As Air Force and Navy prepare for their annual football match tomorrow in Annapolis, their rivalry has been playing out all week in another tradition: the battle of the pranks.
Air Force cadets on exchange at the Naval Academy have taken responsibility for temporarily renaming the former David Taylor Research Center - across the Severn River from the Yard - the "Sink Navy" Research Center. And several Air Force planes have flown low over Annapolis, their roar drowning out the noon meal formation and a pep rally this week.
The pranksters may have met their match in midshipmen spending a semester at the Air Force Academy.
Perhaps seeking to best a stunt from two years ago when a vintage Air Force Academy plane was painted blue and gold, midshipmen painted a giant blue "C" and "H" before the "AIR FORCE" that lines the top bleacher level at Falcon Stadium. The Air Force sometimes is jokingly called the "Chair Force" by members of other service branches, a jibe implying that airmen spend much of their time in their seats.
Troy Garnhart, a spokesman for Air Force sports, said the paint will be removed from the bleachers by the time the Falcons play the University of Nevada, Las Vegas next week.
Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said the pranks show "great spirit," Garnhart said.