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Air Force Academy Spirit

ESPN films ‘College GameDay’ from Academy

U.S. Air Force Academy cheerleaders perform on the Terrazzo during ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcast prior to the Air Force vs. Army football game Saturday. Photo by Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III

U.S. Air Force Academy cheerleaders perform on the Terrazzo during ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcast prior to the Air Force vs. Army football game Saturday. Photo by Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III

By Staff Sgt. J. Paul Croxon

Defense Media Activity-San Antonio

 

The popular sports show ESPN “College GameDay” was filmed on location Saturday at the U.S. Air Force Academy prior to the Falcons taking the field against service academy rival, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

About 1,000 Air Force and Army cadets crowded the terrazzo holding signs displaying their enthusiasm for their respective teams.

This was only the third time in the show’s history that it was filmed at the Academy, the last broadcast occurring in 2002.

“We’ve known ESPN would be here for about a week,” said Air Force Cadet 4th Class Nicholas Owen. “All the upper classmen have been talking about it and the wing commander sent out an e-mail about it. This is a chance for everyone to see how upbeat the Academy is.”

Filmed only two days after the Nov. 5 tragic slaying at Fort Hood, Texas, the show’s cast acknowledged that despite the interservice rivalry and spirit of competition, the U.S. military stands united and ready to defend America.

Former all-American safety and Academy graduate Lt. Col. Scott Thomas was a guest picker at the end of the show and echoed this sentiment.

“Know this, each and every one of you are Army strong,” Colonel Thomas said. “You will recover and you will continue to be a part of the most feared fighting force in the history of the world. We play these games in honor of the fallen.”

The two-hour segment featured an F-16 Fighting Falcon flyover and an aerial demonstration by the Wings of Blue, the Academy’s cadet parachute team.

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