Thursday, December 20, 2007

SPORTS >>Falcons Armed Forces Bowl bound

By Wayne Amann
Academy Spirit Editor

One of the major goals in the Air Force Academy’s return to football prominence was finalized Monday when the Falcons officially accepted an invitation to play in the fifth annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, Dec. 31.

The agreement was made by Academy Athletic Director, Dr. Hans Mueh, during a teleconference call involving the bowl’s Executive Director Mr. Tom Starr, Air Force head football Coach Troy Calhoun, and media members from Colorado and Fort Worth.

The game, set for an 11:30 a.m. (CST) kickoff at Amon G. Carter Stadium, will be televised nationally on ESPN.
It marks the blusesuiters return to post season play after a four-year hiatus.

“I made a vow, if we went 6-0 at home, the first 200 tickets for the Cadet Wing were on me,” a jubilant Calhoun said at the announcement news conference.

Not only did his club go 6-0 at Falcon Stadium, but their 9-3 record was the best showing since finishing with the same mark in 2000. That year, Air Force defeated Fresno State, 37-34, in the Silicon Valley Bowl.

The New Year’s Eve tilt will be the Falcons 18th post-season appearance. They are 8-8-1 in bowl games.

“If you love teamwork, phenomenal energy and a group passionate about competing, you’re going to get that from the Air Force Falcons,” Calhoun told Starr via phone.

The Armed Forces Bowl Committee selects representative teams from the Mountain West Conference and the Pacific-10 Conference.

The PAC-10 school will be determined following that conference’s Saturday regular season finales.

“I already spread the word to my family,” Falcon senior linebacker Drew Fowler said. “So, they’re probably on the phone trying to round up the crew.”

That’s also the buzz on the Academy.

The anticipation of the “bluesuiter nation” coming out in full force at the 44,008-seat venue, the home stadium of MWC member TCU, is ballooning the game into a major Air Force pilgrimage, and for good reason.

With the numerous Air Force bases in Texas and neighboring Oklahoma, including their surrounding retiree communities within doable driving distance, the stands should have a definite blue hue. Plus the price is right for GIs.

Tickets are $40 for sideline seats and $15 for the end zone. Military veterans get half off any $40 seat while active duty members get in free thanks to the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. Part of local ticket sales benefits designated military charities.

For tickets, call (817) 810-0012 or go online for more information at

“The folks at the Armed Forces Bowl are getting a bunch of people in blue and silver that won’t sit still,” Calhoun said. “They’ll be out of their seats. The bowl will be extraordinarily proud to have this institution represented.”

Since Air Force recruits very heavily in Texas, the Lone Star State exposure figures to reap benefits well down the road.

“It’s tremendous for our program, but also great for our school,” said Calhoun whose roster sports 25 players from high school football-rich Texas.

“We’re going to play somebody talented, so we can find out what this team really has,” Calhoun said. “I’ve been extraordinarily pleased with the character and leadership of this group. Here’s one last opportunity, as a unit, to find out what we can accomplish.”


Post a Comment