A Team for America: The Army-Navy Game That Rallied a Nation at War
"A rousing celebration of a moment in history when college football was more than metaphor and entertainment, it was a gritty sidebar to real war.” — Robert Lipsyte, author of An Accidental SportswriterEach year the Army and Navy football teams meet for one epic game. Across the nation, fans tune in to see who will emerge victorious. But no game will ever match the one that was played on December 2, 1944. America was in the midst of World War II: soldiers and sailors were dying around the globe, and the home front suffered through shortages. But for one day, all that was forgotten.
Navy’s team was ranked number two, Army’s number one and on the verge of becoming national champions. Everywhere, the war stopped as soldiers listened to the broadcast. Randy Roberts has interviewed the surviving players and coaches, bringing their stories to life. For three years, military upperclassmen graduated and joined the fight. For three hours, their alma mater gave them back one unforgettable performance.
“The story of Army’s celebrated 1944 national championship team is a fascinating one, and its victory over Navy that year is remembered as one of college football’s greatest games. But Randy Roberts’s A Team for America tells an even greater story. It is a story of our country. Of a time when college football — and this remarkable Army team — helped rekindle hope and confidence throughout the land.” — Brigadier General Peter M. Dawkins, U.S. Army (Ret.), 1958 Heisman Trophy winner, West Point
"Roberts brings a historian’s thoroughness to the subject . . . A fascinating time in American collegiate sports history." — Kirkus Reviews
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Academy All-American American Annapolis Army team Army-Navy game Army’s Athletic backfield ball Barney Poole baseball beach began block boys cheered coach college football Colonel Coulter Dame game Dartmouth Davis’s December defense DeWitt Doc Blanchard Doug Kenna interview Douglas MacArthur Earl Blaik Eichelberger end zone field fighting football player football team fullback fumbled Glenn Davis going graduated Herman Hickman high school Ibid interview HMC Irish Jenkins Joe Steffy kick knew later linemen Lombardo looked Mazur Michie Stadium military Navy Navy’s never November November 16 NYHT NYWT October offense officers pass Pay the Price Penn play football plebe punt quarter quarterback recalled Red Blaik reporters Robin Olds Romanek score scrimmage season soldiers spectators sportswriters squad Stanowicz tackle teammates told took touchdown USMA USMA Archives varsity victory wanted week West Point Whitmire Wilby wrote Yankee Stadium yards York