|Trip Dates||10/21/2022 – 10/23/2022|
|School||United States Air Force Academy|
|Visiting Team||Boise State Broncos
Pre-game Record: 4-2
|Home Team||Air Force Falcons
Pre-game Record: 5-2
|Game Time (ET)||7:00 PM Eastern (5:00 local)|
|Weather||65 & Sunny (temp dropping fast)|
|Attendees||Jarrett, Al, Debra & Brett Baker|
|Jarrett’s Pick||Air Force Falcons
(39 and 19 record)
|Al’s Pick||Boise State Broncos
(34 and 24 record)
|Length of Game||3:38|
|Seat Location||30 Yard Line, Approx. 20th Row|
|Photo Album||Click here for the Air Force Photo Album|
As usual, our Friday morning departure came with a very early wake up call to make the 7am flight to Denver. I will say that the past few trips to LaGuardia, I have been parking at the new terminal parking and forgoing the off airport parking. If you are only away for a few days, the additional cost is well worth it for the convenience. The terminal parking lots are right next to the terminals and it is an easy walk to the gates. But I will say that the Terminal B lot is accessible by having to drive through the departure lanes which is just plain nuts. The departures lanes at LGA main terminal are the most crowded departure lanes there are and this has not improved much with the new and improved LGA. At 5am, this is not an issue, but at 4pm it could take an hour to get through departures. This is poor design and there has to be a better way. I am convinced that you do not need to drive through departures to get to the parking garage, I have just not had the courage to try it yet. But I digress, as usual.
The Quest welcomes Debra to our trip to Air Force. I am not sure if we are welcoming her to our trip to Air Force or to Al’s post Air Force trip to Las Vegas, but in any event, Debra is along for the trip. Beth declined the invite despite my insistence that the Air Force is very nice. It must have something to do with the kegger she is planning while I am away. Beth remarks that I know her so well.
We arrived in Denver without incident, picked up the rental car, and were on our way from Denver to Colorado Springs, a one hour or so drive that was mostly uneventful. But what I will share is the most absolutely inexcusable sports fan dropping of the ball moment in the history of sports fandom. On the drive, it was discovered that the NY Jets were playing the Denver Broncos in Denver on Sunday. This could not be more of a meaningless event in my life, but Al is a Jets fan. So much so, that we held off going to Wisconsin for so long, so that he could try to time that trip for when the Jets played the Packers at Lambeau. Yet, he completely missed that the Jets were in Denver on this trip. So we spent the drive trying to figure out how Al and Debra could get to the game and not mess up their plans in Vegas. It was not to be. Al can no longer consider himself a Jet fan. Or would the proper punishment be that he has to remain a Jet fan. All I know is that I am very disappointed in him and he will never live this down.
United States Air Force Academy
We arrived at USAFA very hungry. So we headed to the Eisenhower Golf Course because google led us to believe that The Grill at the Eisenhower Golf Course would be a fine food choice for lunch. It was not. This was a snack stand that was barely edible. But we were not going anywhere else because after the flight and the drive, we were very hungry. So it would have to do.
We continued our self guided tour on the Chapel Trail. A ⅓ mile walk (uphill both ways) to the Cadet Chapel which is normally the highlight of a trip to USAFA. But as the sign at the visitors center said, the cadet chapel is closed for a multi year restoration and the expected opening is 2027. Umm, 2027. Can that be right? Oh wait, this is the government, so really, 2027, how are they going to get it done that quick? They must be paying for overtime! Seriously, 2027, are you kidding? Anyway, we walked the chapel trail and saw the chapel completely covered. So that was a bummer.
We hopped back into the car and continued the tour with Arnold Hall. We went into a building that was shaped like the tail fin of a plane and everything else there was closed for a private event. We decided to skip the planetarium as it did not look like there was anything unique to USAFA there and thus concluded the USAFA self guided tour.
It was then time to head to the hotel for some rest before dinner.
Dinner & Dessert
Dinner was at Prime25, a Colorado Springs steakhouse. Debra is an excellent concierge at reservations and meals. This is a role that she relishes on the Quest and does well. I also think she does it because she doesn’t trust us but either way it works. For a vegetarian (or for anyone), she also finds excellent steakhouses with Prime25 being no exception. The steaks were excellent and the side dishes that we had; duck fat potatoes, truffle mac and cheese, and crispy brussel sprouts, were all excellent. A win all around and we all recommend this place highly. Only negative I can cite is that they did not have cappuccino, which seems to happen a lot. Cappuccino must be a NY thing.
