Air Force fans traveling along I-25 suddenly experience a traffic jam about two miles from the exit to Falcon Stadium. The cause of the slow crawl becomes evident upon exiting as several military personnel guide cars down different pathways toward the game site. Many security measures have been taken here and an escort by the Air Force is one of them. Open spaces surround your journey to the stadium – all except for one large aircraft that greets you and points in the desired direction.
September 4th would be a day of many firsts for me. Among those included my first Mountain West Conference game, my first time seeing California, and above all, my first double-header day. This game in Colorado Springs required early alarm bells as kick off commenced at ten in the morning. Following the Cal/Air Force contest, I would be driving up I-25 toward Boulder to be a spectator for the in-state hate fest between Colorado State and Colorado.
Fans that venture to South Bend, Indiana and only watch the game are not real college football fans. Notre Dame is the capital of college football tradition. Walking the campus and visiting the symbols that represent this program are practically part of the ticket price. Prior to the game, we viewed the Golden Dome, Touchdown Jesus, the Grotto, a band concert on campus, and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. It was at this chapel where the team gathers for prayer before going to battle on the gridiron. Our timing was impeccable because the team exited the basilica as we arrived. Led by head coach Bob Davie, the Fighting Irish walked through a tunnel of fans on their way to Notre Dame Stadium.