That’s okay, I’ve finally come around to admitting I like my old next door neighbor…Johnny H, The Singing Cop.
I am the guy who founded Deadspin, after all, so everyone always expects me to hate Joe Buck. But I don’t. In fact, I think he does as well as anyone reasonably could with one of the most high-profile, visible jobs in sports. I like him. I’m pretty sure his broadcast of Game 6 of the World Series last year was a master class in live sports coverage; he knew exactly when to talk, exactly when not to and exactly when to make the precise call he’d surely been waiting his whole life to make.
All told, I’ve always been a bit baffled as to why he’s so unpopular. So I surveyed a bunch of Buck haters—it was not difficult to find them—to hear the primary reasons, and to see whether or not I could refute them.
3. He’s moralistic and priggish. Buck absolutely is not moralistic or priggish, but it’s still hard to say he doesn’t have this coming. Fact is, he’ll never live down that Randy Moss “that is a disgusting act” call. I’ve never quite understood what Buck was thinking there. Did he believe Moss had really pulled his pants down? Did someone at FOX tell him to start adding in a moral component to his broadcasts and he overreacted? Did he have a stroke? The world may never know. But this call, unfortunately for Buck, is going to go on his gravestone.
4. He likes baseball more than football. This is probably true, but, frankly, this is probably true of most broadcasters: Football is rarely the first broadcast choice for anybody. (It’s hard to spot the ball, there are a million things going on that are impossible to describe, no one will ever be better than Pat Summerall, and so on.) No one ever says, “I hate Jim Nantz! He totally likes golf more than football,” even though he totally does. Fact is, Buck’s dad, Jack—who, full disclosure, I desperately wanted to be growing up—received this same criticism when he broadcasted NFL games on the radio with Hank Stram. Football people always resent baseball people, probably because we like a better sport than they do.
Posted: October 18, 2012 at 12:00 PM | 77 comment(s)
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