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Muscle Sport Magazine

College Football at Yankee Stadium – A Blast From the Past

The New York Yankees announced recently that Notre Dame will host Army at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 20, 2010, marking the 50th time the schools have played against one another in one of college football’s classic rivalries.

The two historic programs met 22 times at the original Yankee Stadium – the previous home of the New York Yankees – with the Irish holding a 14-5-3 record in games played from 1925-29, 1931-46, and 1969 (the 100th anniversary of college football).  Overall, the two schools have played 49 times, with Notre Dame leading the matchup 37-8-4.

“The Yankees are proud to host two of the nation’s premier college football programs, and excited to bring college football to Yankee Stadium” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner.  “We look forward to carrying the great tradition of the Notre Dame-Army game from the original Stadium into our new home.”

The Notre Dame-Army rivalry came of age in the mid-1940s, highlighted by four straight seasons from 1943-46, in which both Notre Dame and Army entered their Yankee Stadium matchup ranked fifth or higher in that week’s Associated Press poll.  The Irish came into the 1943 game ranked No. 1, and then Army brought the higher ranking into the contest in 1944, ’45 and ’46.  In 1946, No. 1-ranked Army and No. 2-ranked Notre Dame squared off in the “Game of the Century” that ended in a scoreless tie and was made legendary by John Lujack’s game-saving tackle of Cadet running back Doc Blanchard.

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“Any student of Notre Dame football history knows the meaning of the Notre Dame-Army rivalry and, in particular, the history of that rivalry at Yankee Stadium,” said Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick. “It’s fitting that a Notre Dame-Army game will be the first football event in this fabulous facility – and it’s also fitting that the 50th meeting in this great rivalry will take place in a venue with such great tradition for both programs.”

“We could not be more excited about bringing ‘big-time’ college football back to Yankee Stadium,” said Army Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson. “I’d like to thank the Steinbrenner family and the entire New York Yankees organization for giving us the opportunity to play the first college football game at the new Yankee Stadium. I think it’s very fitting that one of the most historically significant rivalries in the history of college football, ushers the sport back to Yankee Stadium. At one time, the Army-Notre Dame game at Yankee Stadium was one of the most anticipated matchups in every college football season. We think this event will create the same type of excitement in college football circles.”

In the 1940s alone, while playing at the original Yankee Stadium, Notre Dame claimed consensus national titles in 1943, ’46, ’47 and ’49 – while Army won back-to-back national titles in 1944 and ’45.  In that same decade of the 1940s, Notre Dame produced three Heisman Trophy winners in Angelo Bertelli (1943), Lujack (1947) and Leon Hart (1949), while Army fielded two in Blanchard (1945) and Glenn Davis (1946).

The original Yankee Stadium also played host to the 1928 matchup which resulted in a 12-6 Irish victory.  The game was scoreless at halftime, when Notre Dame head coach Knute Rockne gave his now-famous “win one for the Gipper” speech in the locker room.

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Notre Dame holds an all-time mark of 15-6-3 in Yankee Stadium games, also facing off against North Carolina in 1949 (a 42-6 Irish victory) and Syracuse in 1963 (a 14-7 Orange win).  Army played 38 times at the original Yankee Stadium, compiling a combined mark of 14-19-5 against Notre Dame, Illinois (1930, ‘47), Michigan (1945, ‘50), Navy (1930-31), Stanford (1928, ‘48), Syracuse (1960, ‘64), Air Force (1959), Columbia (1936), Oklahoma (1961), Pittsburgh (1962), Princeton (1942) and Southern California (1951).

The 2010 Notre Dame-Army matchup will be the first college football game at the home of the Yankees since Grambling hosted Central State in the Whitney M. Young Urban Classic on September 12, 1987, at the original Yankee Stadium.  The Stadium also hosted college football games for Fordham and NYU from 1923-48.  As one of the world’s most prestigious addresses, the original Yankee Stadium was also the home for scores of other sports, entertainment and cultural events, including boxing, professional football, soccer, political assemblies, three Papal masses, religious conventions, concerts, NYU commencement and the circus.

The Yankees will have an announcement in the future regarding ticket availability for the general public. Notre Dame expects to make tickets available to its contributing alumni and fans through its alumni lottery as it does with all other football games.  Army will receive an allotment of tickets as the visiting team.

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YANKEE STADIUM HOSTS ADDITIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMES;

ARMY TO PLAY A HOME GAME AT YANKEE STADIUM IN 2011, 2012 and 2014

The New York Yankees announced today that Yankee Stadium will host additional college football games, with Army playing a home game at Yankee Stadium in 2011 vs. Rutgers, 2012 vs. Air Force and 2014 vs. Boston College.

The announcement comes on the heels of Monday’s release that Notre Dame will host Army on November 20, 2010, marking the return of college football to the Yankees home Stadium for the first time since 1987.

Army played 38 times at the original Yankee Stadium, compiling a combined mark of 14-19-5 against Notre Dame, Illinois (1930, ‘47), Michigan (1945, ‘50), Navy (1930-31), Stanford (1928, ‘48), Syracuse (1960, ‘64), Air Force (1959), Columbia (1936), Oklahoma (1961), Pittsburgh (1962), Princeton (1942) and Southern California (1951).

While playing at the original Yankee Stadium vs. Notre Dame, Army won back-to-back national titles in 1944 and ’45.  In that same decade of the 1940s, they produced two Heisman Trophy winners in Johnny Blanchard (1945) and Glenn Davis (1946).

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“When constructing Yankee Stadium, it was important that it serve as a viable venue for hosting multiple sporting events,” said Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost.  “We felt it was a natural fit that we carry the storied tradition of Army football at Yankee Stadium from the original Stadium to our new home.”

“Playing football games at Yankee Stadium was a big part of Army’s football history from the 1920s through the 1960s,” said Army Athletic Director Kevin Anderson. “This exciting partnership with the Yankees allows the Army program to harken back to its past. Our fans will enjoy the state-of-the-art amenities offered by Yankee Stadium and will provide an unforgettable experience for our fans, players and the Corps of Cadets. We feel that being associated with a world-class organization like the Yankees will help carry our marketing and branding efforts to new heights.

As one of the world’s most prestigious addresses, the original Yankee Stadium was also the home for scores of other sports, entertainment and cultural events, including boxing, professional football, soccer, political assemblies, three Papal masses, religious conventions, concerts, NYU commencement and the circus.

The Yankees will have an announcement in the future regarding the availability for the general public to purchase tickets.

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