After dinner, we attempted to go to a place called the Principal’s Office, based on more of Debra’s fine research. But after not being able to find parking (we should have left the car at the steakhouse and walked), we simply headed to a place called Caffeinated Cow. They had cappuccino and ice cream. That was a good dessert to me. The ice cream was very good and I got my after dinner cappuccino.
This was a good place to call it a day, especially since Al & Debra did not want to go out drinking. Boo!
A 5pm local time kickoff leads to a lazy Saturday morning. Additionally, the Quest was awaiting the arrival of our guest for today, Brett Baker. He was not coming via Wheels Up as we do not have the same budget as Gameday, despite what Beth thinks. We met Brett in 2012 during our trip to Nebraska. Al connected with Brett on twitter while we were flying to Lincoln, and Brett was a fabulous host to us during our time in Lincoln spending time tailgating and plying us with a special liquor concoction that who the hell knows what was in it (actually the recipe is in the Nebraska trip report). We have remained in touch with Brett through the years and have tried to get him to come on numerous trips in the past. Brett could not pass up the opportunity to meet us at USAFA as he was a member of the Air Force. He arrived at the hotel and we did some catching up and off we went. It has been easy to keep in touch with Brett’s whereabouts due to his involvement with a little show called “Hot Ones”, where he is the “listmaker”, and possibly has a relationship with Russell Brand. See Russell serenade Brett here: https://youtu.be/4WA1_Z6GOik
So, Saturday morning’s agenda was to find a place to get some USAFA clothing that I could not get yesterday. The first stop was Dick’s with no luck. The next stop was Target and that was an even bigger failure than Dick’s. We could find no local stores that were even a possibility. Al now has his revenge because for years I have been making fun of him that he made me go to a mall (for a phone charger) on one of our previous trips and now he can say that I made him go to Dick’s and Target. I guess I will need to begrudgingly go back to the Visitor’s Center.
As an aside (which is mainly what these trip reports are in general, one giant aside), the Honda CRV we rented (and picked) was an EV version. I have to say the sounds coming out of this car make me never want to buy or consider an EV…EVER. It was as if the car was chanting. I am not sure if this was a setting or it is done on purpose so people hear the car coming, but boy was it annoying. Al researches and finds out later the sounds are coming from the outside of the car to warn pedestrians that the car is there, because electric cars make little to no sounds.
Lunch and Beyond
Lunch was at a place called Lazy Dog. The food was quite good and there were some tv’s to watch some of the early college football games, which is always a good thing. Brett caught us up on his comings and goings including his trip to Ireland for Nebraska’s game against Northwestern.
After lunch we headed over to USAFA and the Visitor’s Center. We entered through the South Gate which did not provide us any options to reach the Visitor’s Center as everything was blocked off. We had to get creative. I think we looped around the entire base, which is quite large. But we did eventually get there and I bought the shot glass I saw the day before. I did not like it yesterday and I did not like it today, but when you only have one option, you have no options. I did not purchase anything to wear since the only viable option, they did not have in my size. This was a failure and I can’t even blame the government because the shop is run by Fanatics. So a poor job by Fanatics.
We headed over to Falcon Stadium and parked…for free. There is plenty of land around the Stadium as it is located on a somewhat isolated part of the base and you generally park in a giant field, but I was still surprised there was no charge for parking.
Al had bought tickets online, so we were all good with those. We had to walk to the other side of the stadium to pick up the two media passes that we had. Here is the thing about a stadium built near a mountain, one side can be ground level with parking and the other can be ground level with the press box on the other side but to get from one to the other requires an inordinate amount of stairs. Walking to press will call and up all those stairs was a lot. Vegas had it 50/50 that at least one of us was not going to make it.
Once we did the whole pic thing, Al and I headed down to the seats and then onto the field for the field pics. I think Debra and Brett had quite the laugh watching us do a lap around the field and taking pics. In fact they were taking pics of us taking pics. Eventually we all settled into the seats.
Alas, it was too windy for the Wings of Blue parachute team to do their jump before the game. That was unfortunate. But the flyover right before kickoff was cool (see video below). If the flyover at Air Force is not a good one, then something is wrong. BTW, there are no planes on the base, and Al was very disappointed.
