Troy Aikman: “I am an unwavering patriot”

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Troy Aikman made a private comment that made its way to the public eye, and ear. Aikman is now making a public clarification after the reaction to what he said.

Aikman and colleague Joe Buck, prior to Sunday’s Packers-Buccaneers game in a sparsely-filled Raymond James Stadium, commented on the question of whether military flyovers constitute a waste of money. Many incorrectly regarded this as “mocking” of flyovers and disrespect of the nation and the military.

Aikman has taken to Twitter to clarify himself.

“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,” Aikman said, “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.”

It’s entirely possible to be an “unwavering patriot” who respects the flag and supports the military while also questioning whether taxpayer money is properly used for displays of military might prior to a sporting event. Indeed, many unwavering patriots demonstrate their patriotism by asking tough questions of a those charged with properly managing taxpayer funds.

Even in this twisted, upside down, hyper-politicized existence of ours, questioning the prudence and wisdom of the decisions and actions of the federal government is not, cannot be, and never has been unpatriotic. It’s quintessentially patriotic to use our voices, raise our concerns, and air our grievances.

And as to those who insist that there’s no extra expenditure of money because these flyovers double as training runs for pilots (frankly, I like my flyover pilots to be fully trained in advance), why has that never before been mentioned when the question of whether flyovers at sporting events constitute a proper use of taxpayer funds has come up in the past? Why would flyovers that also represent important and critical pilot training be regarded as non-essential, and thus be suspended, during a shutdown of the federal government?

Even if there’s a dual purpose for such flights, they avoid incurring extra expense only if they already would have been flying the exact same path, over the stadium. Any deviation from normal and usual training flights surely costs extra money, and thus expends resources that arguably shouldn’t be.

The reality is that flyovers are good for military recruitment and otherwise enhancing the image and reputation of the armed services. Which arguably makes it not a waste of taxpayer money but a legitimate expense with a calculated, strategic end in mind.

Regardless, for Aikman or anyone else to suggest that it’s a waste of money doesn’t make him unpatriotic. To suggest otherwise would be to argue that true patriots should sit down and shut up regarding any and all concerns as to the proper use of public funds. While those in power may prefer their patriots to be compliant and obsequious, this country became great — and will stay great — thanks to the willingness of true patriots to ask tough questions, take unpopular positions, and do unpopular things.

36 responses to “Troy Aikman: “I am an unwavering patriot”

  1. He’s not wrong. It IS a waste of tax payer money. And yes, it’s awesome to see and hear in person, but his point is still valid

  2. I’m happy Aikman clarified. I agree with him on the flyovers but I was really disturbed with his comment about the two people that I won’t name. I listened twice and think he was being sarcastic about those two just because he named her first and said her name sarcastically. I take him at his word that he’s a patriot and supports and respects the military.

  3. Aikman is about as American as apple pie. He was stating an obvious waste of taxpayer’s money. He wasn’t griping publicly about anything. Many of us constantly complain about paying higher taxes, and Aikman was pretty much saying the same thing. Look at your pay stubs folks. You pay a lot of taxes. You get a lot of stuff in return, but what do you get for a flyover? A good feeling for about 10 seconds? Now go take a walk around one of our cities and see how many homeless veterans are sleeping outside. The cost of one of those flyovers could help take care of a lot of homeless veterans. Would a true patriot take care of homeless veterans, or choose a flyover? A lot of people who wrap themselves in the flag are some of the most un-patriotic people I’ve ever seen. Aikman doesn’t need to B.S. anybody. He’s a true patriot.

  4. A whole lot of nothing about nothing. A man can have his opinion. I can see his point about it financially and didn’t see anything it as derogatory. I think flyovers are great over a full house, but during this covid stuff with minimal guests, he makes a good point. I have a family full of Navy, Army, and Air Force vets and they would agree 💯.

  5. You rock Troy and you were right to question the waste of taxpayer’s money to do a flyover, over an empty stadium. Thank you for your service to our country.

  6. Yes, it is advertising. Yes, it is also training/practice. Two birds, one stone, maybe a couple extra bucks in gas. Pilots need to fly to keep their skills sharpened. Saying flyover pilots aren’t trained in advance is like saying the NFL veterans that show up for Spring Training and Training Camp aren’t professionals.

  7. Some men several years back didn’t like how their tax dollars were being used, so they dumped tea in a harbor. They are called Patriots.

    Nothing was wrong with Aikman and Buck’s comments. You may or may not agree with them, but they didn’t say anything too egregious.

  8. Pilots are fully trained but they have to keep their currency’s current thus the “training”, they’re fully qualified As for expending of fuel, they usually expend all their fuel prior to landing.

    I’m not knocking people for asking questions but your assumptions are wrong.

  9. I believe him and I hate the cowboys as they beat my Bills twice in the Super Bowl. He has more class than most.

  10. Lots of people have lost their jobs having their private conversations heard. I don’t agree with Troy, but don’t want anyone to lose their jobs over their beliefs. Crazy times.

  11. Being good training has been mentioned in the past- a lot. Just because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  12. Remember that the 15K see the flyover, tv audience will also see it(if producers want to show it), so it’s a good thing they did it.

  13. I agree with you Troy on the flyovers and I do not doubt your Patriotism. I suspect you pay more income taxes than most average Americans.

  14. Couldn’t have said it better. Doubt you read the comments mike, wouldn’t blame you for not. But i’m glad you wrote this.

  15. So this is one of those “if ya don’t use it, ya lose it” scenarios. These flyovers are funded at the beginning of the year. If they are not used then the funding can go away and then there would no longer be fly overs for next seasons games (or whenever fans can return).

  16. First of all the fact that they are training missions has been mentioned every time that I’ve heard somebody complain about the cost of flyovers. Second, they were suspended during the government shutdown purely for political theater. Third, these guys fly mindless and boring pretend training missions everyday. A flyover gives them much more of a sense of a real mission, with requirements, objectives, and consequences.

  17. Every professional announcer should consider any mic in their vicinity to be hot. Aikman and Buck could have had a Brennaman moment very easily.

  18. To complain about the expense of a flyover, one might also expect to hear complaints about Solar Panel subsidies; Arts funding; Congressional junkets to Thailand (etc.) and lifetime health insurance for ex-members of Congress.

    But sure, Complain about the flyover, Troy. Truly a patriot, and apparently voting for more pork and corruption.

    If Troy or Florio are worried about homeless Vets, they can take a big chunk of their massive salaries and help them out, like a whole bunch of we working stiffs who donate what we can to charitable orgs like CodeofVets and Wounded Warriors. They might wish to talk about the mental variables typically involved in 22 suicides per day, and the pointless wars that their preferred candidates support and will entangle us in yet again to assuage their corporate donors, like NBC.

    Fortunately, we have a President currently who is getting our troops out of those places, trying to end wars that have raged for two decades with no end in sight, and refused to get us entangled in yet more conflicts, all while brokering historic peace agreements in the Middle East.

    A “Harris-Biden” ticket might end flyovers, Troy, but they’ll definitely add bombing sorties so that GE, Lockheed, M-Douglas and the news media (Like Florio’s employer NBC) etc., etc., etc., can make a lot of money which will never go to the veterans actually flying those missions.

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