Football rivalry brings thousands of fans to Falcon Stadium

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s an unmatched football rivalry that only happens once a year.

“It’s Navy and Air Force,” said Don Vachon, an Air Force fan. “I mean come on. It’s armed forces. From the locality, as far as the Air Force being here, it’s just a great place.”

“It’s the rivalry, it’s camaraderie,” said Tom Corbett, a Navy fan. “I mean I can’t wait until they switch the players because there’s some Air Force people in Navy and some Navy people in Air Force and when they do that and the half time and they yell sink navy — it’s just incredible.”

But for some fans, it’s more than just watching football.

“I was in the Air Force 28 years,” said Charles Rush, an Air Force veteran. “I’m a true blue Air Force Academy fan and so I think it’s important for all of us, retirees like me, to come out and support the team.”

From tailgating outside with friends to watching the teams compete on the field, all fans say this rivalry is about the electrifying experience.

“You can’t beat the experience,” said Vachon. “Especially the tailgating out in the parking lot and just being around all the other people. The excitement, the energy is crazy.”

Whether it’s Air Force or Navy though, fans admire the dedication and commitment of what those jerseys mean.

“You have to meet certain academic criteria to get in,” said Corbett. “I mean you got to be smart and these guys all play with heart. I mean Navy, Air Force and Army. It’s incredible.”

“They’re very distinguished young people and they’re going to be part of our leadership and our country in the future,” said Rush.

The Falcons went on to beat the Midshipmen 28 to 14, securing the first win in the games for the Commander in Chief trophy.



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