Saturday, November 7, 2009

Home games are fun at Air Force!

Yesterday I did something I haven't done in 43 years - attend a home Air Force Football game! Yes the last time I went to an Air Force game was in 1966 at age 10. I have always enjoyed following Air Force football over the years, just never attended games in person.

I was invited by a friend to participate in a pre-game tailgate party. Immediately I saw the difference between Bronco home games. The tailgating area is "First come/first served" with no parking charge. We arrived at 11 a.m. - well in advance of the 1:30 pm kickoff of the Air Force - Army game. We saw many cadets from both service academies doing their own tailgating outside the stadium.

We entered Falcom Stadium at 12:30 pm and quickly found our seats in the upper deck - bench style seats in the Northwest corner of the field. The cadets from both service academies were opposite us in the stands on the other side of the field.

Air Force has one of the best pregame shows I've seen anywhere. First came Air Force sky divers jumping from high over the stadium and maneuvering to land right on the 50 yard line.
The cadets then marched into the stadium by squadrons (shown above) for the National Anthem. Once the anthem was complete the cadets suddenly disbanded and made a mad dash for their seats! The contrast between the orderly cadet march into the stadium and free for all to the seats was amazing.

The highlight of the pregame show was a flyover by 2 F16 jets. I've never seen a flyover with the planes as low as these. They seemed to suck the air out of the lungs of everyone watching as they buzzed over the crowd. A large bomber followed the F16's - there was no shortage of military hardware to display.

Oh yes - and there was a game, too! The game was exciting with cheerleaders from both sides urging the cadets to yell their loudest. Army was the better team in the first half, yet only earned a 7-7 tie thanks to a long punt return td by Air Force.

Don't leave your seats at half time - otherwise you'll miss Air Force's signature "trained falcon" show. One of these special birds soared over the crowd and back to the cadet trainers on the field.

The football Falcons found their legs in the 2nd half to win the game going away, 35-7. Every time Air Force scored, a group of cadets did pushups in the end zone (one for each point)

Air Force football is an entertaining show - with many extras in addition to the football excitement. I don't think I'll wait 43 years to attend my next Falcon home game!

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