Sometime during the 1893 football season, a navy doctor told Midshipman Joseph Reeves that another kick to the head could result in “instant insanity”, even death.
Reeves commissioned an Annapolis-area shoemaker to build him a leather covering, thus making himself the father of the modern football helmet. Years later, this man of the battleship era became an ardent supporter of naval air power. Today, Admiral “Bull” Reeves is widely known as the “Father of Carrier Aviation”.
The naval academy’s football program is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to 1879. The canvas jersey of that year is believed to be the first college football uniform.
The First Army-Navy football game was played at West Point on Nov. 29, 1890, with the Navy squad achieving a 24-0 victory. (Baltimore Sun File Photo)
The Army got into the game the following year, when Navy challenged Army cadets in what…
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