On Saturday evening, Yankee Stadium will be completely transformed into a college football stadium (with two end zones) for the anticipated game between Army and Notre Dame. It's the first meeting between the two longtime rivals since 2006, and although neither team is as dominant as it once was, the confluence of these two teams with NYC brings with it a huge amount of historical backstory, and offers a chance to glimpse back into the city's past.
In 1946, the NY Times called the rivalry between Army and Notre Dame "a rivalry that has come to transcend almost everything else in the game." The rivalry started in 1913, when Army invited the mostly unknown Notre Dame to play at West Point, and got destroyed 35-13. From then on through WWII, their rivalry was considered the Super Bowl of its day, and starting in 1925, their annual game was played at the old Yankees Stadium all but one year. "There was no more famous place to perform any sport than Yankee Stadium, and there was no rivalry bigger than Army and Notre Dame. Many years, it was the national championship game,” Joe Steffy, an Army team captain and lineman in the 1940s, told the Times.
In 1947, Army sought to end their yearly match-up; as ESPN put it, "Imagine the Red Sox announcing that they didn't want to play the Yankees anymore." This will be the 50th all time meeting between the two teams. You can read more about the history of their rivalry here, including the invention of the forward pass, the origins of the "Win One For the Gipper" speech, and more.