Skip to content

This color film shot in the stands at the 1939 Army-Navy game is pretty amazing (video)

Mar 5, 2013, 5:35 PM EDT

armynavytickets

Pretty nice find by SportsbyBrooks, and I’m not sure what delights me more: the video (see below) of the 1939 Army-Navy football game, or the newspaper account of said game by the Charleston News and Courier.

This was when sportswriting was sportswriting. Lead paragraph:

Its hostile operations often shrouded in heavy fog, Navy won its first gridiron victory over Army since 1936 here this muggy afternoon before a record crowd of 120,000 and a “gate” of nearly $500,000.

Army had beaten Navy in 11 of their previous 13 meetings when former Navy halfback Emery “Swede” Larson took over coaching duties at his alma mater in ’39. Larson’s teams had beaten Army three times during his playing days, but to insure success as a coach he had the team’s mascot, a goat named Billy VIII, wear the same blanket a previous Billy had worn in Larson’s senior year, 1921.

It worked, as Navy won, 10-0 — its first of five straight victories over Army.

But Larson coached only three of those wins — he quit coaching to serve in the Navy at the outbreak of World War II. Larson actually enlisted in the Marines in 1917, and is still the only Marine to have both played and coached at Navy.

The most amazing aspect of this video is the quality: a lot of it looks like it could have been shot today.

  1. jimguida - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Am it the only one who had Tom Servo and Joel narrating the action?

    • Rick Chandler - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      And the crowd goes wild. (Mildly enthusiastic) “Yay!”

  2. apmn - Mar 17, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Was that a helicopter flyover at 1:07?