The "voice of the turtle" may be heard Friday, but not the full-throated roar of fighter jets from Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Sorry, Detroit Tigers home-opener loyalists, the federal sequester has killed a long tradition. While someone is sure to recite fabled baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell's opening-day ode to turtles and spring from the Song of Solomon, there'll be no A-10s blasting through the skies above Comerica Park before the game. The federal budget squabble in Washington, D.C., remains upon us like an icy reminder of the winter that should be past. Dire warnings about some of the sequester-related budget cuts may be overblown but, darn it, this one's for real. All flyovers and demonstration flights have been canceled for the rest of this fiscal year — and maybe longer — to save money, the Air Force high command announced March 1. Even the famous Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team has been ordered to stand down. "Our fliers certainly are disappointed," said Capt. Penny Carroll, public affairs chief for Selfridge's 127th Wing. "They enjoy being able to support organizations, especially the Tigers. It's a way for them to thank communities for their support of us when we're deployed." Flyovers by jets, deployed from Selfridge or the Toledo Air National Guard Base, have been a part of pre-game lore on Tigers home opening days for at least a decade and probably a lot longer, Carroll said. The only break from that tradition came in the year when there was a low cloud ceiling, added John Colangelo, Tigers vice president for communications. "We certainly understand the reasoning," Colangelo said. "(But) no jets flying over this year. Just balls flying out of the park off the bats of Cabrera and Fielder."
Comerica skies will be silent as flyover grounded for Tigers' Opening Day
Detroit News | Apr 4