Bill Belichick flexes photographic memory while talking Army-Navy game


Bill Belichick can be a grumpy guy, but two topics always seem to cheer him up: Special teams and Navy football.

The latter topic came up Friday during the New England Patriots head coach's press conference, as Navy will play Army on Saturday to continue one of the oldest rivalries in college football.

Considering Belichick's father, Steve, spent over 30 years at Navy as a coach and scout, the Midshipmen hold a special place in Bill's heart -- especially when the Army-Navy game rolls around.

“When your dad coaches at Navy, that’s a huge part of your life,” Belichick said Friday. “That game is a huge part of everybody’s life at those two academies, and it extends well beyond that.

"You know in May how many days are left until you play Army.”

Belichick then was asked if he had any favorite memories from the Army-Navy games, which prompted the 66-year-old to recount in incredible detail events that happened as many as six decades ago.

"The ’62 game was (Roger) Staubach’s sophomore year," Belichick said. "They wore the skull and crossbones on the helmet. President (John F.) Kennedy was at that game. He sat right in front of us. Actually, when he was walking across the field, a guy ran through the thing 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 where Navy stopped Army on the 4-yard line and went to the Cotton Bowl. So those were pretty memorable games.

"The ’67 game -- (Navy quarterback John) Cartwright. There were a lot of them.

"The first game I ever remember watching was the ’59 Army-Navy game. … ’59, that was (Joe) Bellino’s three-touchdown, 43-12 game. That was Coach (Wayne) Hardin’s first year as the head coach. I started going to games after that, but that one was with the babysitter watching at home. Great memories."

And you thought Sean McVay had a photographic football memory.

Belichick is known for his incredible attention to detail, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised he knows the box score of a football game from 1959 -- especially when it involves his beloved Midshipmen.

The Patriots have a tricky matchup with the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, but we'd imagine Belichick will carve out some time Saturday at 3 p.m. ET to check out the 119th installment of Army-Navy.

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