The first Navy football game took place in 1879.
Since that time, the familiar blue and gold football uniforms
have helped created one of the most familiar traditions in the
history of college athletics.
However, these Navy football players aren’t just scoring on the gridiron, they are also some of the finest academia in the country, too.
This unique combination of athletics and academics ensures that only
the best of the best will graduate from the United
States Naval Academy and become the Navy’s finest.
All of the students at the Naval Academy will choose one of 43 different majors
that focus on 19 fields of study. In order to compete in one of the many athletic programs,
midshipmen must meet the stringent NCAA eligibility requirements, including those
requirements that deal with academic progress. If the eligibility requirements are
not met, there could be sanctions against the entire team, including fines and penalties.
The familiar blue and gold colors of Navy athletics were adopted back in 1892.
The Naval Academy Class of 1890 first used these colors and within two years, the Athletic
Association conferred with the Cadets to adopt these colors as the now familiar Academy colors.
The mascot has a different history. In 1893, a goat known as “El Cid” (The Chief)
was used as the Navy athletic teams’ mascot.
This goat is credited with helping the Navy football team beat their long time rival, the
Army, that year. However, there are other animals that have served as the team mascots.
These include a dog, a carrier pigeon, and two cats. In 1904, goats became
the permanent mascot for all of the Navy athletic teams. There are three goats that
currently serve as mascots: Bill XXXII, XXXIII, and XXXIV. Fifteen goathandlers
take care of these mascots. Those goathandlers are five midshipmen that are chosen
from each class of first, second, and third year students. There’s a lot of training that
goes with becoming a goathandler and a bit of respect, as well!
There are a few other traditions that always accompany the Navy Football team. For example, the “E” Bell rings whenever Navy beats Army in any of the three seasons of sports. This bell is from the bridge of USS Enterprise, a famed World War II aircraft carrier. It’s been a tradition since 1950. The Gokokuji Bell is a replica of a bell that was brought to the United States by Commodore Matthew Perry in 1854. The original bell, which was donated to the Academy by his widow, was returned to Okinawa in 1987. This bell is also rung each time the team scores a football victory over their Army rivals. This bell sits in front of Bancroft Hall in Annapolis.
Midshipmen, also called Mids, is what the Navy sports teams are called. The members of the various varsity teams who earn a varsity letter also receive an “N-Star” if they are part of a team that beats an Army team in one of the many “Star” competitions. In recent years, the Navy has certainly been a dominate force against the Army’s West Point teams. The Navy has won the N-Star Competition for the last twelve years.
One of the best ways to recognize a Navy football team member is with Navy football rings. You can easily design a Navy football ring online and have it shipped directly to the cadet at Annapolis. Imagine their surprise when their Navy football ring arrives!
You may check more information on Navy Rings here