1916 Army-Navy game, Polo Grounds

This afternoon the Army football team–for the first time ever–will play its annual spring game outside of New York. And not just anywhere outside of New York. The game is being played in Doughboy Stadium at Fort Benning against that command post’s team. The Black Knights had to get special permission from the NCAA to play the scrimmage against a none NCAA team. The game is part of a West Point initiative to reach out to other institutions within the Army infrastructure. Leaders at Fort Benning were also eager to play the intersquad game to emphasize the revitalization of the Benning football program. For decades in the early to mid-twentieth century Benning’s football team played organized games against college teams from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama with great success.

Doughboy Stadium is not just another building. Benning infantrymen built the stadium in 1924 to pay tribute to their comrades who had fallen in the Great War. Captain Dwight D. Eisenhower coached the team in the mid-1920s, to his great frustration. Ike loved football but he was eager to move on and serve in other ways. Unfortunately for him, the Benning brass grasped his football acumen and made certain to keep him stationed down in Georgia.

A short video is here.

(image/LOC)