First Lt. Davyd Brooks is one of the latest former Black Knights to be stationed at Fort Hood after his four years of NCAA football eligibility ended.
But one thing does not graduate — the desire to cheer on Army, especially during a game against its biggest rival.
“I believe that my team will be victorious,” Brooks said. “You can get into the drought numbers and all of that, but I believe that when the team focuses on what they need to focus on, they will be successful, no matter who they are playing.”
The Black Knights and Midshipmen renew their rivalry Saturday with a 2 p.m. kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The game will be televised by CBS.
Army and Navy will play each other for the 114th time in the final NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision regular season college football game of the season.
The rivalry kicked off 122 years ago when Cadet Dennis Mahan Michie accepted a challenge from the Naval Academy and the two squads faced off on The Plain at West Point, N.Y., on Nov. 29, 1890. Navy won 24-0.
The rivalry is one filled with pride, pageantry and patriotism as a stadium full of football fans, often including high ranking public officials, watch two squads made up of young men who in a few short weeks and months would be serving the country with their respective armed forces unit.
Brooks, a former wide receiver, said that while he was fond of the rivalry, he tried not to lose sight of the importance of the game in the grand scheme of a college football season.
“It’s special because of the history, but I looked at it as just another game,” Brooks said. “I never tried to put too much emphasis on just that one game. It was always just another game, but all of the history that goes into it and the rivalry between Army and Navy always made it special.”
Brooks led the Black Knights in receiving in 2010 and 2011 and finished with 462 yards and two touchdowns for his career.
Navy leads the all-time series with 59 wins, 49 losses and seven ties.
But the Midshipmen dominated the series in recent years. Navy has won 11 straight games and 16 of the last 18 games dating back to 1997.
Brooks thinks this is the year the trend changes.
“I believe Army will win every game it plays,” Brooks said. “I believe in the guys and there are still guys out there that I played with when I was on the team and I pull for them.”