Navy football showed up in style ahead of their 15th appearance in the Liberty Bowl next week, touching down in Memphis, Tenn. in a private jet belonging to the New England Patriots.
The Midshipmen landed at Wilson Air Center Thursday, just days before they are set to take on the Kansas State Wildcats and their flashy appearance might just give them the mental edge going into Tuesday’s game.
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“Thank you @Patriots and Team 125 for sending us to the @AZOLibertyBowl the right way!” the team said in a tweet.
The favor comes as no surprise as there is a longstanding relationship between Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick and Navy football.
Belichick spent most of his childhood studying the Midshipmen as his father was a longtime assistant and scout at Navy, the Washington Post reported.
“We were all pampered for a little bit,” Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo told the Post Thursday in a phone interview. “Just very grateful to [Patriots’ owner] Robert Kraft, the Patriots, Mr. Belichick — it was awesome.”
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He continued: “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.”
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A spokesperson for the organization said, despite the partnership, Navy did pay for the plane.
The Patriots replied to Thursday’s tweet with a message of their own: “Awww yeah!”