American college football: Huge bald eagle lands on fans

Clark, an American bald eagle Image copyright Reuters
Image caption An American bald eagle named Clark delighted 90,0000 fans with his unscheduled antics

The eagle has landed – not once, but twice.

Two American football fans got the surprise of their lives on Saturday when a North American bald eagle went rogue at a college football game in Texas, and decided to perch in the crowd.

The sizeable bird, which goes by the name of Clark, was apparently meant to fly around the stadium during the national anthem, before a 90,000-strong crowd watched the Cotton Bowl, the college football playoff semi-final between Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Clemson Tigers.

But instead of landing near his handler, he made straight for Notre Dame fan Albert Armas.

Mr Armas, 42, later admitted he was scared when the huge bird took hold of his shoulder.

His 13-year-old son Jaysen, who got tickets to the game for Christmas, spent 20 joyful seconds chuckling at his dad’s expense.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Notre Dame fan Albert Armas was seen flinching as his unexpected visitor spread his wings

Pictures and footage from the AT&T Stadium in Arlington show fellow fans cheering and whipping out their phones to capture the unusual moment.

Clark wasn’t content with visiting one spectator, however – and a second Notre Dame fan, Tuyen Nguyen, was delighted to lend an arm.

He told Sports Illustrated: “When I saw the bird land [on Armas], I thought the bird had to be very tired. So I put my hand out to see what happens. And it landed on me. It was very interesting. I was very excited. It was amazing, I couldn’t even believe it.”

Spare a thought for his wife Kim, though – she had gone to the toilet and missed the whole thing.

Kimberley Martin, a senior NFL writer for Yahoo Sports, shared the scene on Twitter, where some called it a good omen for Notre Dame.

Image copyright ALLSPORT/Getty Images
Image caption Tuyen Nguyen deliberately stuck out his arm as a berth for the huge bird
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Unfortunately, his wife took an ill-timed bathroom break and missed the whole encounter

Nobody was injured by the bird’s unplanned antics, and Clark himself was successfully retrieved by his handlers.

And as for the omen? Sadly for Notre Dame, Clemson still beat them 30-3.

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?