[Sports] Husky Stadium flyover

November 9, 2010



I’m seriously not used to blogging…it’s been 3 weeks! I need to get better about that.

Well, I have an exciting story…to me, at least. 🙂

My friend D.Hour (UW Athletic Dept, remember) asked me to photograph the flyover before the Huskies vs. Stanford football game on 10/30. What’s the flyover? It occurs just after the conclusion of the National Anthem, and planes/jets fly over the stadium, make a bunch of noise and get people fired up for the game…not sure why the flyover has this effect, but it is a Husky tradition, nevertheless.

On 10/30, four Air Force fighter jets were scheduled to fly over the stadium. In order to get a good view of the whole production, we got to go ON THE ROOF OF HUSKY STADIUM!!! It was pouring rain – just like the game against ASU – so I’m 0-2 on fair-weather football days. But it didn’t matter – I would NOT miss this opportunity!! If you think the view from the north side of the stadium is ooo- and aaa-worthy, then being on the roof is definitely somethin’ to write home about.

Daniel and I took the elevator up to the press box area on the south side of the stadium and met up with two Air Force guys, one of whom would be communicating with the pilots to cue them for the flyover. We hiked up two flights of stairs and out a door that spit us out onto a wood plank that runs from the door to about a yard from the edge of the roof. It’s not even 18″ wide, and there’s a lovely old wood railing for balance… 🙂 My parents asked me if I got vertigo up there, and “no,” I didn’t…the slope is very gradual and we’re in the very middle of the roof, it’s not like we’re roped in and hanging from the edge thinking we might fall on some poor soul in 50:V:14-16 (shout out to my season tix partnuhs, Larry and Holzer). So I was able to completely focus on photography and trying to keep my camera dry. 🙂

Coordinating the flyover is very meticulous – D.Hour had a schedule of the Husky Marching Band’s playlist and the exact time they were supposed to play a song…15:47 ’til game time is Bow Down to Washington, National Anthem is around 8:03 or something (haha yes I’m making up the times, but my point is that EVVery SINNgle SONNG is laid out to the second). Then the Air Force guy (that sounds so informal but I forget his name at the moment…I want to say Brian)…was on his radio relaying the timing information to the pilots. At one point the band was eight seconds behind and D.Hour was on his radio (complete with cool, transparent, Secret Service ear piece thingamajig) trying to figure out whether they’d make up the time or not, etc. etc.

When all was said and done, the National Anthem ended, and then about three seconds later we (the three of us on the roof) saw the fighter jets descend from the clouds far across Lake Washington and head our way. In just a few seconds they roared over Husky Stadium, and my sister Hailey, who was in the Dawg Pack, heard the jets and quickly sent me a text saying “Woohoo!”

So basically this experience was pretty much awesome and I’m so grateful to D.Hour for asking me to take part in all of these opportunities. And being the rock star that he is, of course, I had a REAL media pass for the day, which means I also got to shoot from the sidelines again! I’ll talk about that in my next post… For now, enjoy the Husky Stadium from from the top! 🙂