With retired Air Force parents, I’ve been attending Air Force Academy football games for years. Sure, there’s the traditional tailgating and pregame fun outside the stadium similar to other college games, but Falcons games are special. Here’s our favorite pageantry that makes Air Force Football games so much more than your typical game day routine.
1. The Falcons—as in the Actual Birds
It’s arguably the most advanced mascot performance in the NCAA. Trainers instruct the performers, often gyrfalcons or hybrid gyr-saker and gyr-peregrine falcons, to dive and flyby at high speeds during halftime shows.
It doesn’t happen at every game, but if you’re lucky, the F-16s will fly over Falcon Stadium—most likely during Parents Weekend or for games against other service academies.
3. Wings of Blue
Jumpers from the Wings of Blue parachute team deliver the game ball and flag after they land on the midfield logo. It’s an impressive sight.
It’s fun to watch the freshmen cadets hop into a plank to do a pushup for each point after every score. Maybe they want to win in a low-scoring game? It seems the 100 volunteers cherish the chance to work those pecs.
5. The Pregame March On
My favorite part of every game is getting to my seat early and watching the cadets march onto the field before kickoff, then race to their seats in the stadium after the ceremony.
6. Air Force vs. Army
Colorado Springs has multiple Air Force bases and a huge Army presence, which makes a USAFA vs. West Point rivalry game one of the best of the year. If you can only make one game this season, this should be it.
Get the complete schedule at goairforcefalcons.com