Challenger the American Bald Eagle will make his triumphant return to NRG Stadium this Sunday, as the famous bird is set to be a part of the Texans 'Salute to Service Day' in-game entertainment.
According to the official website, "Challenger" is a non-releasable Bald Eagle cared for by the non-profit American Eagle Foundation (formerly named National Foundation to Protect America's Eagles), headquartered at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The famous bird is the first bald eagle in U.S. history that has been trained to free-fly into professional sports stadiums during the presentation of the National Anthem. His list of appearances include five World Series, three NFL Pro-Bowls and the 2005 NCAA Men's Final Four Basketball Tournament.
Last year, HoustonTexans.com posted video footage of Challenger's flight, which gave everyone a bird's eye view (sorry, I had to) of his trip across the top of NRG Stadium. You can see the video above.
Challenger will put an exclamation point on an entire week of activities as part of the Texans Salute to Service initiative. As recently stated by the Texans management, these programs are part of the team's commitment to the community and are conducted at no cost to the Department of Defense or any branch of the military.
You can see the complete list of gameday activities for Sunday's matchup of the Jets below.
Pregame Entertainment: Military tribute video with live close of TORO repelling into the stadium
National Anthem: Staff Sargent Tracy LaBrecque from the United States Army Pershing's Own featuring Challenger the American Bald Eagle
Color Guard: Oversized USA Shaped Flag being held by active duty soldiers as well as a joint color guard with all (5) branches of the military presenting colors
Texas Flag Holders: Active duty soldiers from all five branches of the military
Halftime: The United States Marines Silent Drill Platoon