This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire
. The author of this post is Hank Berrien
After blowback erupted from the comments NFL announcers Troy Aikman and Joe Buck made about a military flyover prior to Sunday's Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Green Bay Packers game, Aikman responded on Twitter Tuesday night, asserting that he "loves this country, has always respected our flag, supported the men and women in the armed forces as well as those in uniform who serve & protect."
Aikman wrote: "I love a flyover but It was odd to see one over a mostly empty stadium but I am an unwavering patriot that loves this country, has always respected our flag, supported the men and women in the armed forces as well as those in uniform who serve & protect and for anyone to suggest otherwise doesn't know me, my beliefs or what I have stood for my entire life."
As The Daily Wire reported
, before the Buccaneers easily defeated the Packers 38-10 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Sunday, game announcers Buck and Aikman were caught on a hot mic appearing to criticize a military flyover using four A-10 aircraft following the national anthem, with Aikman predicting, "That stuff ain't happening with Kamala-Biden ticket, I'll tell you that right now, partner."
Aikman started the exchange, commenting, "That's a lot of jet fuel just to do a little flyover."
Buck responded, "That's your hard-earned money and your tax dollars at work."
Aikman then offered a form of political endorsement: "That stuff ain't happening with [a] Kamala-Biden ticket, I'll tell you that right now, partner."
Stars and Stripes
noted in March 2018 that according to Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Bentley, military flyovers don't cost taxpayers since the flyovers are part of training missions. A flyover can be 10 minutes of a 12-hour mission.
Lt. Col. Richard Bittner, public affairs director for the Florida National Guard, whose 125th Fighter Wing has conducted flyovers, stated that flyovers give pilots useful training
and also work as recruiting tools. He said pilots would be doing training flights on weekends anyway, remarking, "Trying to get over that target at the precise moment the National Anthem is ending is precision training."
Retired Air Force aviator Paul W. Ambs, who performed many flyovers, echoed, "It was productive flight time and does relate to what would be a real-time mission."
The Daily Wire pointed out that Aikman's apparent Harris-Biden endorsement in the hot mic incident ran counter to his past support for Republicans. Aikman has supported Republicans in the past. The Washington Examiner
reported in 2013, "Supporting a fellow Texan, the former Cowboys quarterback contributed to former President George W. Bush's presidential campaign. Aikman gave a total of $27,300 to the RNC and Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney."
Although some respondents on Twitter supported Aikman's comments, there were others who felt that Aikman's clarification on Tuesday didn't change how they felt about the issue:
Nationally syndicated columnist Andrew Malcom noted, "As a mere TV talker dont know if you're aware anyone in the stadium is a minute fraction of all the people watching on TV who see & love flyovers if your crews bother to show them. Also mil pilots nd flite hrs to stay qualified to defend us."