Safety & Security

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Army-Navy Game Has Security Down to a Science, Even for the Goat

16 Dec, 2015

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

East Coast drivers on Saturday were treated to the impressive sight of a long line of silver tour buses traveling along I-95. Perfectly spaced, all driving with flashers on and accompanied by a large police escort with rotating lights, it was the transport carrying Naval Academy midshipmen, as well as Army cadets, to the Army/Navy game.

The game, a fixture on the holiday calendar, is held in rotating locations. This year, it was at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, home of Temple football.

And wow, was there security. Ahead of the game, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told the local CBS affiliate

the city was ready, and that there were no immediate threats.

“We do have a security plan for the Army/Navy game

that’s coming up, working with our partners and working with the military. I can’t divulge everything there, but you’ll see a nice presence of uniform. There will also be a lot of people there that you not recognize as being police.”

In fact, there was even “above top secret” security around Navy’s mascot, Bill The Goat

.
ABC-7 noted, In 1893, a live goat named El Cid (The Chief) made his debut as a mascot at the Army-Navy game. Navy won that game. Starting in the early 1900s, Navy started naming the goats Bill. As one might expect in a rivalry that runs as deep as this one, there have been goat shenanigans throughout the years. The first theft of Bill the Goat happened in 1953, with West Point cadets putting Bill in the back of a convertible. As recently as 2012, someone stole Bill the Goat ahead of the Army-Navy game and Bill was tied to a median near the Pentagon. The Air Force and Maryland also have gotten the Navy's goats over the years.

Security has been ramped up since the 2012 incident, and the Midshipmen are confident they can thwart any plans the Black Knights may have this year.

“We don't want Army to come and steal it," midshipman Richard Elmore said. "We know they are not capable of doing it, but just for precaution measures."

The series stuffed with pageantry, ceremonies and tradition — and Navy’s “May The 14th Be With You” Star Wars

parody video — now has its own distinction, according to the local CBS affiliate

in Philly: Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo has tied former Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik (8-8-2) for most wins in the series. Navy leads the series 59-49-7.

That might be just enough to get Army’s goat, as it were.

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