Whenever the debate about college football’s best rivalry comes up, fans are always quick to point out matchups like Ohio State-Michigan, Auburn-Alabama, South Carolina-Clemson and games like that.
However, in terms of sheer honor, tradition and history, nothing beats Army-Navy.
Of course for all that honor and tradition, there are certain things that have changed through the years, including the uniforms that both teams will wear when they take the field Saturday. Like so many other college football programs across the country, Army and Navy will have specially designed uniforms by Nike for their matchup at Lincoln Financial Field.
What may be even cooler though is the symbolism behind the uniforms.
Unlike the hideous, futuristic garb that some schools (cough...Maryland...cough) have worn in years past, the uniforms that Army and Navy will wear on Saturday have been designed to honor past service academy teams from the 1940’s and ‘50’s, at a time when both schools were national college football powers.
Here is part of the release from Nike, with the pictures of the uniforms below.
Let’s start with Army:
Army’s striking black and gold uniforms pay tribute to a year when the Black Knights were unstoppable on all fields of battle: 1944, the year the Army troops won a key strategic victory in WWII’s Battle of the Bulge. The football team at home was on its way to a perfect season and the first of three consecutive national championships. In tribute to Army’s historic victory on the battlefield, a historical re-interpreted West Point battle atlas map of the region where the offensive took place can be seen throughout multiple elements of the uniform, from the jersey to base layer to gloves, all the way down to the inside the cleats.
The helmet also takes on the same 1944 look with the deep gold hue and black stripe along with a small black spade on the side in honor of the 101st Airborne division.
Navy’s uniform pays tribute to the traditional dress white uniform – a powerful symbol of professionalism, achievement and authority throughout the organization’s history. The uniform’s clean, white look with black details and gold trim, as well as a new number / letter font, draws inspiration directly from the angular precision and speed of U.S. Navy aircraft. The First Navy Jack, featuring the iconic rattlesnake and “Don't tread on me” phrase, is designed into the base layer.
The helmet design is inspired by a Naval Officer’s cover with a thick gold stripe representing the gold braid, and angled with a downward slope in much the same way the cover is worn.
Army and Navy will kick off at 3:00 p.m. Saturday on CBS.
To see all of the different uniform pictures for Army and Navy on Saturday, please click here.