Television host Mike Rowe is best known for his two shows, “Dirty Jobs” and “Deadliest Catch”, his current gig. He also has spoken out on social media frequently about the benefit of blue collar jobs, which has garnered a pretty big following. But over 10 years ago, he got a lot of fans for something quite different: singing the national anthem.
In 2006, Rowe sang the national anthem before a baseball game at Prince George’s stadium in Bowie, Maryland. Rowe could also be seen sweeping the dugout, sliding into bases, and helping to prep the infield dirt. He also was spotted driving a golf cart before the game started.
But it was his rendition of the national anthem that had the crowd cheering. Afterwards, the fans stood up and applauded wildly, and he had a bucket of Gatorade dumped on his head to celebrate.
In addition to “Deadliest Catch”, Rowe has launched a new show, which he airs on Facebook, called “Returning the Favor”. In the show, he finds people who he thinks are doing good in the world, and — no surprise here — returns the favor. In the very first episode, he visited an Army veteran named Jason Zaidement.
Zaidement opened a motorcycle bike shop and founded Operation Combat Bikesaver. His goal is to help veterans struggling with post traumatic stress disorder. Zaidement has personally been touched by post traumatic stress disorder, as his father fought the disease after fighting in the Vietnam War.
When Rowe visited Zaidement, he paid the shop’s rent for the next year, bought new equipment for him, and gave the shop a new coat of paint. The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association also participated in a motorcycle ride, and gave Zaidement a $17,500 check.
Rowe’s choice of Zaidement for the first episode of his show is not altogether surprising; Rowe has long exhibited a patriotic streak. Last December, he slammed a group of college students who burned an American flag. The students, who attended Hampshire College, burned a flag in protest in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan. Rowe explained that the school they attend is taxpayer funded, meaning that Americans were, in essence, paying for their $60,000/year tuition.
“That means that We the People are enabling schools like Hampshire to sell a liberal arts degree for approximately $250,000,” Rowe wrote on Facebook. “To my knowledge, no one has ever burned a flag at a trade school. I wonder why that is?”
He also told another group of college students that the real world doesn’t care about them. “Look, I understand the importance of persistence, and the value of encouragement, but who tells a stranger to never give up on their dreams, without even knowing what it is they’re dreaming?” Rowe said. “How can Lady Gaga possibly know where your passion will lead you?”
“Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you,” he concluded.
Are you a fan of Mike Rowe’s?