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Goodyear Blimp to be Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame

N1A and N2A just after sunset at Wingfoot Lake, illuminated by the hangar lights. Photo: Tom Quinn – OPShots.net Contributor//

Crain’s Cleveland Business – The Goodyear blimp, with its long history of aerial coverage of big games, seems to have become as much a part of college football as marching bands and cheerleaders.

Now, its role is being recognized as the iconic airship is being inducted as an honorary member into the College Football Hall of Fame, Akron-based Goodyear announced Monday, Jan. 7.

The blimp will be the first nonplayer or noncoach inducted into the hall, according to a news release.

The Goodyear blimp’s link to college football began in 1955, when the airship provided coverage for the Rose Bowl Game telecast. Since then, Goodyear blimps have covered more than 2,000 games.

“College players and fans know that when the Goodyear blimp shows up, it’s a big game,” Archie Manning, National Football Foundation chairman, said in the release. “Its presence is intrinsically known and tied to the traditions that make college football so great. As the eye in the sky to college football’s greatest coaches, players and moments, it’s only fitting that the Goodyear blimp joins the College Football Hall of Fame in a year when the game celebrates its 150th anniversary.”

The blimp was part of ESPN’s coverage of the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, Jan. 7. The game resulted in No. 1 Alabama being upset by No. 2 Clemson 44-16 in a thrilling game in Santa Clara, California. ESPN ran a “BlimpCast” on ESPN3 and the ESPN app as part of the coverage.

“Goodyear is proud that our iconic airship is an honorary member of the College Football Hall of Fame and will live in the company of college football legends,” said Todd Macsuga, Goodyear’s general manager of brand marketing, North America consumer, in the release. “The Goodyear blimp has established itself as a symbol of the greatness that takes place on college football fields each Saturday.”

A new exhibit — including artifacts, pictures and videos — outlining the blimp’s history with college football will open later this year at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Cole Goldberg

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