Interesting Facts About the Army-Navy Game

  • The first gridiron match between the Midshipmen of Navy and the Black Knights of Army occurred on 29 November 1890. Navy won, 24-0.
  • Over the next 37 years, the two service academies met 30 times. The game was not played from 1894 through 1898, 1909, 1917, 1918, 1928, and 1929, but annual play resumed in 1930.
  • Since these two collegiate rivals first met, Army has clocked 21 “zero score” games compared to Navy’s 10 games without a single point scored. Only once, in 1923, did the match-up end with a score of 0-0, and Army bookended this game with wins in both 1922 and 1924.
  • Navy enjoyed the game’s longest winning streak, which ran 14 games from 2002 through 2015.
  • The first football helmet is credited to a Midshipman Joseph Mason “Bull” Reeves, whose doctor warned of possible life-long disability if he took one more kick to the head. Reeves asked a long-forgotten Annapolis shoemaker to fashion protective headgear made of leather, which he first wore in the 1893 Army-Navy game. Reeves’ precaution evidently paid off, as he rose to the rank of admiral and is remembered as the “Father of Carrier Aviation” for his early support of aircraft carriers.
  • Although the rivalry between these two service academies is intense, the Black Knights of the Hudson and the Midshipmen of Navy are united in their willingness to protect and defend America and the freedoms we all enjoy.