Like Joe Buck wasn't busy enough these days. Now, in the middle of a full slate of baseball postseason games and an NFL schedule that changes by the hour, he's got to figure out which of his Fox Sports coworkers released this hot mic moment.
BUCK: Welcome to Big Noon Saturday!
TROY AIKMAN: That’s a lot of jet fuel just to do a little flyover.
BUCK: That’s your hard-earned money and your tax dollars at work!
AIKMAN: That stuff ain’t happening with a Kamala-Biden ticket. I’ll tell you that right now, partner.
So let's review. We're two weeks before the most polarizing election in a country that is more divided now than at any time since it was literally divided by a savage war 160 years ago. And the number one announcing team on a network that is owned the most conservative national news outlet is caught mocking the NFL's use of the military, the DoD budget. seeming to blame it on the incumbent president and endorse one ticket over the other. I should add, in a private moment.
This should be good.
And yup. It already is. With Blue Checks on both sides of the political divide blowing up Twitter to either demand Buck and Aikman be fired or to hail them for speaking truth to power and demand an end to these wasteful symbols of the military-industrial complex's tyranny once and for all. And we're only in the early stages of this story. My guess is it's about to be fed into the meat grinder of the insatiable news cycle until someone else says something controversial and we all move on.
Speaking strictly for me, people who want Buck and Aikman to lose their jobs for saying this are imbeciles. And people who demand military flyovers stop immediately because they're too expensive are hypocrites. Or at least if they're speaking up now, they're about a hundred years too late because there is nothing at all new about military aircraft flying over major public events.
Flyovers are part of America's heritage. One of the first flyovers was during Game 1 of baseball’s first World Series played between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs at Comiskey Park in Chicago on Sept. 5, 1918. Army biplanes buzzed the field to the delight of spectators.
One of the largest flyovers was conducted Sept. 2, 1945, during the World War II surrender ceremony of Japan aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, when numerous squadrons of carrier-based fighter aircraft flew overhead. …
Allies and partners around the world also perform flyovers. The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Indian Air Force call their flyovers flypasts.
The UK's Royal Air Force performed one of the first flypasts in 1913 when they honored King George V.
Are they expensive? I have no idea. Probably. But I don't remember reading about anyone calculating the cost of petrol the Woodrow Wilson administration was shelling out in 1918. Or how Harry Truman was pissing our tax dollars away to show the what-fer to our already defeated enemy back in '45. Hell, all of us where there when we were regularly doing flyovers during eight years of Obama, eight years of Bush II and eight years of Clinton. Or last spring for that matter:
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the Defense Department has … demonstrated gratitude to health care workers by conducting flyovers in many cities and states throughout the U.S. — including Detroit, New York City, Chicago, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Washington state — with more flyovers planned for Los Angeles today and other areas. …
A flyover includes jets, transports and helicopters flying over an area to honor people or to commemorate important events such as the anniversaries of the World War II Allies' victories over Nazi Germany and Japan.
On May 8, a mix of Air Force aircraft and vintage World War II and post-WWII planes flew over Seattle, Tacoma and other areas of northwest Washington state to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and to honor health care workers.
And there was no national hue and cry about the jet fuel budget. We just kind of watched the planes and thought that was pretty kickass. The same for Parades of Sail. Like a few years ago when my kids were little and we went to Boston Harbor to see the aircraft carrier the USS John F. Kennedy. Or a million other military groups participating in a million other parades. I see the DoD send bands to literally every major celebration from the Tournament of Roses parade to the 4th of July Esplanade concert to every football game by all three academies. Just like the world has been doing since antiquity. Military pageantry of some kind has been a part of civic celebrations for almost as long as we've had soldiers. I'm sure when the Legionnaires were marching through Rome for before the gladiator fights there was someone bitching about how much this costs and wouldn't the money be better spent on the aqueduct or slaughtering Christians.
Personally, I'm partial on the topic. I love the flyovers. LOVE them. I'm not ashamed to admit I get emotional every time a Stealth bomber or a squadron in the "missing man" formation hits their mark at the exact last note of the National Anthem. That's just me. I acknowledge that it's an extravagance. But so are hundreds of other things in the federal budget I'd rather us not waste our money on. But since when did we start caring about what the government spends? I thought we gave up ever expecting to pay off our bills generations ago. Because it seems to me that any time a candidate says they're going to cut the budget anywhere, their campaign goes down in flames. And thinking that somehow getting rid of this one thing, which happens to be a show of pride for the men and women who serve, to me seems like a really strange place to start. And will solve nothing.
But seriously back off calling for Buck and Aikman to be fired. It makes those of us who think flyovers are an awe-inspiring part of our culture just sound like morons.