Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Notre Dame - Navy Game
Not just another football game

To many, the annual University of Notre Dame - US Naval Academy football game is just that... just another football game.

But it's more correctly about respect for a life-long friend and never forgetting a great favor from many, many years ago.

You see, the Navy saved Notre Dame from being shut-down forever.

During World War II, most young men were off to fight for their nation rather than enroll in institutes of higher learning. Times were tough for colleges. Even tougher for private colleges.

The student population at Notre Dame was quickly dwindling down to nothing. In a move to save the school, the University President offered Notre Dame to the Navy as, in essence, a second Naval Academy.

Roughly 70 percent of the Notre Dame student body during that period was also in the United States Navy. Without the intervention, it is possible that lack of funds would have permanently stunted the university, if not closing her doors forever. Since that period, Notre Dame has never forgotten the Navy's assistance.

The Naval Service and Notre Dame became so entwined, that by 1943, the Notre Dame Football Roster listed the “military status” of each player.
USN ........ 12
Civilian ...... 4
17-yr old ... 9
USMC ...... 14

Since then, many in the NCAA have been calling for the Naval Academy to be dropped from top tier Division I status, and be dropped to Division II, or even less. But as long as Navy is consistently on the schedule of top rated teams (like Notre Dame), Navy will remain in Div I.

And Notre Dame has made it abundantly clear throughout the years that Navy will always be on the Fightin' Irish schedule.

Just an example of the ties between the Naval Services and Notre Dame;
1. Notre Dame maintains the largest scholarship Navy ROTC unit in the country.
2. Since World War II, the only commissioning source to produce more Navy and Marine Corps Officers than the University of Notre Dame is the United States Naval Academy.

Click here for an example of the end product of Notre Dame's Naval ROTC Program (Marine Corps Option).


Blogger IR said...

Doggone it!

This wind-dummy was all set to make fun of the game, and now I can't!

Wonderful record. Wonderful history. Excellent company commander!

I can't say to Navy, or Notre Dame, Semper Fi, But I can say ALL THE WAY!

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Old Lemming, USNA '60 said...

THANKS ! It's pleasant -dispite 43 straight losses- to find someone who appreciates that -as much fun as it may be- it's just a game and that tradition and honor count for so much more ... not that it wouldn't be nice to win once in a while. I did have the pleasure of being in a class the enjoyed whipping ND twice, even with Paul Horning; but I'm not sure it really counts -Joe Kuharick was ND's coach [I'm also a diehard Redskin fan].

It would appear to me that Brady Quinn is atop the Heisman list and deservedly so ... he's AWESOME !


2:35 AM  
Blogger IR said...

probably *sigh* bets on Army-Navy game always cost me my beer money.

5:30 PM  

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