When it comes to discussing the relationship between the Department of Defense and Professional Sports, Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have fumbled the ball.
There has been a lot of talk about why the Baltimore Ravens received more money from the Military than any other team. If our politicians would open their eyes and look at the poverty, unemployment, and rate of homelessness in the great city of Baltimore, they will realize that joining the military might be the only way many high school graduates would ever get a college education, job, or roof over their heads.
They talk about the cost of flyovers; borrowing a line from Mitt Romney, the “net net cost” is actually zero for most flyovers. Being that the flight time for pilots and crews that are doing flyovers at most sporting events counts towards their required proficiency or training hours, does it make more sense to do these flyovers over the ocean where the only ones applauding are dolphins and seals or over a professional sports stadium where the applause is from 70 to 100,000 proud Americans.
I personally know many pilots, as I am sure Senator McCain does, who said they decided to become a fighter pilot when they saw military jet fly overhead at a sporting event.
Over the years I have done about 18 Military Appreciation Days. I have three children in the armed forces. I have done the military pre-game activities for the 2013 MLB All Star Game, 2015 Game 3 of the World Series, 8 Military Appreciation Days for the New York Mets, Military Appreciation Days for the NY Islanders, Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Days for the New York Jets, 2 Military Appreciation Days for the Houston Texans, arranged the flyover for the 2012 MLB All Star Game Home Run Derby and more. A few years back, when The Congress cut The Navy’s funding for Fleet Week. Thanks to the New York Mets, we were able to put on a massive Military Appreciation Day and mini Fleet Week. I will tell you later how much all of the above cost the military.
I ask Senators Flake and McCain did they do their due diligence on why the military had all of those expenses? If so they will find out that some of the events were for troops that just returned from deployment and for some about to leave their families for a year.
What the Senators need to do its compare the $100,000.00 expense for the military to what $100,000.00 would have bought for a company such as Verizon or Ford. They will see that the military received almost 4 times the value. The way the agreements are written, they INCLUDE all the free add ons. Add on’s that they military DID NOT pay for but received. Such as throwing out the first pitch, promotion ceremonies on the field etc.