The New England Patriots got into the holiday spirit by loaning one of the team planes to the Navy Midshipmen football squad for its New Year's Eve Liberty Bowl face-off with Kansas State.
The Patriots just happened to have a spare — thanks to the 2017 purchase of two team planes by owner Robert Kraft, CBS Sports noted. The Pats also will not be needing to fly anywhere; they wrap up their regular season at home against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
According to the news outlet, there is a real connection between the Pats and Naval Academy. Bill Belichick's father, Steve Belichick, served as a scout for the Midshipmen for over 30 years in addition to being a backfield coach.
Also, the Pats' special teams long thrower, Joe Cardona, also attended the Naval Academy, the news outlet reported.
In a statement, Scott Strasemeier, the Navy's senior associate athletic director, thanked Kraft for letting the team use the jet for the bowl game.
"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," Strasemeier said, the Washington Examiner reported.
"We are extremely grateful for the support and the cooperation we received from Mr. Kraft and his staff."
In reply to the Midshipmen’s gratitude for the loan, the Patriots tweeted back: "Sweet ride."
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