The longest uninterrupted intersectional rivalry in college football. There is something special about watching the Midshipman of the United States Naval Academy play the Irish. They always give the Irish a good game, have been much better in recent years, and were even a quality last season. As the story goes, the University of Notre Dame was facing a financial crisis during World War II, as it was an all-male institution and many of its students were absent due to fighting in the war. The Naval Academy set up center for V-12 students on Notre Dame’s campus, like many other campuses at the time, and then paid for the usage of the center. The boost essentially saved the university, and Notre Dame responded by extending an open invitation to play an annual game as a repayment on a debt of honor.
For this reason, as well as our general reverence for those who serve in the armed forces, Navy is one of Notre Dame’s most respected rivals. This respect is demonstrated most notably in the Irish and Midshipmen standing together and singing the school’s respective alma maters at the end of the game. There’s always a surprise thrown in for good measure when the game is on campus, for example the Blue Angels flyover in 2013. Away games with Navy are typically held in an NFL stadium and include much of the same hoopla that takes place around a bowl game or Shamrock Series game.
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