut out Army in West Point.

The Comeback

Army Football | 1891
Army Black Knights via Pinterest

Nov. 28, 1891
Army 32, Navy 16
Location: Worden Field (Annapolis)

Like their first meeting a year earlier, this was not a close game. However, it was the Midshipmen who found themselves suddenly on the losing end. Army's Finne Smith blocked Worth Bagley's punt and returned it for one of three first-half touchdowns for the visiting team. Not bad for a team that had only been playing officially for one year. The game proved to be one of the major propellors in starting the legendary rivalry.

The Tie

The Annual Army Vs. Navy Game | 1926
Chicago History Museum/Getty

Nov. 27, 1926
Army 21, Navy 21
Location: Soldier Field (Chicago)

Considered by many to be both the most important and greatest college football game ever, the 1926 meeting at Soldier Field was attended by over 100,000 spectators and broadcast on national radio, an extreme rarity at the time. Both teams entered the game undefeated, with Army's only blemish being a tie with Notre Dame, and battled to a grueling 21-21 tie in Chicago, giving the national title to Navy. The game was attended by numerous high-ranking government and military officials, along with legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne, who missed his own team's stunning upset loss to Carnegie Tech.

Red Blaik's Last Game

Nov. 29, 1958
Army 22, Navy 6
Location: Municipal Stadium (Philadelphia)

The 1958 meeting might have been a little sloppy, but it remains historically significant to the series for a few reasons. First, the win gave Army another unbeaten season (and also its last unbeaten season). Second, it was legendary Army coach Red Blaik's last game at West Point. And lastly, it featured two eventual Heisman Trophy winners in Army's Pete Dawkins (1958) and Navy's Joe Bellino (1960).

Cuban Missile Crisis

Dec. 1, 1962
Navy 34, Army 14
Location: Municipal Stadium (Philadelphia)

Army (6-3) and Navy (4-5) entered the 1962 game without unblemished records and top-ranked teams but two huge names made this game special: John F. Kennedy and Roger Staubach. Just days after the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy attended the game and was involved in the ceremonial coin toss before Navy quarterback Roger Staubach had a coming-out party for the ages. Staubach threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Midshipmen recorded a 20-point victory in front of nearly 100,000 people at Philadelphia's Municipal Stadium.

Kennedy Assassinated

December 7, 1963
Navy 21, Army 15
Location: Municipal Stadium (Philadelphia)

Although every Army-Navy game carries special meaning for the entire country, this matchup was especially poignant. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, a year after his appearance at the coin toss and eight days before the 1963 game was scheduled to take place in Philadelphia. As a result, Army and Navy agreed to postpone the game one week. The emotional battle ended when Army scored late, converted a two-point conversion and recovered an onside kick. Down 21-15, they drove to the goal line, where fullback Pat Donnelly was stopped short, giving the second-ranked Midshipmen a victory.

Brent Musburger goes crazy

Nov. 5, 1992
Army 25, Navy 24
Location: Veterans Stadium (Philadelphia)

Army erased a 17-point deficit during the 1992 game at Veterans Stadium -- the largest comeback in the series history -- and earned a one-point victory on a 49-yard field goal by Patmon Malcom with 19 seconds remaining. It was the first of five straight wins for Army, tying their longest winning streak in series history and the first of three agonizingly close wins decided by the kicking game. It is widely known as the game in which broadcaster Brent Musburger lost his mind calling the final minutes.

Andrew Doughty is a writer for Next Impulse Sports

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