Rare air: Goodyear Blimp honored with Hall of Fame induction

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PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 01: The Goodyear blimp is seen during the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Goodyear Blimp is flying into rarefied air.

As a nod to its influence and legacy to the game, the iconic airship is being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as an honorary member — the first non-player or coach to be inducted. The latest class of 13 players and two coaches was scheduled to be announced later Monday.

The blimp’s flight to fame began during the telecast for the 1955 Rose Bowl Game and has led to it being an eye in the sky at over 2,000 games, hovering above stadiums from coast to coast.

Hall of Fame quarterback Archie Manning said the blimp’s presence “is intrinsically known and tied to the traditions that make college football so great.” Manning is the National Football Foundation chairman.

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said playing and broadcasting games when the blimp is present is “‘special.”

The Goodyear Blimp was the first to provide aerial coverage of a major sports event and first to deliver high definition live video to a national game.

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