The New England Patriots stepped up to offer one of their private jets to fly the Navy team to its bowl game on Thursday.
The Midshipmen are set to face the Kansas State Wildcats for the Liberty Bowl in Memphis on December 31.
Several tweets from Navy noted the awe-inspiring ride:
— Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) December 26, 2019
— Navy Football (@NavyFB) December 27, 2019
— AutoZone Liberty Bowl (@AZOLibertyBowl) December 26, 2019
— Brian Blick (@BrianBlick5) December 27, 2019
— Navy Football (@NavyFB) December 26, 2019
My little man will forever remember his 1st flight on the 6X Super Bowl @Patriots plane.
— Joe DuPaix (@CoachJoeDuPaix) December 26, 2019
— Jason MacDonald (@JMacDonald_Navy) December 26, 2019
The connection may not be well known, but Bill Belichick’s father, Steve Belichick, was a backfield coach for Navy as well as a scout for the Midshipmen for over 30 years.
“We were all pampered for a little bit,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo told the Washington Post.
“Just very grateful to Robert Kraft, the Patriots, Mr. (Bill) Belichick — it was awesome,” Niumatalolo added. “There were people coming with the candy tray, the chocolate chip cookie was nice and warm. It’s obviously designed for a football team, so the spacing was awesome. I was kind of sad when they said it was only a two-hour flight, you know usually you want a quick flight but this time, I was a little sad.”
The Patriots are still playing pro football, granted, but since the team owns two jet planes, it could spare one for the midshipmen to use.
“Navy is currently a -2.5 point favorite in the Liberty Bowl after putting together a 10-2 regular season,” CBS Sports reported. “The Midshipmen defeated Army 31-7 in the annual Army-Navy Game, to snap a three-year losing streak in the rivalry, and closed the regular season by winning eight of their final nine games.”
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