Posted by Adam Jacobi
Without question, one of the most storied, most heralded rivalry games in college football history has been and continues to be Army-Navy. Yes, the days of Glenn Davis, Doc Blanchard, and Roger Staubach are long gone, but the legacy's still there -- as are the exemplary young men that populate each roster every year.
To that end, Showtime is teaming up with CBS Sports to produce a two-hour special on the rivalry, called A Game Of Honor, to be aired December 21 -- 11 days after the Black Knights and Midshipmen lock horns on the gridiron. Better yet, there's going to be other related programs and content about the special. Here's more info:
SHOWTIME will have behind-the-scenes access to both academies and their respective football teams for six months leading up to the Army-Navy game, as well as during the game and immediately following. With so many stories to tell, SHOWTIME will air exclusive content across multiple CBS platforms including a special preview show about the making of the docu-drama on Wednesday, November 23 on SHOWTIME; with a network television premiere of the preview show on CBS Sports on Saturday, December 3. In addition, CBSSports.com will air an exclusive 10-episode weekly original web series beginning Monday, October 17.
Look, say what you will about the football teams themselves, but when you're talking about the actual players and what they're like off the field, it'll probably become pretty clear almost immediately that these guys are the real deal. The US Military Academy and US Naval Academy are about as prestigious as it gets, and the quality of man that comes out of those academies is the proof. On the field, we'll be seeing guys like linemen, linebackers, and running backs, but they're also future generals, CEOs, and lawmakers -- and some of the most disciplined people in America.
At the same time, we are still talking about college-aged kids, and while they're not exactly going through the "normal" college experience, they're also still learning to be adults, in a sense. Further, we're talking about young men in the military during wartime. Needless to say, that's the type of thing that weighs heavily on a lot of their minds, and so to have a game like this to act as an anchor, of sorts, to their lives over here is incredibly important.
Moreover, the football's getting better. This isn't 20 years ago, when Navy was hapless and Army wasn't a whole lot better; Army just beat SMU (in the Mustangs' backyard) in the Armed Forces Bowl to finish at 7-6 last year, and Navy's been averaging nearly 9 wins a season since 2003. Ken Niumatalolo has been a revelation as head coach of the Midshipmen, and Army brings back nearly every starting skill position player on offense. It's probably going to be a good game regardless of what level of locker room access fans get.
So to have that and this special (and all the additional content that'll be available on this website and on Showtime) is going to be truly special. These are two of the most compelling college football programs today, and A Game Of Honor ought to be a fitting reflection of that.