Ron Buckley has traveled to many Oklahoma football games.
He's never gotten there like he will Saturday.
The Air Force colonel will be piloting one of the F-15Es roaring over Owen Field during a pregame flyby.
For the man who not only oversees a massive fighter wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho but also considers himself a lifelong Sooner fan, being part of the flyby before the Oklahoma-Air Force game is special.
"Chance of a lifetime," he said.
Buckley grew up in Elk City. Even though everyone in his family became Oklahoma State fans, Buckley liked both OU and OSU. He went to football camp in Norman and Stillwater. He dreamed of one day playing for the Sooners or the Cowboys.
Neither the crimson nor the orange came calling, but Stanford was interested. So was Air Force.
Then, Buckley broke his ankle early in his senior year. Stanford backed off, and only Air Force remained.
"I'll be honest," Buckley said, "the only reason I went there was to play football."
"I knew it was prestigious to go to the Air Force Academy. I knew it was a great school. But when I got there, I went to play football."
Buckley, a quarterback, was locked in a battle for the starting spot coming out of spring practice, but the Falcons decided to go with another youngster named Troy Calhoun.
Two decades later, Calhoun is the coach at Air Force.
"It's neat to see what he's done in his career," Buckley said. "He's a superstar."
The same could be said of Buckley. Even he originally went to Air Force to play football, his passion changed the summer he went to Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla. He got to ride in the back seat of an F-15 for the first time.
"That is what I want to do for the rest of my life," he thought when he climbed out of the cockpit.
Since then, he's had assignments all over the country. He's been as close to home as Vance Air Force Base in Enid and Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio and as far away as the Pentagon and the White House.
From 2004-06, he was Senior Military Aide to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Part of his duties: being responsible for the briefcase that holds authentication codes needed to launch a nuclear attack.
"I actually carried 'the nuclear football,'" Buckley said of the contraption's nickname.
Talk about needing serious ball security.
Through the assignments and the moves, Buckley and his wife, Traci, have had Sooner season tickets. She had a chance to buy them when she graduated from OU, and the Buckleys aren't about to give them up.
Traci's parents use them much of the time, but Traci and the couple's two daughters will use the seats Saturday. They'll be cheering the Sooners.
As for Buckley?
"I love Oklahoma," he said. "I love OU."
"But ... "
"I can't go against my alma mater."
The good news for Buckley is that no matter what the outcome of the game is, a team that he loves will win.
He won't have to hassle with any of that game-day traffic either.