PASADENA, Calif. (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) and U.S. Military Academy (USMA) leadership gathered at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Nov. 30, to remember the 1983 Army-Navy football game played in the famous stadium.
USNA Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter was joined by Army West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen and a large group of local dignitaries and local graduates from both institutions to mark the anniversary of the game, the only time the famous rivalry was played west of the Mississippi River. The games are traditionally played on the East Coast, most often in Philadelphia.
The event was conceived and organized by Rolfe Arnhym, a 1953 Military Academy graduate, who was the driving force behind bringing the 1983 game to Pasadena. During the ceremony, a bench was dedicated just outside of the main gates of the Rose Bowl. A time capsule was also dedicated and sealed beneath the bench. The capsule contains memorabilia from the 1983 game, Army and Navy football gear, and personal letters from both superintendents.
"Mr. Arnhym, you had a vision and a dream," said Caslen. "You were able to make this happen. I'm incredibly proud to be here today."
Carter made note of the monumental logistical effort it took in 1983 to enable the game to be played with every midshipman and cadet in attendance. This was no small feat considering both institutions are more than 2,500 miles away from Pasadena.
"To move 9,000 mids and cadets at the philanthropy of the people of Pasadena is simply amazing," said Carter.
Both superintendents made note of the hospitality of the people of Pasadena, who housed the cadets and midshipmen in their homes before the game. This helped endear the students and institutions in the hearts of the residents and in the city.
Also speaking at the event were Pasadena's Vice Mayor Gene Masuda, former Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, and President of the Rose Bowl Operating Company Victor Gordo, who accepted the bench and time capsule and expressed thanks to both academies for the contributions they've made to the nation.
Navy emerged victorious in the 1983 game by a score of 42-13.
Caslen noted that the Army-Navy series started in 1890, with the first game being played at West Point. In all, the teams have met 115 times over the years with Navy owning a 59-49-7 advantage in the all-time standings.
The records and results were the furthest things from the minds of the leadership today.
"At the end of the day, we all remain brothers and sisters in service," said Carter. "There is no greater team."
Caslen noted that whatever happens in the football game, Army "will stand shoulder to shoulder with Navy" after the game and as all the graduates go on to combat this nation's threats all around the world.
Caslen is a 1975 graduate from USMA and played center on the football team.
The 2015 Army-Navy football game will be played Dec. 12 in Philadelphia. It remains the most important game for each team, each year.
"This is not just a good college football rivalry," said Carter. "I believe this is the greatest sports rivalry in our country, period."
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