Fox's Troy Aikman backtracks after hot-mic criticism of NFL anthem flyover

Troy Aikman backtracked on Tuesday after making Monday headlines alongside his Fox NFL broadcast partner Joe Buck for laughing at pregame flyovers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buck and Aikman called Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers that was played in front of roughly 15,000 fans at Raymond James Stadium.

As is tradition at NFL games, a pregame flyover ensued, despite the mostly empty stadium.

Aikman and Buck had jokes.

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.”

Hot-mic moment wasn’t made for TV

The problem for Aikman and Buck is that their commentary wasn’t intended for air. But it made it to the internet, as so many things do.

Of course, there’s nothing egregious about reasonable criticism of using taxpayer funds to fly jets over football stadiums — especially one that’s mostly empty. But in the milquetoast world of the NFL, anything that can be construed — accurately or not — as a lack of patriotism sounds alarms. Especially when you’re a Dallas Cowboys icon.

Aikman: ‘I love a flyover but ...’

So Aikman issued a clarification on Tuesday — just to make sure everyone knows he’s “an unwavering patriot.”

Buck’s Twitter page, meanwhile, made no mention of the kerfuffle.

Troy Aikman, right, and Joe Buck in the booth before an NFL game.
Troy Aikman, right, clarified that he's an "unwavering patriot." (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

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