Archive for March, 2018
In case you missed last night’s coverage of the 2018 NHL Stadium Series game, here’s what happened on Coach’s Corner last night from Navy—Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.
This year’s Stadium Series venue will be the first time an outdoor hockey game will be played on the grounds of a United States Federal Service Academy. There are five major service academies in the United States:
- The United States Military Academy in West Point, New York
- The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland
- The United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado
- The United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut
- The United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York
Army, Navy, and Air Force are technically the three largest service academies in the United States, and all three are accredited as Division I schools by the NCAA. When the NHL announced that the 2018 Stadium Series game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals would be played in Annapolis on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy, the NHL wanted to honor the rich legacies of both the United States Naval Academy and the Royal Canadian Navy.
The United States Naval Academy was founded on October 10, 1845 by Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft. The grounds of the Naval Academy were built on what was Fort Severn, at the confluence of the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, located 30 miles east of Washington and 25 miles southeast of Baltimore. At 338 acres, Midshipmen simply call the Academy The Yard, and it is at The Yard where civilian men and women transform and hone their skills as they prepare forfor serv as an officer of the United States Navy.
The home of Navy football, Navy—Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, opened in 1959 and doubles as a memorial to those who served or who will serve in both the Navy and the Marine Corps. The dedication plaque on the North end reads as follows:
This Stadium is dedicated to those who have served and will serve as upholders of the traditions and renown of the Navy and Marine Corps of the United States. May it be a perpetual reminder that the Navy and Marine Corps are organizations of men trained to live nobly and serve courageously in peace, champions of our integrity; in war, defenders of our freedom.
The Stadium was built at a cost of $3 Million, and seats 30,000. In the first game at the Stadium, the Midshipmen defeated William & Mary, 29-2. This stadium is also known as the house Staubach built, because it was here that a quarterback named Roger Staubach parlayed a career here, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1963, and after his mandatory 5-year service as a Naval lieutenant, which included a tour in Vietnam, he played 11 years in the NFL — all of it playing for Tex Schramm’s Dallas Cowboys, winning two Super Bowls and earning MVP honors in Super Bowl VI.
During the game, you’ll see the grandeur of what it’s like at a Navy game. The rink is built like it was placed in the middle of a Navy aircraft carrier flight deck. You’ll see the tradition of “manning the rails”, and when the national anthems are sung, both will be sung by active members of the Royal Canadian Navy and the United States Navy. Tradition is part of the lifeblood of hockey, but so too is serving in defense of your country, and that’s why Saturday night’s game in Annapolis will be unlike any other game played.