(Not) UFO Overhead and Star Trek Man on the Pitch Made the 2022 Rose Bowl One to Remember

B-2 Spirit over Rose Bowl 14 photos
Photo: USAF/
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On the second day of the year, the Ohio State Buckeyes faced off against the Utah Utes and managed to emerge victorious 48 to 45. As usual, the Rose Bowl was a mammoth event, with close to 90,000 people getting together at the stadium in Pasadena, California.
With Star Trek’s LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) acting as Grand Marshal, and the Rose Parade preceding the big show, the event was much more than a college football bowl game. It was a spectacle, one that left many with memories for a lifetime.

Having just taken part in other New Year events, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) didn’t want to miss out on the show, of course, and tasked the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri with using one of its planes to do a flyover of the stadium. The plane chosen for the task was a B-2 Spirit, one of the most weirdly shaped aircraft currently being flown by the American military aviators.

Looking more like an alien UFO than an Earth-based airplane meant to bomb enemy positions into oblivion, the B-2 must have been quite a sight, as seen in this pic recently released by the military branch.

The USAF is a constant presence at sporting events across America, but the B-2 is not something one gets to see all that often. With just 20 of them in active inventory and a price per piece of $737 million back in 1997, when it first came to be ($1.2 billion adjusted for inflation), that’s pretty understandable.

The plane did not get to show all of its prowess in the skies over Pasadena, of course, but we all know what a formidable machine it is. During Operation Allied Force back in 1999, the plane was sent in combat over Serbia destroying 33 percent of all targets in the first eight weeks.

The incredible thing about that is the plane did not take off from a nearby operating base, but had to fly from Missouri to Kosovo (5,450 miles/8,770 km) and back it each time it went on a bomb run.

Separately, during Operation Iraqi Freedom in the 2000s, it dropped more than 1.5 million pounds of munitions during 49 sorties.

At the moment, with America not engaged in any open, large scale war, the bomber seems content to wowing crowds. And we’re not one bit sorry it does.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows other B-2s.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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