The Air Force's stated criterion for "Aerial Event Support" is that to qualify for fighter jets, the event "must be one in which an Air Force flyover contributes immeasurable meaning," such as the officially titled "NFL Kickoff Live 2003 From the National Mall Presented by Pepsi Vanilla." At that nationally televised September 4 concert, which took place immediately preceding the first NFL game of the season, pop singer Britney Spears performed to a crowd of 25,000 military personnel who were ordered to show up in uniform for the benefit of the cameras. The day before, Spears had told a CNN interviewer who asked her whether she supported the war in Iraq, "Honestly, I just think we should trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens."
Five minutes into the Broncos game, the Vietnam vet lost faith in begging for a free ticket and gathered up his coat and the half a hot dog he had stashed beneath it. As he walked away, the Broncos scored their first touchdown, and fireworks exploded in the darkening sky.