In 2011 on December 10th, the 112th Army Navy game was played near our nation's capital in Washington DC at the home of the Washington Redskins, Fed Ex Field in front of 80,789 fans split in loyalties between the two teams.
The event displayed all of the traditions and pageantry you would expect of a day when America's oldest service academies present themselves to the public. The day starts with the Corps of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipmen "Marching on to the Field". The Army cadets wear very distinguishing grey capes tied at the neck, if you see the movie "Lincoln", the civil war era soldiers are wearing similar capes.
Then groups of students present game balls they have run taking turns to the stadium from the two academies. Then there is the "Return of Exchange Students" a ceremony in which the ten or so exchange students studying for the semester at the rival Academy are paraded across the field under guard and exchanged for each so that they can watch the game with their classmates. Then are the fly overs by military planes and helicopters and the senior leadership of the military standing on the sideline.
In 2011 the game witnessed the attendance of the President and Vice President of the United States. President Obama sat with on the Navy side in the first half then moved to the Army side at half time, walking through lines of cadets and midshipmen across the field. Vice President Joe Biden was seen visiting with fans of the two schools.
The seniors ran out onto the field knowing this would in all likelihood be their last football game with their future being commissions and service in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps that could put them into roles leading units into harm's way.
The intensity of the competition is as high as can found anywhere, with the outcome a life time memory for all involved especially the seniors on both teams.
Army (3-8) went in desperate to break a nine game winning streak and Navy (4-7) just as anxious to not be the team that lost the streak and win its tenth in a row over Army.