(courtesy Navy Athletics)

The 118th Army-Navy Game will be won or lost on the ground Dec. 9 in Philadelphia, but the Midshipmen’s snazzy alternate uniforms for the occasion will honor the pilots from the Navy’s premier flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels. The hand-painted helmets, which feature six F/A-18 Hornets in delta formation and chrome face masks to mimic the visors worn by Blue Angels pilots, are especially sharp.

“Although the uniform departs from our customary characteristics, this tribute to the Blue Angels reflects the enthusiastic pride and appreciation we have for the Navy’s premier flying team and the motivation they convey to Navy football and the fleet at large,” Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said in a news release.

(courtesy Navy Athletics)

The uniforms are the same blue color as the Blue Angels flight suits, and they feature the U.S. flag on the left sleeve like Blue Angels pilots wear in the cockpit. The number font is inspired by the numbers of the tail of the F/A-18 Hornet, the aircraft that the Blue Angels have flown since 1986. The Blue Angels performed their first demonstration flight in June 1946.

“Anyone who has had the privilege of watching the Blue Angels perform knows there is no show quite like it,” Under Armour senior creative director Adam Clement said. “It inspires and excites all who stand witness, and we couldn’t think of a better way to pay homage to their great feats than creating a uniform that pays tribute to them.”

Navy has worn an alternate uniform in every Army-Navy Game since Under Armour became the school’s official uniform supplier four years ago. In 2014, Navy wore “Don’t Tread On Me” uniforms. In 2015, they wore ship-inspired uniforms with seven different helmet designs, each paying tribute to a different historic Navy ship. For last year’s game, Army’s first win in the series since 2001, Navy wore throwback uniforms based on the ones the Roger Staubach-led Midshipmen wore in 1963.

Despite its Blue Angels-inspired gear, don’t expect Navy to air it out in Philadelphia. The only team with fewer passing attempts this season than Navy’s 99 is Army, with 60.

(courtesy Navy Athletics)

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