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Bill Belichick reflects on Army-Navy game, including revealing first football game he ever watched

Ryan Hannable
December 07, 2018 - 3:15 pm

The college football world will be focused on the annual Army-Navy game this weekend, and of course the game has special meaning to Bill Belichick.

Belichick's father, Steve, was a longtime coach at Navy and that ultimately was how Belichick himself got introduced to the game.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Belichick recalled some of his memories of the game, including the 1959 game being the first football game he ever saw.

"Pretty much all of them [stand out], especially all the ones that Navy won," he said. "You know, the ‘62 game with [Roger] Staubach’s sophomore year, when it was skull and crossbones on the helmet. President Kennedy was at that game, so he sat kind of right in front of us. Actually, when he was walking across the field, the guy ran through the thing and almost tackled him. I mean, it was crazy. The next year was of course the game was postponed a week after President [John F.] Kennedy was assassinated, and that was the game where Navy stopped Army on the 4-yard line, went to the Cotton Bowl. So, those are pretty memorable games. The ‘67 game – [John] Cartwright. Yeah, I remember a lot of them. Joe Bellino’s three-touchdown game in ’59 – that’s really the first game I remember. The first game I ever remember watching was the ‘59 Army-Navy game."

Belichick added: "I was at home. Then I started going to the games after that. But, that one, I was with the babysitter watching at home. Yeah, so those are great memories. It’s a tremendous week there with just the spirit of the week and the pep rally Thursday night and the sendoff for the team on Friday, and then coming back and the victory bell on Sunday after they won. And, honestly, that kind of set the tone for the whole rest of the year. So, when you live in that world, that’s the world you’re living in. I don’t want to say it’s a one-game season, but in some respects, it really is."

Belichick and the Patriots will be traveling during Saturday's game, but you can be sure he and Patriots long-snapper Joe Cardona will be following it closely.

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