Super Bowl salute: A quick military-themed guide to the big game


It’s gone under-reported by the mainstream media, but there is, in fact, a football game on Sunday. (USA Today Sports photo by Matthew Emmons)

If you’re looking for a thorough breakdown of Super Bowl XLVII — analyzing every angle, grading every position, charting the careers of the brothers Harbaugh back through junior high — you’ve come to the wrong place.

You can find said breakdown anywhere. We’d suggest these guys, by the way. Heck, even the folks at the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System, better known as DVIDS, are in on the act, if you’re curious how an Air Force public affairs staffer thinks the big game will go.

If you’re officially sick of pregame hype but need something to pass the time before the commercials start, here’s a quick spin around the web for 10 military links to the NFL’s crowning moment.

1. Hall’s fame. Air Force Academy grad Chad Hall is headed to New Orleans as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. He was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster before the NFC Championship game in Atlanta. Get the basics from our Air Force friends at Flightlines here, and from the academy here. The Denver Post goes all-out here. And he’s on Twitter.

2. What about Hall-themed female apparel options? Covered.

3. Making the trip. In case you missed it, some sailors are also bound for New Orleans. And their journey — from an aircraft carrier in 5th Fleet — is a bit farther than Hall’s.

4. More giveaways. Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support is throwing a Super Bowl pizza party for troops in Afghanistan. On the menu: Nearly 50,000 pounds of chicken wings and 46,000 pounds of pizza. Also, 9,800 cases of nonalcoholic beer.

5. Wait, what? Yes, according to Google, the phrase “9,800 cases of nonalcoholic beer” has never been used on the Internet until this particular event.

6. Hometown heroes. The New Orleans Saints didn’t make the Super Bowl, but that didn’t stop Saints players and cheerleaders from showing up to entertain the troops at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans. A full write-up, and a great slideshow of glowing service members, here.

7. A bit of color. The Army folks put together a short feature on the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard that will take the field before Sunday’s contest. Key quote from Air Force Master Sgt. Antonio Frese: “This game has meant the world to me by connecting me to home and now I get to be a rifleman next to the American flag. It is an honor.”

8. Can I bet on how many planes are in the pregame flyover? Of course, but only if gambling is legal where you’re sitting. Please wager responsibly.

9. Skipping the country. Two Washington Redskins are on a goodwill mission to Japan over Super Bowl week. Key picture: Tight end Niles Paul “being stupid in the bomb suit.” Follow his Twitter antics here.

10. History blurb. The first head coach of the San Francisco 49ers? Santa Clara legend Lawrence “Buck” Shaw, who led the squad to a 9-5 record in 1946 as members of the All-American Football Conference. Shaw also coached the club to a 3-9 mark in 1950, its first NFL season. He stayed on through 1954.

The first head coach of the Air Force Academy in a varsity season? Lawrence “Buck” Shaw, who coached the Falcons to a 6-2-1 record in 1956. Shaw, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, left after two seasons and returned to the NFL, where he led the Philadelphia Eagles to the 1960 NFL title.


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