Bill 33, the former mascot for the Navy football team, has died, the Naval Academy announced. He was 14 years old. Bill 33, whose nickname was "Blue Eyes," was battling age-related health issues that didn't improve. He was euthanized by his caretaker.
"Bill 33 was donated to the Academy with Bill 34 in 2007," the Academy said in a statement. "Their final football season was in 2015, when they trained the young goats how to 'wear out the Army mule' and perform the important mascot sideline duties. Bill 33 was the active mascot during the Academy’s longest football winning streak against Army in history, and earned a total nine “N stars” for his blanket."
Sad news this week for Navy fans-- Retired Navy mascot Bill 33 has moved on to greener pastures. He is survived by Bill 34 (also retired) and current mascots Bill 36 and Bill 37, all Angora goats.#Bill33 was easily recognized, as he was the only Navy goat with blue eyes. pic.twitter.com/t4q5c8JlMh— U.S. Naval Academy (@NavalAcademy) January 7, 2021
Bill 33 is survived by Bill 34, who is also retired and current mascots Bills 36 and Bills 37, and all are Angora goats. Bill 33 was known for his blue eyes and had the longest horns in the herd. The statement also said Bill 33 "was smart and content enough to stay out of the way of the more rambunctious young goats in the herd, who are 'brimmin’ full of fight.'"
Navy's mascot history dates back to 1893 when the team adopted the goat as its mascot after the USS New York anchored off Annapolis. The sailors of the ship brought their mascot - a goat named Eli - with them to watch the Army-Navy game that year.
One could argue the goat mascot has helped Navy succeed over the years. Since 1879, Navy has won 725 games and 12 bowl games. They win a national title in 1926 and have had two Heisman winners - Joe Bellino (1960) and Roger Staubach (1963). The squad also had 19 players make it to the College Football Hall of Fame, as well as three coaches. This past season, Navy finished with a 3-7 record under coach Ken Niumatalolo who was coaching his 13th season. In the annual Army-Navy game. Navy lost 15-0.