Navy football hitches a ride to Liberty Bowl on Patriots' plane

Jack Baer

Navy football might be one of the last programs in college football that needs help getting flights, but the New England Patriots still stepped in.

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The Midshipmen arrived in Memphis on Thursday for the Liberty Bowl, scheduled for Saturday against Kansas State. Their ride: one of the Patriots’ custom 767s.

The Patriots are playing at home this weekend against the Miami Dolphins, so they didn’t need a ride. Of course, they have two of the planes, so they still probably could have made it work. Per ESPN, every seat is first-class size, and some can even completely recline.

It’s not a surprise that the Patriots stepped in to help the Midshipmen, as Bill Belichick’s father served in the Navy during World War II and worked as a scout for the football team for over three decades. The Patriots also have a Navy grad on their roster with long snapper Joe Cardona, who the team picked in the fifth-round of the 2015 NFL draft (a long snapper from Navy might be the most Belichick draft pick of all time).

Navy football got a helping hand from the Patriots. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Scott Strasemeier, the senior associate athletic director for the Naval Academy Athletic Association, thanked the Patriots and team owner Robert Kraft for the plane in a statement to The Hill:

"The NAAA and the New England Patriots have a longstanding relationship, which certainly did not hurt our ability to work out an agreement with the Patriots. We are extremely grateful for the support and the cooperation we received from Mr. Kraft and his staff."

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