In American football, an inflatable tunnel or air-inflated tunnel is a tunnel that is inflated by an external cold air inflation fan connected to the tunnel via an inflation tube. Inflatable tunnels are customarily 10 to 30 ft (3 to 9 m) long when inflated and often attached to inflatable helmets, mascots or team logos.
Inflatable tunnels are typically used by professional, college and high school sports teams and first started appearing in the 1980s. Most NFL teams now use an inflatable tunnel for player introductions. By 1996, inflatable tunnels began to be used by high school football programs, and their use is now common at the high school level in top football states like Texas.
- Michael Florek, "Taking spirit to a new level: Spending $1,000s on inflatable helmets, tunnels the new norm in Texas HS football", Dallas News, September 20, 2012.
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