MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sunday night, all eyes will be on the big game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, but a Memphis family and their friends will be watching for another reason.
High above the Super Bowl game, history will be made not just on the field featuring the Eagles and Chiefs, but in the sky.
The pre-game flyover will feature for the first time an all-female aircrew celebrating 50 years of women flying for the Navy and one of them taking center stage is from Memphis and happens to be Courtney Rudolph’s daughter.
“Well, my daughter is a naval flight surgeon and she’s out with the flying in California and several of her squadron were included in the Pre-Super Bowl flyover,” Courtney said.
Lieutenant Taylor Rudolph, a native of Memphis, is one of those supporting the flyover as a member of Strike Fighter Squadron 122.
During the 2023 Super Bowl National Anthem performance, three Navy tactical squadrons will conduct a unified flyover.
“As a Naval flight surgeon, she’s the flight doc. She’s kind of like the one that okays you to go up and for all the VIPs that’ll be there this week, she’s got to clear them as well,” Courtney said.
Lieutenant Rudolph grew up in Memphis. She graduated from Saint Benedict at Auburndale High School in Cordova in 2008 and later graduated from the University of Alabama in 2012, which is probably why she’s hoping the Eagles, along with Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith, pull off a win.
“It’s kind of a dream come true. She a huge Alabama fan. So she hopes to meet Jalen and Devonta. She’s a very good football fan,” her father said.
For the Rudolph family, there’s a sense of excitement and pride.
“As a proud daddy, I’m most proud of the fact that she’s serving her country and she’s basically put in the hours and the time,” Courtney said.
But the flyover will also be about history and the accomplishment of women taking flight in the US Navy and a Memphian being seen on the world’s biggest stage.
“This is kind of a celebration of 50 years of women in the military pilot arena. So, it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal,” Courtney said.
Lieutenant Rudolph’s dad said she’s also proud to be from Memphis and represent the city known for its “Grit and Grind.”