For years to come, the players will be asked the outcome of this game. Millions of fans around the world will watch this game. All other activity will stop or be delayed. The play by play will be broadcast to every spot on the globe, by video, by audio, by text; some by clear transmission and in other cases by broadcast so secure, no other nation on earth can break the code. The game will be followed at homes, in tents, trucks, on ships, in the air, in mountain and desert camps, and under the oceans.
This game will be played until the very last second. If one side is down by more than a touchdown with less than a minute to play, the stands will NOT start to empty. Anyone who has followed this game through the years knows that lead of this game can change at any moment, and has, in the past, been decided with mere seconds remaining. The players will give their all and never give up hope, despite what the scoreboard reads.
Yet professional Football careers will likely not be in the future of any player. Unlike other games played today, their will be no thoughts of next years NFL draft or about an NFL signing bonus. This game is being played by young men who are playing only for their teams and not for personal glory. This game is likely the only game today where the game is being played only for love of the game.
When this game ends, there will be tears, of joy and sadness, but there will be no ill will toward the other side. Immediately, both teams will gather, side by side, and sing their Alma Matter's and become brothers once again.
This game is about more than just Football. THIS game is about Duty; about Honor; about Country.
This game is the 109th meeting of Army and Navy.
Other games played today may receive more hype, and they will receive more coverage by print, by bloggers, and by the media in general, but no other game will be played with more emotion. No other game will be played with more spirit. No other game will be played with more honor.
Soldiers and Sailors around the globe will stop for this game. Televisions and radios on bases, on ships and in the Pentagon will be tuned to this game. Soldiers hidden in valley's and mountains running secret missions will radio to ask the score. For the time this game is played they will be rivals, but when this game ends, again they will be brothers in arms.
Next year, at this time, the seniors that play this game today will be serving our country, for every player today is a Soldier, Sailor or Marine.
In the years to come, each of these players will serve our country with honor and distinction, and some may be called upon to give The Last Full Measure of Devotion. But for them, and for us, no matter what the future holds, and no matter what success and sacrifices...
...there will always be this game.
The 109th Army-Navy Game-- Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 11:00 AM CST (noon eastern) on CBS.