November 11, 2006 - Colorado Springs

North of Colorado Springs, we get to the campus of the Air Force Academy.

One of my favorites, the A-10 Warthog, the tank killer, is displayed proudly.

We showed up about :45 minutes prior to kickoff of their biggest game of the year.
We had no tickets - and just under $90 in our pockets.
However, parking (this close to Falcon Stadium ) was free.

The cadet squadrons marched into the stadium.
You just don't see that in the S.E.C.

Some silent signal and all the cadets ran yelling into the stands.
Then came seven parachuters...

The sixth was their mascot, "The Bird."

The Bird has done over 2,000 jumps in uniform.

How do you land in those FEET?!?

Then another silent signal and a different group of cadets ran yelling to the other side of the field...

Oh yeah - they're playing The Irish.

Notre Dame kneels and prays in the end zone.

Air Force takes the field.

Then three F-15s do a fly-over.

Just before halftime, three falconeers walk by with their birds.
The big one is an arctic gryfalcon. Pretty. The smaller one is featured in the next pictures.

During the half, Mach 1, the official name of the mascot, rounds the stadium and attacks a small bag of meat being swung on a string by the trainer.

They can reach speeds over 200mph, but this one was just cruising.

The piccayune Air Force band entertains the crowd - all 52,000 of them.

Goofy. Irish bagpipers...

Now that's a cute couple.

It wasn't exacty a close game. The Irish have a big lead at the half.

Leaving through the other main gate, we pass a B-1, which according to its paint has dropped 200 bombs and destroyed 8 aircraft.