Jack Ford is the executive producer of CBS Sports Network’s MARCHING ON: 1963 ARMY-NAVY REMEMBERED. It airs on Thursday, Nov. 14 (8:00 PM, ET), 50 years to the week after Kennedy’s death.
Jack joined the Norris and Davis show to talk with Ed and Steve about the Army/Navy game after the Kennedy assassination.
Steve: Tell us about Army vs. Navy just after the Assassination and why it was so important.
Jack: People don’t realize how Army vs. Navy was the national game. College football was bigger than the NFL at the time and Army and Navy were national powerhouses. From a sports standpoint there was a lot on the line. There were some big names playing in the game like Roger Staubach and both teams were very impressive. So from a national lens this game was in the spotlight.
Ed: What role or impact does the football game have on helping America recover from this tragedy?
Jack: Well in times of crisis and tragedy we embrace our traditions and especially sports. Kennedy was a huge sports fan especially college football and was vested in this match-up. He had planned on attending this game, had been to the past two match-ups and was very interested in this rivalry. The game was initially going to be canceled, but Jackie Kennedy came out and said that this game needed to be played and that JFK would have wanted it to play. The documentary is about the game, but we use it as a lens to analyze how America felt afterwards and how the game helped console Americans in a tough time. It was really a way for America to say we will be O.K.