OK, So I’m a Joe Buck Appologist

Thanks to Brian at Awful Announcing for finding the two stories I link here.

It appears there are two media outlets (at least that AA refers to) which feel that Fox’s Joe Buck does not deserve to hold his current job as lead play-by-play man for Rupert Murdoch.

Let’s see what they have to say.  First, here’s a piece from Matthew Nadu at the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia.  In it he says about the “emotionless, dull and life sucking” Buck;

Buck lacks that certain something when he broadcasts a sporting event. He can’t quite put the, what’s the word, ah, life into anything. In fact, it feels like he makes his living draining the life of all who are forced to listen to him.

The second rant comes from Stephen Kaus writing for the Huffington Post;

Where, exactly, was Joe Buck while his father Jack was urging St Louis Cardinal fans to “go crazy folks” when the Redbirds won a playoff game* or telling a national radio audience that “I don’t believe what I just saw” after Kurt Gibson’s 1988 world Series blast off of the Eck?**

Was he reading a book? He is bloodless!

Both authors make the point that Fox should replace Buck with Kenny Albert.  Both also take the opportunity to jab at Buck for his role in the story this week that he and his Fox collegaues received escorts from the U.S. Marshalls Service to and from games.  A real cheap shot and not germane to the discussion.

I, for one, do not watch sports on television for the announcers.  That may sound silly coming from a writer for a sports media site but I view the role of announcers as providing information about the game.  In my opinion Buck is one of the best because he DOES NOT scream and get excited.

These complainers are probably the same ones who will moan about the announcers who  use catchphrases to make sure they are noticed.  Announcers should be like referees, they have a good game when they are not noticed.  A good example of that was Pat Summerall.  He was Mr. Laid Back.  As far as I can tell he was always well received…and I agree he should have been.

I have read many stories about how smug Buck can be, etc.  I really don’t care.  He calls a good game.  Period.


  1. Great. Wake me when it is over.

    Are you saying that great announcers like Vin Scully and Marv Albert don’t enhance a game?

    Pat Summerall was completely different from Joe Buck. He carried the weight of the game in his voice.

    The best comment was on deadspin from Bobby_Big_Wheel:

    It’s fun to imagine Joe Buck doing other famous calls:

    Dave Silk clears the puck, it doesn’t look like the Soviets will be able to regroup in time, and the U.S. advances to the gold medal game against Finland.

  2. Stephen,

    I agree with your points on Scully and Albert…all-time greats. Why? Because they, too don’t get overly excited during calls.

    A lot of people for some reason love Gus Johnson. He’s okay, but at times his excitement can go a little overboard.

    My point was, and still is, that these announcers are not the reason we watch the game. They should not be the story. Many times they are. That’s sad.

    Thanks for the note! All the best!

  3. I’m indifferent to announcers and Joe Buck. I barely notice him most of the time and I like that.

    There’s room for both the Gus Johnsons and Joe Bucks in the world. It’s just a matter of preference.

  4. Joe Buck is as boring as anyone on T.V. Record any of his broadcasts and one of those nights when you can’t fall asleep…… Better yet, if the kids have gotten in trouble, make them sit down and listen to back to back to back Joe Buck games. If that don’t keep them out of prison nothing will!! I turn down the T.V. and turn up the radio. If it’s not on radio…slience is golden!!!!!

  5. I can agree that announcers do the best job when they go unnoticed, and that a play by play or color commentator should not try to make their voice more important than the action on the field. That being said, Joe Buck is good at letting the moment speak for itself. But, the droning, the pessimism, the constant what-ifs and negative statistical inferences to the in game action are what make him so bad to listen to. It’s like sitting next to the opposing team’s fan in your own house, no matter what team you root for. The only way I can see people enjoying his broadcasts are if those people are just not sports fans, and have to listen to someone negatively put a spin on everything, just like they would if they had to sit through something which brought them no excitement. Joe Buck is a daddy’s boy.

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