Thursday, September 6, 2012

Who Are You and Why Do We Care?: Air Force Falcons

Have we ever seen them before?

Michigan opened the 1964 season against Air Force. Throughout the game, Air Force fumbled the ball four times, and quarterback, Bob Timberlake, lead the Wolverines to a 24 - 7 victory. Timberlake ran for a touchdown and kicked a field goal. Mel Anthony scored on a four yard run, and Jim Detwiler scored on a ten yard run. Head Coach, Bump Elliott ended up taking that 1964 team to the Rose Bowl with a 9 - 1 record. 

What do they look like?
Air Force's colors are Blue and Silver. For the last few seasons, Air Force has worn blue jerseys with white pants at home and white jerseys with white pants on the road. Their jerseys had the apron stripes that I hate on every NHL team and lightning stripes on the sleeves. In addition, they had too many badges on the front of the jersey, including two Air Force logos and the Mountain West Conference logo. Last season against Navy, the Falcons debuted new, simplified, grey uniforms. Air Force adopted these uniforms along with a blue version full-time for this season.

The Falcon's helmet is one of my favorites. This season Air Force will have a white helmet and a grey helmet.  Last year during the Military Bowl, they added stars and stripes to the helmets.

Two seasons ago, Air Force wore awesome throw-backs against Navy. This has nothing to do with this  season, I just wanted to show those incredible uniforms.

Do they have good coaches?
Troy Calhoun went to Air Force as a student from 1985-1988. Directly after his playing career was over, he became an Assistant on Air Force until 1994. He went on to be an Offensive Coordinator at Ohio and Wake Forest before making the leap to the NFL. from 2003 to 2005, Calhoun was an Assistant on the Denver Broncos, and in 2006, he was the Houston Texans' Offensive Coordinator. In 2007, Calhoun was hired to return to his alma mater and coach the Air Force Falcons. Since taking over as head coach, Air Force has had a winning record each year. They have gone to five bowl games - three Armed Forces Bowls, one Independence Bowl, and last year's Military Bowl - compiling a 2-3 record.

Have they ever won a Conference Championship? What is the Commander in Chief's Trophy?
Air Force is the only service academy in a conference, and therefore they have had an opportunity to play for Conference Championships throughout history. The Falcons won the WAC Championship in 1985, 1995, and 1998. They have never won a National Championship.

Every year the three service academies - Army, Navy, and Air Force - play for the Commander in Chief's Trophy. The trophy is awarded to the winner of the series between the three teams. Many Presidents have actually presented the trophy to the winning team. Overall, Navy has a lead over Air Force and Army, but Air Force has won the last two seasons, and twelve times all together.

Where do they play football?
To be redundant, the Falcons play at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The stadium is 6,621 ft above sea level and was built in 1962. It has a capacity of 46,692, which is actually less than its capacity just a few years ago.

They are a service academy, they can't have a goofy mascot can they?!
The Falcon was selected as Air Force's mascot by the first graduating class of the academy in 1959. The mascot has a super-creative name: The Bird

Prediction based on everything but football: Michigan 35 - Air Force 7. 

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