Releasing specially designed uniforms has become one of the Army-Navy game’s many annual traditions. Since the Naval Academy signed a 10-year apparel deal with Under Armour in 2013, the designs for the uniforms have been amped up.
Army and Navy’s football teams will play on Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia in the 118th meeting between the two service academies.
This year’s Navy players will wear blue jerseys with yellow stripes similar to the flight suits worn by the pilots assigned to the Blue Angel squadron. Players will wear the Blue Angel insignia on their right sleeve and a U.S. flag on their left sleeve similar to the pilots’ flight suits.
The football helmets will feature a painting of the Blue Angels flying in formation.
“This tribute to the Blue Angels reflects the enthusiastic pride and appreciation we have for the Navy’s premier flying team and the motivation they convey to Navy football and the fleet at large,” Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said in a press release.
The uniforms have thus far received rave reviews across social media. However, at least one former Navy football player said he was surprised by the decision to honor an aviation demonstration squadron with the uniforms when the majority of football players request assignments in the Marine Corps following graduation.
Army, sponsored by Nike, has yet to unveil their uniform design for this year’s game.
Last year, West Point‘s football team wore jerseys designed to honor the World War II-era 82nd Airborne Division. Those uniforms will be remembered fondly as the ones worn by the team that ended the 14-game losing streak to Navy.
Navy wore helmets last year to celebrate their 14-game winning streak with 14 yellow stars painted down the middle. Under Armour designed last year’s Navy uniforms to look like the ones worn by the 1963 team when Roger Staubach won the Heisman trophy.
“Our partnership with the United States Naval Academy has afforded us the opportunity to tell some incredible stories through our specialty uniform designs and we hope, in some way, that the special moments we create on behalf of the Academy manifest the gratitude we feel,” said Adam Clement, Under Armour’s Senior Creative Director of Team Sports.
Navy’s uniforms in 2015 probably received the most attention. Under Armour designed the uniforms and helmets to honor the entire fleet with each position grouping wearing a different helmet design. For example, Navy running backs wore helmets with Littoral Combat Ships painted on the side.
“The masterminds at Under Armour are always thinking of ways to inspire our troops while still reflecting a deep appreciation for a Naval history that is so ingrained in our game day traditions,” Gladchuk said. “Annually, a special Navy uniform has become a statement in this game and brings with it appreciated meaning and a clear message that we are all in.”
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