Pound for pound, the Army-Navy game stacks up with any rivalry in college football. As is the case across the sport, though, the coronavirus pandemic has cast doubt on the possibility of this year’s game being played.
This year’s Army-Navy game is scheduled to be played Dec. 12 at lincoln Finacial Field in Philadelphia. And, it seems, Navy’s athletic director seems prepared to move heaven and earth to ensure the rivalry goes off as planned.
“If there’s only one game we’re going to play,” Chet Gladchuk told ESPN.com this week, “It’s the Army-Navy game. Unless the pandemic is such at the time that we’re precluded by the city of Philadelphia to play that game, we have every intention of playing Army-Navy.
“The game is already virtually sold out. Can we accommodate that number? I don’t know. We always look at it this way — including Notre Dame on Labor Day weekend — we’re preparing for scenarios and we can always back down if we have to. Good old-fashioned ticket refund. Everybody does it. If we have to give money back, we give money back, but at least we’re prepared, right now on the front side.”
Gladchuk’s Army counterpart sang a very familiar refrain.
— Mike Buddie (@Buddie52) July 15, 2020
The Army-Navy game has been played every season for more than a century. Yes, even amidst World War II, the rivalry still managed to be played. The last time it wasn’t? 1918, in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic.
Navy, of course, has already seen scheduling issues because of the current pandemic.
In early June, it was confirmed that this year’s opener against Notre Dame would be moving from Dublin, Ireland, to Annapolis. Then, earlier this month, Navy’s game against FCS Lafayette College was canceled as well.