‘Challenger’ the Bald Eagle Soars at NFL Games
Fall means Football for American Eagle Foundation (AEF) staff and Bald Eagle Challenger. Challenger is loaded into his custom-made carrier, carefully placed inside a Delta plane, and flown to a variety of stadiums across the nation. Hundreds of thousands of sports enthusiasts are inevitably captivated as they watch this famous non-releasable, free-flying Bald Eagle, the U.S.A’s living symbol of Freedom, soar majestically over their heads and into the stadium as the Star Spangled Banner is performed during pre-game festivities.
For the first time in AEF history, Challenger wore a special action cam on his back at several of these events, giving viewers a close-up eagle-eye view of his flights. WBIR Channel 10 News interviewed AEF President Al Cecere about this new technology.
Bald Eagle Challenger Collegiate and NFL Appearances
- University of Michigan vs. Miami (Ohio) – September 13, 2014 (At the University of Michigan)
- Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins – September 21, 2014 – (Lincoln Financial Field In Philadelphia)
- Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina Panthers – Nov. 10, 2014 – (Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia)
- Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – Nov. 17, 2014 – (LP Field in Nashville)
- Houston Texans vs Cincinnati Bengals – Nov. 23, 2014 – (NRG Stadium in Houston) – This was the first time in NFL history where Challenger wore an action camera during a flight into a stadium. The spectacular video was picked up by NBC, Fox, CBS, Yahoo, and many other media outlets, and reported as “trending” on the NBC Today Show Tuesday, Nov. 25. USA Today said, “Before the Bengals-Texans game Sunday, a Bald Eagle named Challenger flew around the stadium wearing a GoPro camera, and the end result is one of the most American videos we’ve ever seen.” NBC Channel 10 in Philadelphia said, “The only bad thing about this video is that the team named after the bird didn’t do it first.”
- Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys – Dec. 14, 2014 (Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia)
Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati Bengals – FACEBOOK VIDEO REACHES 1 MILLION VIEWS – Jan. 4, 2015 (Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis) – Watch this extended narrated video about the process involved in Challenger’s flight, narrated by Spencer Williams and Al Cecere. Terrific highlights—you will feel like you were there!