Army will return to Yankee Stadium Saturday night to play Notre Dame for the first time since 1964. Of course, this isn’t the House that Ruth Built, this is the new Yankee Stadium, or should I say the House that $10 Beers Built.
This match-up in the Bronx should rekindle memories of the early 20th-century when the two teams had to find bigger stadiums in New York rather than play at West Point to accommodate the crowds of more than 70,000 eager to watch the two college football powerhouses of that age.
The New York Times’ Bill Pennington wrote a piece that recaptures the traditional rivalry and the side stories to go with it. For example, the final score to the 1944 Army-Notre Dame game was used as a code to finger German spies in Belgium. Below are highlights from the game that saw the Black Knights steam roll the Fighting Irish 59-0 on their way to the national championship.
This year’s version will not own the same prestige and neither team is set to play in a Bowl Championship Series Bowl, much less the national championship, but Army Coach Rich Ellerson leads a confident 6-win Army team against a Notre Dame team coming off an upset of Utah. (Interesting side note: Who would ever thought a loss to Notre Dame in South Bend would be so embarrassing that it hurt another team’s (i.e. TCU’s) national championship bid? How the mighty have fallen.)
Considering the beat down Navy placed on Notre Dame earlier this season, the Fighting Irish are not likely to take the Black Knights lightly. Notre Dame’s coaching staff also got a chance to see exactly how Navy’s running attack, which is very similar to Army’s, exposed the Fighting Irish’s defensive line. No matter the outcome, though, it should be an impressive venue to watch a college football game, trumped only by the Northwestern-Illinois game Saturday at Wrigley Field.