Bald eagle 'Challenger' to appear at BC game

I'm a sucker for animals. What can I say? Not much other than get there early, BC fans, to see this feathered friend:

Boston College has invited Challenger The Eagle to make a pregame appearance before the Notre Dame game on Saturday.

Named in honor of the lost space shuttle crew, Challenger is the first Bald Eagle in American history trained to free-fly into stadiums and arenas during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

“We have seen Challenger fly pregame for NFL and MLB teams and felt it would be a great opportunity to have him perform in Alumni Stadium for our fans,” athletic director Gene DeFilippo said in a prepared statement.

Gates open 90 minutes prior to kickoff and the pregame ceremonies will begin 30 minutes before kickoff.