The rivalry between the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy is heating up ahead of the 120th Army-Navy football game and the Army had an interesting way of showing ESPN why they will have a competitive edge on Saturday.
Soldiers of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division marched out in full battle gear to present ESPN hosts with a mangled Navy helmet, which their fellow soldiers crushed with an M1 Abrams tank. The soldiers laid the helmet before former Navy quarterback Roger Staubach, who was wearing his Navy team jacket and was part of the ESPN panel making predictions about the game.
Though the Navy Midshipmen hold the rivalry record with 60 wins to the Army Black Nights’ 52 wins and seven ties, the Army has held onto a streak, having won the last three games. The Army’s latest gesture was aimed at assuring the sports commentators that the streak will continue when the two teams kick off for their 120th rivalry matchup.
Soldiers who filmed the crushing of the helmet also called out commentator and former football coach Lee Corso, who they predicted would hand the game day edge to the Navy team.
“Coach Corso, no matter what the record is, we know that you’re going to pick Navy, but here at Fort Campbell, we have something to say about that,” one soldier said before placing the helmet in front of the tank treads.
The teams of the United States Military Academy (USMA) West Point and the United States Naval Academy (USNA) Annapolis look forward to the matchup between the military service academies, which stand in for the wider rivalry between the Army and Navy services respectively.
Commentators, members and supporters of both teams have referred to the rivalry game as a “sixty minute fist fight.”
An estimated 70,000 people are expected to attend the game at Lincoln Financial Field — the home of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team — including President Donald Trump.