Watch CBS News

"This is America's game": Excitement builds at Gillette Stadium ahead of Army-Navy game

Excitement builds at Gillette Stadium ahead of Army-Navy game
Excitement builds at Gillette Stadium ahead of Army-Navy game 03:25

FOXBORO - It's one of the oldest and most storied rivalries in college football dating back to 1890.

The Army-Navy game will kick off in New England for the first time 124 years, as the Black Knights and Midshipmen collide at Gillette Stadium

"Everything that they've done for us, it's the least we can do is show our support here," said Thomas Peterson an Army fan going to the sold out game. "I've got nothing but respect. I've got family and friends and it means a lot to show them a little bit of respect for what they've done for us."

Fans who didn't score the hottest ticket in town were still getting to celebrate the historic celebration and seeing how the men and women in uniform protect our country at Fan Fest.

Army Navy game fan fest
A boy sits in a helicopter at Gillette Stadium ahead of the Army-Navy game CBS Boston

 The helicopter served as a big draw for the kids, along with the rope to slide down.

For families it's an interactive way to make memories.

"This is America's game and I'm a huge college football fan and huge armed services fan, it's a great event and I'm glad to be here," said Nick Kerrigan, who is a Navy fan.

Others were glad to get their hands on the 27-pound sniper rifle that takes up to eight weeks to train on.

Then there was the brand new massive 40-ton tank from Michigan, which can cut traffic at 40 miles an hour.

The dune buggy from Rhode Island was also a big draw for the kids when it wasn't serving on missions in the woods or the desert.

Army Navy fan fest
Tank outside Gillette Stadium at Army-Navy Fan Fest CBS Boston

The Command Sergeant Major said bringing the assets into the community is a way to engage with the men and women in uniform.

"I think it's important that the country gets to know us better. I think it's important not to be at the base and be in the community," said U.S. Army Sgt. Major Joann Naumann.

As they get ready to take their battles to America's game, its means more than a historic rivalry.

"This is a rivalry, tomorrow, it is all 'Go Army, beat Navy,' said Sgt. Major Naumann. "But at the end of the day we are one military, we fight as a joint force, we serve as a joint force and we're happy to cheer on our Navy brother and sisters, any day but tomorrow ha-ha."

The big game is kicking off Saturday at 3pm at Gillette Stadium.  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.