Navy picks PSINet for 2002 game with Irish

Teams haven't met in city since 1988

October 11, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The Naval Academy has selected PSINet Stadium as the site for its 2002 game against Notre Dame, athletic director Chet Gladchuk announced yesterday.

The longest continuous intersectional college football rivalry will return to the city where it began in 1927 at old Municipal Stadium on 33rd Street, when Notre Dame won, 19-6.

It will mark the 20th time Navy and Notre Dame have played in Baltimore, but the first time since 1988 and the first at PSINet, which held the 2000 Army-Navy game won by the Midshipmen, 30-28.

That game was a spectacular event here, with military displays beforehand, a parade of the Corps of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipmen through the city streets and a record crowd for the stadium of 70,685.

In conjunction with the announcement, Gladchuk also disclosed that the 2004 Navy-Notre Dame game will be played at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Navy's home games in the series are rotated among selected sites every other year because the fan appeal of Notre Dame is too great for the 30,000-plus-capacity Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis to be used. The 2000 game was held at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

This season, the teams will play at Notre Dame on Nov. 17.

Ravens CEO and owner Art Modell said the team "had a great experience hosting the Army-Navy game last season. It was a very special event.

"Hosting a game between two schools with the great traditions and fan following that Navy and Notre Dame have will make this game a larger experience than a Saturday afternoon college football game."

Navy has not beaten Notre Dame since 1963, the year Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy. The Irish have won a record 37 straight in the series and hold a 64-9-1 advantage.

Said Gladchuk: "We are happy to be able to play Notre Dame in stadiums that are in close proximity to Annapolis, which will allow more of our loyal fans to attend the games."

The Meadowlands will be the host for the sixth time, but the first since 1992. Seventeen years ago, Navy nearly pulled off an upset at the New Jersey stadium before Notre Dame rallied in the final seconds for an 18-17 win.

The 2002 Army-Navy game is also scheduled for the Meadowlands stadium.

"I'm excited about playing Notre Dame at PSINet and Giants Stadium," said Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie.

"The Ravens and the city of Baltimore put on a great show last year for Army-Navy, and the Meadowlands has always been a great place to play a college football game."

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