They say swimsuit shots equal Web traffic. So:
These particular beach bums date from the pre-Hasselhoff era — 1980, to be exact. And they’re not exactly bums. That’s the Air Force football team jogging on Waikiki Beach, according to the caption provided by the National Archives, before facing Hawaii in a season-ending showdown.
The details may be lost to history — for one thing, the National Archives dates the picture Dec. 3, 1980, and the teams played Nov. 29, according to the Air Force media guide. This much is clear: The Falcons wouldn’t have much reason to be gallivanting around in their beachwear after the game, which they lost, 20-12, to cap a 2-9-1 season.
It was Air Force football’s first trip to Hawaii; the teams met in 1966 in Colorado Springs, with the Falcons winning 54-0. It was also the first year of Western Athletic Conference play for Air Force, which led to frequent trips over the Pacific to face their conference rival.
Air Force left the WAC after the 1998 season to join the Mountain West Conference. After this season, WAC football will join this particular photo in a dusty part of the archives.
But don’t rule out a second act. After all, conference realignment could hold plenty of surprises. And even this picture found new life in the modern age, via the Internet’s most trusted name in research.