The annual Army-Navy game, usually in Philadelphia, is one of the great patriotic events of the year. If you can make it, I highly advise it — it’s a celebration of all that’s right with America.
If you don’t believe me, take a listen to military chaplain Matthew Pawlikowski, who will definitely be going viral after Saturday’s 119th iteration of the rivalry.
Giving the invocation before the game, Pawlikowski wondered why supplication to God before a game was so important.
“God of wonders, some wonder why we pray for a football game,” Pawlikowski said.
“So I tell them in this game, every player on the field is willing to die for every person watching. And there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for what is truly good.”
“And so, God, I do pray for these players on this field and all the good they represent,” he continued.
“Their fellow cadets and midshipmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines, firefighters, first responders, police, and countless others who lay down their lives daily in our defense because in your eyes, God, it’s not the critic who counts but those who actually step in to the arena.
“And so, almighty God, we who are willing to die for others, we salute you,” he concluded.
“Let this game begin. Amen.”
The military chaplain's prayer before the Army Navy game:
"In this game every player on the field is willing to die for every person watching."
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 8, 2018
Certainly beats your average NFL game. It’s no wonder he brought down the house.
Other than that, there were some pretty notable attendees for the 2018 edition of the Army-Navy game. President Trump became the first sitting president to attend in seven years, according to The Washington Post, going along with Defense Secretary James Mattis. The president threw the traditional coin toss, which went Navy’s way. They decided to kick off, which led to an Army score in just five plays.
That pretty much summed up how the game went; while the final score was 17-10, the game never seemed particularly close. Army, ranked number 25 in the nation according to USA Today, recovered two fumbles in the fourth quarter and sealed their third straight win over their traditional rivals.
They also sealed their second straight Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the best military academy in the nation after beating the Air Force Academy earlier this year, 17-14. As for Navy, they capped off their worst season since 2002, finishing at 3-10.
In the end, none of what happened on the field Saturday was the important thing — although it was entertaining. The Army-Navy rivalry is a celebration of the men and women who stand the post and keep us safe.
That’s what’s important. Chaplain Matthew Pawlikowski made sure we remembered that. Our hats are off to you, sir.