After a tease a couple weeks back, the official images of the Army-Navy uniforms are out, and you’ve gotta hand it to the folks at Nike — the Black Knights and Midshipmen will again look pretty damn sharp for their annual matchup.
Army’s uniform pays tribute to 1944,
which is the last time they beat Navy which was the year of the first of West Point’s three consecutive national championships. Also in 1944: The U.S. triumph at the Battle of the Bulge — Army’s uniforms will pay homage to that victory in a rather innovative manner. In addition to the black jerseys, black pants, gold helmets and gold shoes worn by the Black Knights, ”a historical, re-interpreted West Point map of [the battle] is incorporated into several elements of the uniform, including the jersey numbers, gloves, helmet stripe and inside of the cleats,” according to a West Point release.
A black spade on the side of the helmet is a nod to the 101st Airborne Division, whose heroic stand at Bastogne is forever part of U.S. military lore. It’s some pretty remarkable detail, with the experts at the NikeBlog saying “it’s one of the best uniforms we’ve ever seen, at least in terms of storytelling.”
Navy’s unis look just as good as Army’s, but lack the storytelling aspect (maybe a map ofMidway could have been incorporated). The white is meant to invoke the service’s iconic dress white uniforms, according to NikeBlog. Like last year, the Gadsden Flag, which has roots in American naval history, and its “Don’t Tread on Me” motto are seen on the compression undershirt and other parts of the uniform. Also like last season, Navy will have an anchor on the side of the helmet. However, this year’s helmet steps things up a notch by featuring a gold stripe (like a traditional Navy cover) and signal flags on the back.
One more recent touch to the Navy helmet: A sticker honoring Rafi Montalvo, the freshman quarterback seriously injured in a Thanksgiving night car accident in Florida. Montalvo is still in serious condition, although The (Annapolis, Md.) Capital reported his doctors were removing him from the medically induced coma that he has been in since entering the hospital.