On November 19th, West Point had its last college football home game against Morgan State and it was a grand event of pride and tradition. Everyone is decked out in gold and black and Army apparel to represent their brave knights. The first “stage” to college football games is the delicious food put out by tailgaters in the stadium parking lot. Trucks, vans, and recreational vehicles gather around and the smell of sizzling meat circulates the air. Everyone is laughing, talking, and just enjoying themselves prior to the start of the game. Kids, as well as adults, play cornole and toss footballs around, discussing their predictions for who is going to win and by how much.
Another pre-game activity option is to visit Black Knights Alley, the close-off section of a street right outside one of the entrances to the football stadium. Here, there are a numerous stands and tents set up with many giveaways, promotional material, music performances, face-painting, and even moon bounces!
One of the many other traditions of Army football home games is that prior to kick-off, parachuters-who are students at West Point-fly down and try to land on the center of the field, where the image of the school’s knight is pictured. Then it’s kick-off! The crowd is buzzing, the cadets are all standing together in uniform whooping and hollering, the players finally run onto the field, led by the mule, cheerleaders, and band.
At every touchdown, cannons fire and everyone in the crowd yells “ARMY!”. Then, a group of cheerleaders and cadets come running down the stands and perform seven push-ups. One cadet in particular, runs down with a the American flag and waves it to and fro beautifully. Touchdown after touchdown, quarter after quarter, Army dominated and won 60 to 3. This was an incredible win for Army and the feeling of pride and honor was palpable in the atmosphere.