What’s the Deal With Jet Pack Man?

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If you’ve been at DKR this season, you’ve surely seen—though probably not understood—the spectacle just before kickoff in the south end zone. A rocketeer stands in the middle of a circle-shaped tarp, a jet pack on his back. He flies 150-or-so feet in the air, spins around 360 degrees, and lands back on the tarp. It’s over in about half a minute. That’s it; fans at the game are given no context for this weird, ephemeral spectacle.

Turns out, it’s called the Mighty Fine Longhorn Liftoff—Mighty Fine being the local Austin burger chain that has partnered with UT Athletics for more than 10 years. This latest stunt will occur at every home game this season, piloted by performance pilots for JetPack International, Mighty Fine’s partner in the promotion.

At the August 30 home opener against North Texas, Nick Macomber of JetPack International took flight to a mildly amused and confused crowd of 93,201. According to K&N Management, the company that owns Mighty Fine, that’s a world record for the number of people to witness a jet pack flight. Macomber took flight at the BYU and Baylor games, and will continue his ritual against Iowa State, West Virginia, and TCU, in Texas’ remaining home games.

“If you add up the hours it takes for a 25-second flight, it’s pretty ridiculous,” Macomber said, in an interview with the Statesman. “Then again, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous.”

So, to get the full Longhorn football experience at DKR the rest of the season—and perhaps beyond—come early, be loud, stay late, wear orange … and look up.

Photo courtesy UT Athletics.

 

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