CBS College Sports Network, the broadcast home of U.S. service academy football, is saluting our nation's service academy football teams with "Armed Forces Appreciation Week."
Highlighted by an Oct. 10 tripleheader showcasing Army, Navy and Air Force, Armed Forces Appreciation Week runs through Oct. 11 and features an array of classic service academy gridiron action, vignettes encapsulating great moments from the schools, features on current and former players, as well as original programming.
The latter is highlighted by a 30-minute special that kicks off on Friday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. (ET). Inside Academy Football chronicles the daily routines of football players from each service academy, exploring how their sport intersects, enriches and informs their lives as officers-in-training for the United States military. The documentary also looks at the football experience of the service academy student bodies, delving into the tradition and meaning of football at Army, Navy and Air Force.
On Saturday, CBS College Sports, which will gain wider exposure through free previews on a number of major distributors, starts the day with a one-hour Salute to the Armed Forces pre-game show. That sets up a tripleheader featuring Army hosting Vanderbilt at noon, Navy at Rice at 3:30 p.m. and TCU at Air Force at 7:30 p.m.
Each pigskin matchup will be preceded by a special pre-game presentation, highlighted by team captains from Army, Navy and Air Force presenting legendary service academy football alumni Pete Dawkins, Joe Bellino and Chad Hennings, respectively, with a football and an American flag that originated with our servicemen/women overseas. The trio will also be part of the network's pregame show and visit the broadcast booth during the first quarter of the contests.
Army's flag and football will arrive from the Multi-National Corps-Iraq headquarters at the Al Faw Palace in Baghdad, while Navy's football will be delivered from the nuclear- powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz deployed in the Indian Ocean, where it flew on a Navy combat mission over Afghanistan. Air Force's flag and football began its journey to Colorado Springs at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
CBS College Sports Network is also offering its cable and satellite affiliates and video providers a free preview of the network. Among those distributors that will be offering the free preview to their entire customer bases: Dish Network, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS and Mediacom Communications. Elsewhere, Comcast systems in California, Chicago and Detroit will proffer the free preview, while Time Warner Cable will do the same on its systems serving New York, Los Angeles, Ohio and Texas.
In addition, the American Forces Network will simulcast CBS College Sports Network's programming on Oct. 10 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. to U.S. military installations overseas, which includes 175 countries and U.S. territories.
"We are proud to be the home of U.S. service academy football, and honored to have the U.S. military involved in this special day of programming that showcases our men and women in uniform, as well as compelling football action," said CBS College Sports executive vice president and general manager Steve Herbst in a statement. "The service academies represent some of the best young people in this country, and this initiative pays tribute to all of the student-athletes, as well as the rich history and tradition at each academy."
Added Price Floyd, principal deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for public affairs: "This will be a wonderful day for our U.S. Service Academies, our Armed Forces and college football fans. We appreciate the opportunity to highlight our bright and talented future leaders at the academies and the hard work and dedication of our military men and women serving in harm's way throughout the world."
To check out the full week-long programming schedule, go to www.cbscollegesports.com.