The year was 1930. It was a time of national despair with sweeping changes for the future occurring amidst the seemingly unfathomable chaos of the present. Sorting out our own ongoing changes and crisis, in looking back, perhaps there are events and lessons we might benefit from (if not merely relate to!) today.
In 1930, West Point – Annapolis relations were at best strained. The already great spectacle known as the Army-Navy Game had not been played for two years; not because of war, or economic woes (the Great Depression)…but over differences in player eligibility.
However, over the next three years, these two venerated institutions, whose very existence was predicated on serving the nation, resolved to come together for a worthy cause and in so doing played that annual game of football the nation had so come to cherish – for Charity! Could or should it be done again? Why not?
(*It is understood that Army Navy game profits “…relieves the taxpayer from supporting the athletic programs at the two institutions.” – however, it is assumed, a portion of the proceeds might be earmarked for charity….)
Why not make a pledge for next year and perhaps for years afterward….until those who gave their all these last twelve years, are guaranteed the treatment and care they deserve? Why not add to the game’s tradition a “noble cause.” A cause worthy of the men and women our young cadets and midshipmen will someday have the privilege and honor to lead.
Who to benefit? I would leave it to AAA and NAA to determine the exact charities – perhaps to specified worthy charities under the Combined Federal Campaign umbrella…other ideas?..The Wounded Warrior Project? The Special Operations Warrior Fund? Event driven Disaster Relief ?
It can be done…it has been done. AAA/NAA?
Note – charitable contributions from the game date back even earlier
Initial funding came from the proceeds of the 1903 Army–Navy Football Game held at Franklin Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In its first year, the Society gave …
Caveat – As stated in1955 – “Commercially, the game is a bonanza for the two academies. They will split the $540,000 in gate receipts (at $6 a seat) and the additional $125,000 for the TV and radio rights. The concessionaire, whose 600 vendors will hawk 150,000 hot dogs, 100,000 cups of coffee and 100,000 hot chocolates, 20,000 candy bars, 25,000 bags of peanuts, 20,000 pennants and badges, 10,000 corsages and 50,000 rain capes, adds another $40,000 to the kitty. Each academy can expect to clear about $300,000 for this one game, and it is this profit which relieves the taxpayer from supporting the athletic programs at the two institutions.”*
* This is understood – but again, some proceeds might be earmarked for charity….