McGuire’s-on-Main continues Army-Navy tradition this Saturday
By Michael Turton
On Saturday (Dec. 14), Army’s Black Knights will square off against Navy’s Midshipmen for the 114th time. Many feel it’s college football’s greatest tradition.
Meanwhile, at McGuire’s-on-Main in Cold Spring – a related event that some might consider even more important – will take place for the fourth consecutive year. Local Army and Navy football fans will gather at the neighborhood pub – but not just to watch the game. They’ll also be there to help raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project – an initiative that serves veterans and service members who suffered physical or mental injury as a result of military service after Sept. 11, 2001, and helps provide assistance to their families.
While the McGuire’s tradition may be 110 years younger than the Army-Navy game – it is already having a very positive impact. And it’s only getting better.
“Last year we raised $3,400 in about four hours, which was pretty awesome considering the year before we raised $1,500,” co-owner Shaun McGuire told The Paper. “Three years ago, we changed the Army-Navy game from being a day of local inter-service rivalry to a day for recognizing our soldiers.”
McGuire says the day’s agenda is pretty simple. “Kick off is at 3 [p.m.]. During each quarter we will raffle off items that people purchase tickets for.” All monies raised through the raffle will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Foundation. “We’re also doing a 50/50 raffle to help raise funds.”
The unbridled enthusiasm of local veterans who come out to watch the game makes it a fun afternoon, McGuire says. And he adds that if helping the Wounded Warriors, watching the game, the wide selection of beverages, great raffle prizes, and the genuine camaraderie are not enough – there’s always the food. “We’re putting out a free hot buffet – hamburgers, hot dogs, meatballs, a few wedges and more.”
The Army-Navy football rivalry began in 1890 with the Midshipmen winning 24-0 in a game played on “The Plain” at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The game is now played annually in Philadelphia on neutral ground. Navy leads the venerable series with 57 wins to Army’s 49. Seven games have ended in a tie. The Black Knights hope this is the year they put an end to Navy’s current 11-year winning streak.
McGuire’s-on-Main is also a drop-off point for Toys for Tots. Army-Navy fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to help make a child’s Christmas a memorable one this year.