The pageantry. The pride. The uniforms.
Every year, this game, which is now held on its own weekend in between the end of the college football season and the start of bowl games, always holds a special place in our hearts not because of the play on the field but because of the meaning of the contest. Most of the players won't go on to make millions playing professional football, but they will go on to serve our country and fight for our freedoms.
And that's pretty cool. So cool, in fact, that every year the two teams sport fancy new uniforms just for the game.
Unlike past years, the 2011 uniforms, made by Nike, aren't fancy. In fact, they're rather plain, which is a little disappointing. Army's jersey's are white with black numbers and the pants are a traditional gold. The helmets are also a plain gold with no markings except for a small "Army" on the front.. The shoes and socks (my favorite part) are a khaki-gold color, like the color Army officers stationed in the Middle East might wear.
Navy will wear all navy blue with gold numbers. The helmets, which I think are the coolest part, are white with the signature Navy anchor in gold. The uniform also includes blue and gold shoes.
Both uniforms are very clean and proper. No flash like they had in 2008 when Army broke out the camo. If you're looking for a little pizzazz, it's actually under the jerseys on the undershirts. Navy is wearing red and white striped shirts with the phrase "Don't Tread on Me" on the front and a snake going across it. The Army undershirts are black with gold and silver rings around the sleeves and Army's signature "A" across the front.
Unfortunately this year, these two teams have nothing for which to play other than pride. Neither can win the Commander in Chief Trophy (Air Force took it's second consecutive title) and neither is in line for a bowl game. Still, the Army-Navy game is one of those can't miss events that is broadcast around the world and even hosts President Obama not because of the quality of the game, but the quality of the men playing it.