Joe Buck explains Troy Aikman's flyover comments: 'He was being 100 percent sarcastic'

Liz Roscher
·3-min read

Broadcaster Joe Buck has been silent since he and his broadcast partner Troy Aikman were caught on mic during Monday Night Football appearing to slam military flyovers at sporting events. Aikman backtracked on those comments on Twitter the very next day, but Buck said nothing at all.

It turns out Buck’s silence wasn’t a sign that he was abandoning Aikman, but rather an effort to try and make the whole thing go away. On “Daddy Issues,” his podcast with actor Oliver Hudson, Buck finally commented on the whole kerfuffle and explained exactly what happened.

‘100 percent sarcastic’

Buck and Aikman laughing at military flyovers, plus Aikman saying they would no longer happen on a “Kamala-Biden ticket,” appeared to be a hot mic situation, with neither knowing they were actually being recorded while they were talking. On the podcast, Buck said that it definitely wasn’t a case of them blabbing into a hot mic.

“Here’s what people don’t get. They say that this was an open mic or a hot mic. It wasn’t. This was before our rehearsal. So this wasn’t like ‘Oops, we’re on, I can’t believe I just said that, oh my God we’re on.’ That’s not what happened.”

In this Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, photo, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Joe Buck, left, and analyst Troy Aikman, right, work in the broadcast booth before a preseason NFL football game between the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The exhibition game served as a dress rehearsal for the Fox Sports crew for the upcoming Super Bowl to be hosted by Miami in 2020. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman don't actually hate flyovers, they were being sarcastic in a pre-broadcast Monday Night Football clip that was leaked to the press. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

So what actually did happen? Aikman wasn’t caught in a moment of scalding honesty, he was actually being sarcastic and imitating a close friend from their FOX NFL crew while he and Buck were joking around before the broadcast.

“This is going on before the anthem. We’re rehearsing and joking around, which I’ve done and every broadcaster does, I’ve done it for 30 years. ... Troy, in the microphone, is repeating something that he heard the night before from ... an unnamed person on our crew, saying — this person happens to be very far-left — ‘Oh, well, under Biden-Harris, that’s not gonna happen!’ And Troy was repeating that, watching the flyover. So they clipped that, as if he’s saying that, as if he’s a Harris-Biden fan. And he’s repeating something that somebody said the night before! ... If you know Troy at all, he was being 100 percent sarcastic.”

Buck then joined in the fun, using what he called a “1950s voice” to say something about “your tax dollars at work.” That pre-broadcast moment was then clipped by an unknown employee and leaked to Defector. Buck said that there’s currently an internal investigation to find out who did it.

What took Buck so long to say something?

Buck didn’t say anything about the flyover comments for three days after it happened, and on the podcast he revealed why he chose to stay silent. He wasn’t hanging Aikman out to dry; he was trying to make the controversy go away.

“If something happens and it becomes quote-unquote ‘controversial,’ if you then weigh in on the other end you then give it more air and you give it more life. If I sit off to the side and let people think what they want to think — which, they’re so wrong and they just read headlines and they don’t have any idea how this whole thing unfolded — then if I chime in, it lives on another couple days. If I just shut up it flares up for 18 hours and then in this news cycle it’s gone.”

That absolutely did not happen in this case, mostly because no one explained how Aikman had been caught saying what he’d said, and that includes Aikman himself. Waiting three days before offering the only explanation for an embarrassing broadcasting moment extends the story.

But now the truth is known. Aikman apparently doesn’t hate flyovers. A concerned nation can finally rest easy.

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