FOXBORO - The stage is set for theat Gillette Stadium on December 9. The teams are counting down to their 124th meeting on the football field.
"The scene, the energy, the pageantry. Just the pride that you have being a part of the game there's nothing like it," said Navy head coach Brian Newberry.
"We say beat Navy every day, so we got to go out and do it," said Army linebacker and team captain Leo Lowin.
It's the first time the game is being played in Foxboro, and New England for that matter. On Wednesday morning, captains and coaches for Army and Navy were welcomed to the region by Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey and Jonathan Kraft, president of the Kraft Group.
"Today is a celebration of all patriots, including acknowledging some folks that may root against sometimes the people that play here," Healey said.
"I can tell you that the ticket demand for this game is greater than any AFC Championship game that we've hosted here, greater than Taylor Swift," Kraft said.
Governor Healey presented each captain with a replica Paul Revere Sons of Liberty Bowl. Both academies did some recon inside Gillette ahead of their showdown, having arrived by helicopter.
"It's an atmosphere that in my experience over the past couple years, I don't think anything really matches it," said Army captain Jimmy Ciarlo.
"I remember getting phone calls from people deployed and watching the game at 2 o'clock in the morning their time," said Navy captain Xavier Arline. "Everyone watches this game, there's a lot of weight on it."
It's a moment the Midshipmen and the Black Knights have been preparing for all year.
"It's going to be surreal," said Navy captain Jacob Busic. "I remember the last two like it was yesterday. It's a breathtaking experience."
"The 22 guys that are running around out there playing on every play in the Army-Navy game, they're willing to put their lives on the line for the nine million people that are watching on TV and the 70,000 people that are watching in the stands," Army head coach Jeff Monken said. "That's a pretty incredible commitment, so I think it makes it a pretty special game."
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