Al picked Boise State and I picked Air Force. So either I was going to stretch my lead or Al would close the gap.
The game started somewhat calmly with BSU receiving the opening kick and the teams exchanging punts. But on BSU’s second possession, the Broncos went on a 13 play drive to take a 7-0 lead. AF would then fumble its next possession at its own 27 yard line. The AF defense stood tall and held BSU to a field goal and BSU went up 10-0. But it was a 3 and out for AF and they had to punt back to BSU. AF took this drive down for another field goal and a 13-0 lead. It was another 3 and out for AF and another field goal for BSU and a 16-0 lead. The ensuing drive was a sign of life for AF as they went 7 plays and 75 yards mainly on a 37 yard pass completion to cut the lead to 16-7. BSU would then drive 11 plays for another field goal and a 19-7 lead which would be how the half would end. This was a half dominated by BSU and quite frankly they should have had a much larger lead.
The 3Q did not see much offense from either side as the teams traded punts a few times. But to start the 4Q, AF took the ball on its own 18 and drove 82 yards in 11 plays to cut the BSU lead to 19-14. The AF defense then held firm and forced a 3 and out. AF took over on their own 28 with 7:29 left in the game. AF was held and had to punt on 4th down, but BSU committed an illegal substitution penalty by having two players with the same number on the field at the same time. Not a penalty you see very often, in fact, I do not know if I have ever seen it before. So AF kept the drive alive and drove down to the BSU 11 yard line, where they faced a 4th and 3. After having a successful conversion brought back on a holding call, it was now 4th and 13. The 4th down play was incomplete. BSU was able to run out the clock and escape with a 19-14 win.
It was strange seeing all the people leaving during the AF drive in the 4th quarter to try to take the lead. We would understand later.
We then headed off after the game. The post game parking situation could be best described as a clusterf**k. For an organization that should be so good at logistics as the US military, to have such a disorganized disgrace exiting the parking field should be a monumental embarrassment. One can only hope this was outsourced to an organization called We Cause Traffic Jams, Inc. Kudos to having a lot of parking personnel on site to assist. Shame they were not talking to each other and coordinating the movement of cars and instead were making the situation much worse. I think it took us 15 minutes to move out of our spot into the flow of traffic. One lane was moving at a rapid pace, the other not at all. When we got to the front, we understood why, as the parking staff had no idea what they were doing. This is a logistical problem that requires a logistical solution, when you have many parking lanes merging into one giant lane to exit. This should be what the military excels at. Do not outsource this to kids who were on their phone waving flags at random times in a haphazard manner. This needs to be coordinated. Once we got to the main road the traffic was heavy but it flowed. Getting out of the parking lot…a disaster. We have gotten out of 100k seat stadiums much faster. Embarrassing! This is why people leave early during a close game.
Dinner was at a place we drove by and said, hey that looks good, Milagro’s Cocina Mexicana. It was very good and we got lucky considering not many places were open and we were randomly driving around. It was a good choice.
We headed back to the hotel and said goodbye to Brett, who was heading out early on Sunday. I pull this quote from the Nebraska trip report in 2012 “The Occupy College Football Quest movement gets another recruit as Brett indicates he will join us for a game next year.” Well it took 10 years, but Brett finally made it on a trip. Brett indicated it would not be another 10 years before he joins us again. Thanks for coming Brett, it was nice seeing you in person as opposed to on twitter and hope to see you again real soon.
Sunday was to wake up and then head out on the hour-long drive to the Denver airport. It was an uneventful drive and after dropping off the rental car and taking the shuttle to the airport, we settled in at the Amex lounge to watch some NFL football before our flights. I am heading back to NY, while Al and Debra are off to Las Vegas.
Boise State finished the regular season at 9-3, 8-0 in the Mountain West, which was good enough for 1st place in the Mountain West Mountain Division. The Broncos lost 28-16 to Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship game. But rebounded to win the Frisco Bowl 35-32 over the North Texas Mean Green.
Air Force finished the regular season 9-3, 5-3 in the Mountain West which was good for a three way tie for second in the Mountain West Mountain Division. The Falcons beat Baylor 30-15 in the aptly named Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.
For our Air Force photo album, Please click here. You can view as a collage or run as a slideshow. There are comments to explain what is in the photo but most are self explanatory. Thanks to Google, I can no longer embed the slide show with comments.