Super Bowl goes super blue|
by Master Sgt. David Byron
Air Force Print News
2/1/2005 - WASHINGTON -- An Air Force F/A-22 Raptor will be a highlight during pre-game festivities at Super Bowl XXXIX where the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles face each other Feb. 6.
The other military services will also take part, but Airmen will play a leading role in one of the nation's premier sport competitions, this year being held in Jacksonville, Fla.
Super Bowl Sunday will begin with a series of pre-game concerts and a pre-game opening ceremony.
The pre-game ceremony of every Super Bowl has included the singing of the national anthem; this year the Air Force Academy's 25-voice Cadet Chorale will team up with the Naval Academy Glee Club, West Point Choir and Coast Guard Academy to perform the anthem. It will be the first time all four service academies have performed together since former President Richard Nixon's 1973 inauguration ceremony. The last time the Cadet Chorale sang at a Super Bowl was in 1972.
A joint color guard, which includes an Airman from Moody Air Force Base, Ga., will present the national colors.
At the conclusion of the anthem, two Raptors will team up with two Navy F-18 Super Hornets in a joint-formation flyover.
"What better way to showcase America's newest super jet than in front of a stadium crowd of 80,000 fans and more than 144 million television viewers," said Wendy Varhegyi, Air Force community relations chief.
Air Force involvement will not be limited to pre-game ceremonies.
Recruiters will be on-site to discuss career opportunities in the Air Force. They will have the "Cross Into the Blue" theater trailer along with several NFL athletes available for autograph sessions.
Recruiters have been on-site since Jan. 31 and will remain until the day after the game as co-sponsors of the ESPN Radio Remote/webcam at a Jacksonville-area hotel. Benefits include public-service announcements, on-air interviews, webcam time and on-site advertising. This is the third year Air Force Recruiting Service has sponsored the ESPN remote.
Five pilots from the 347th Rescue Wing at Moody will have a display as part of the series of events and displays surrounding the stadium.
Airmen will take part in another pre-game day activity with an emphasis on sports. They will be part of two joint-service teams competing in the NFL Alumni Super Bowl of Golf Showcase on Feb. 4.
Although most of the Air Force involvement will likely only be seen by those who attend the game, fans watching the game on television will get a glimpse of professional Airmen.
Six Airmen, along with four Marines took part in the filming of an Anheuser-Busch "Salute to the Military" commercial expected to air during the Super Bowl coverage.
Air Force volunteers will also help setup and tear down of the sets for the halftime performance featuring singing legend Paul McCartney.
In all, the Airmen will be among more than 2,000 military volunteers assisting with various aspects of the Super Bowl.
"Participating in the Super Bowl and the events leading up to it is an honor for the Air Force," Mrs. Varhegyi said. "It's a way to say ‘thank you’ to the troops, honor the military and instill patriotism among the fans."