Friday, July 22, 2016

Photo: 1926 Army-Navy game at Chicago's Soldier Field


Here's a family photo from an Army vs. Navy football game that was held at Soldier Field in Chicago. The note on the back of the photo doesn't specify which year, but there has only been one Army-Navy game at Soldier Field — in 1926. And it was a biggie.

It was played on November 27, 1926. Navy entered that year's game undefeated, and Army had just one loss — to Notre Dame. It was understood that the winner of the game would be the national champion in college football that year. Playing in front of more than 100,000 fans, the Midshipmen and Black Knights battled to a 21-21 tie, and thus still-unbeaten Navy was awarded the (mythical) national championship.

Here are a few details about the game from an article about the 1926 season and championship on TipTop25.com:
"In what would widely become known as the greatest game played prior to World War 2, Navy jumped out to a 14-0 start, Army came roaring back to lead 21-14 in the 3rd quarter, Navy tied it up in the 4th, and then Army drove to an easy, short field goal attempt, which they missed."
Here's an image of the game's ticket.

So, this 1926 gridiron battle is possibly the greatest live sports event attended by a member of my family, right up there with some New York Yankees World Series games that Dad and his father attended; the United States Football League championship game in Tampa, Florida, that Dad and I attended; the 1982 Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and my 700-level seat for Game 5 of the 1993 World Series at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. (I was a journalist at Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta, and it was a strange and somewhat unpleasant experience. Even before Phil Collins showed up.)

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