Joe Buck, Troy Aikman mock military flyovers before Buccaneers’ win over Packers
The atmosphere for NFL games is a little more subdued this season, thanks to a pandemic that has, among other things, deprived NFL stadiums from being packed with amped fans at the time of kick-off (well, unless you’re in Jacksonville — that looks pretty much the same).
Yet, despite the scaled-back production of NFL games in 2020 — and before even getting into the ongoing debate over the politics of patriotism, respecting the flag, and the current moment of racial and social reckoning happening in America — the league is still continuing one evidently essential component of its pre-game pageantry: the fly-over.
On Sunday, even FOX announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman felt the ritual of watching military fighter jets zoom overhead prior to kickoff felt a little strange in these turbulent and unusual times in which so many people have lost their jobs and the country remains in an economic recession.
A Defector reader picked up the audio of Buck and Aikman bantering about the increasingly tone-deaf ritual ahead of the Week 6 matchup bewteen the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in front of a sparse Raymond James Stadium crowd.
JOE 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.
— Defector (@DefectorMedia) October 19, 2020
In June, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a memo explaining the various cost-cutting measures the league began taking in June as a result of the pandemic.
“It is clear that the economic effects will be deeper and longer lasting than anyone anticipated and that their duration remains uncertain. The downturn has affected all of us, as well as our fans, our business partners, and our clubs,”
Apparently, any financial losses haven’t prevented the league from continuing the expensive pregame flex of military power.