Army-Navy, best football game of the year, bar none. It had everything: patriotism, college spirit, true amateur athletes, traditional ground game, 5 yards and a cloud of snow.
Snow! That really made it. Made all of those other commercial games seem so sanitized with their domes, artificial grass and climate-controlled environment.
And played in a little more than three hours, with no unsportsmanlike conduct, no trash talk, few penalties and no crazy celebrations to slow the game down. All of the players “looked like they’d been there before,” as Coach Paul Brown once said. In fact, the game was so cleanly played, I don’t remember many, if any, injuries, certainly no major ones from cheap shots.
I don’t know for sure, but perhaps the quality of this game had something to do with military discipline, not to mention the selection of high-caliber individuals to wear the uniform, both on and off the field.