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Curse You, Patriots! First in NFL with Own Planes

August 9th, 2017 · 1 Comment · Dodgers, NFL, Travel

This would not be as annoying if it were not about the New England Patriots.

Generally, the rest of the National Football League — and their fans – hate the Patriots.

Why? For the usual reasons. “They’re better than us” would be the overarching explanation. Most Super Bowl victories (five); most Super Bowl appearances (nine); masters of the 21st century, with five trophies in 16 seasons.

Led by rules-benders Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, coach and quarterback, respectively. (But never respectfully.)

And why are we talking about that loathsome crew?

Because the Patriots have just done something no NFL team has done. (Which is not at all unusual.)

The Patriots have bought their own plane.

Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers may remember a time when the club owned its own plane(s) — the first in Major League Baseball.

It was a big deal. The Dodgers talked about it a lot. Direct flights. More room. Less time wasted changing planes, etc. The Dodgers used their planes (they had a series of them, going back into the 1950s) as recruitment tools. “Sure, you’re on the West Coast, but we have our own plane!”

Till now, NFL teams never bought planes. They arranged charter flights. Made sense: Only 10 road games per season, not counting the playoffs.

Perhaps because the Patriots count on making the playoffs, but also because wide-body planes are being phased out of service by some of the major carriers … they went and bought a Boeing 767, according to ESPN.

Actually they are buying two 767s. With the second being a backup plane. And retrofitting both planes with lay-flat first-class-size seats. Good for, you know, big guys.

The Patriots plan to install a bunch of other stuff, too. For example, a trainer’s table, to start working on nicked-up players before they get back to New England. And the team logo is on the outside of the plane, with pictures of the five Super Bowl champions trophies on the tail.

(By the by, I love the Boeing 767. They are disappearing from the skies as 777s and 787s take over, but the 767 was something special. A sorta jumbo, with two aisles — but a 2-3-2 seat configuration. That is, everyone in coach had an aisle or a seat — except for one person.)

It’s a long plane, so even an NFL team and club executives ought to fit in there.

How much are the Patriots spending? According to ESPN, anywhere from $10 million to $130 million for two used 767s. A serious investment. But if the Patriots are doing it, it must be beneficial for the team.

Anyway, it’s cool. But also functional. And of course the Patriots, damn them, are doing it first.

 

 

 

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 David // Aug 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Agree with you about the 767. That 2-3-2 configuration was the most passenger-friendly configuration of the jumbo era.

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