The USMA of West Point, NY (Army) and the USNA of Annapolis, MD (Navy) meet annually in what is the most intense, spirited, and meaningful college football game of the year.
The annual meeting started in 1890, and currently Navy leads the series 53-49-7. The game was historically played on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, it is now played on the first Saturday in December.
Once upon a time, these two institutions were national powers in the college football world, but now due to high academic standards, height and weight limitations, and commitments to serve their country after graduation, these players simply compete for the love of the game.
The game is especially emotional for the First Classmen (Seniors), since it is most likely the last competitive football game they will ever play. During wartime, it is very emotional since some seniors may never return once deployed.
At the conclusion of the game, the alma maters are played and sung. The winning team stands beside the losing team and faces the losing academy's students, and then the losing team joins the winning team and faces their students. This is done to show mutual respect and solidarity.
There is no other rivalry as intense, but friendly. The motto's "Beat Army" and "Beat Navy" are the rallying cries of the respective academies, but the respect and honor of each are never forgotten.