Talk about going from the drudgery of an 8-hour bus trip to traveling in style.
The University of Rhode Island was bringing its undefeated record to face Towson in Maryland on Saturday.
The trip looked like it was going to be a journey on the road before New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft stepped up in a big way.
Kraft offered the Rams the Patriots’ team plane for the trip. New England didn’t need it this week since the Patriots are home to the Dallas Cowboys.
— Rhody Football (@RhodyFootball) October 15, 2021
The buses hit the road, and as they passed exit after exit, the players started to get suspicious that they were actually heading to T.F. Green airport. Maybe head coach Jim Fleming had managed to secure a charter flight after all. He had requested the AirKraft but expected to pay for it from the team’s budget.
“I almost fell out of my seat … It’s incredible for us,” Fleming told the Patriots’ website. “It’s an incredible show of support. It’s visible and recognizable by everybody. It probably enhances our opportunity to go out and play as best we can and try to get another W.”
As the buses pulled onto the tarmac, the only plane in sight was distinct. With six Lombardi trophies and “Patriots” emblazoned on the side, AirKraft hard to mistake. Slowly, it clicked.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling … You don’t think that you’re going to be taking an NFL team’s plane,” said redshirt senior Henry Yiankopolos. “It’s pretty surreal to take the Patriots plane because a lot of us are Patriots fans.”
This isn’t the first time Kraft lent the plane out to a local team. Just this summer, Kraft surprised the Boston Renegades by flying the team to the WFA Championship in Canton, Ohio, where they won their sixth title.