A prestigious and historic college football rivalry game will be coming soon to Gillette Stadium.
On Wednesday, Kraft Sports and Entertainment Group announced it had secured its bid to host the annual Army-Navy game on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023.
“In New England, we value history, honor tradition, and celebrate sports rivalries,” said Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “That’s why we are so thrilled for the opportunity to host America’s Game at Gillette Stadium in 2023. There is no greater, more historical sports rivalry than the Army-Navy Game. It’s a nationally-televised, signature game that we have all grown up watching. It will be our privilege and honor to welcome the Army and Navy teams, their families, and all the patriots who annually attend the game. I want to thank the New England Army-Navy Committee and all who partnered with us in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for their dedication and passionate support in their mission to bring America’s Game to New England.”
According to the press release, The 2023 installment of Army-Navy will mark the first time in the 124-year history that it will be played in New England, and only the third time it will take place outside of the mid-Atlantic region.
“As a national leader in supporting military institutions, empowering military families and honoring our veterans, we are proud that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been selected as the host of the 2023 Army-Navy Game,” said MA Governor Charlie Baker. “The history of the United States is intertwined with Massachusetts dating back to the founding of the National Guard in 1636 and the founding of the Army in 1775, and we look forward to adding another chapter to that rich history as we welcome servicemen and women and their families to the Commonwealth for America’s Game.”
The news of the Gillette Stadium winning bid was likely a happy one for head coach Bill Belichick, a noted staunch supporter of the Naval Academy dating back to his father Steve’s lengthy tenure as a coach and scout with the football program.
Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona and wide receiver Malcolm Perry are graduates of the Naval Academy.
“Joe Cardona and I talk about it every day,” Belichick said about Army-Navy in 2018. “Without question when your Dad coaches at Navy, that’s a huge part of your life. It’s a huge part of everybody’s life at those two academies.”
When asked to recall any memories of his favorite game from the rivalry, Belichick gave a detailed answer.
“All of them, especially the ones that Navy won. The ’62 game in (Roger) Staubach’s sophomore year. There was the skull and crossbones on the helmet. President Kennedy was at that game,” Belichick said. “(Kennedy) was walking across the field and a guy ran across the field and almost tackled him. It was crazy. The next year, of course, the game was postponed a week after President Kennedy was assassinated. That was the game Navy was stopped at the 4-yard line.”
Whether or not Belichick’s 2023 schedule with the Patriots will allow him to be in attendance remains to be seen, but it’s once again clear there is a special relationship between the Patriots and the Naval Academy that may have helped land the bid.
As for back at PatsFans, we know who our own Steve Balestrieri will be rooting for.
Perfect post until those last two hashtags https://t.co/tUDl1VTHUL
— Steve Balestrieri (@SteveB7SFG) June 16, 2022
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Joe Cardona Malcolm Perry Robert Kraft