Joe Buck: Did He Kill Bambi or Something?

There’s a lot of things a mere mortal like me doesn’t understand about the United States.

A slew of candidates have romped to office in congressional and local legislature races on a platform of enshrining pro-life laws, yet when primary school-aged children get shot at school, the second amendment trumps any law that might prevent kids from being shot with a machine gun while, y’know… trying to be a kid and learning n’stuff.

America is the home of the free-market, yet when the shit hits the fan (see 2008), “the market” goes rushing to the Feds for a tax-free handout. And then writes op-eds for the Wall Street Journal about how Obama is a socialist and is killing the economy.

And then, yes, there’s politicians running for government of the basis of “less government.”

I’m sure there’s very good reasons for this. I just have no idea what they are.

One thing I simply cannot get squared away in my head though, is the hatred for Joe Buck as a sports commentator.


Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 4.01.59 pm


This isn’t an apology piece for Joe Buck. I’m just saying I have no idea why he’s so disliked among America’s NFL sportscasters. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on why he seems so universally disliked.

In Australia – for our sins, I suppose – Brian Taylor, Bruce McAvaney, Anthony Hudson, Dwayne Russell and Luke Darcy are what passes for AFL commentators.

In a tightly controlled environment – in which one criticises “the brand” at their own peril and group-think is the norm (see: Nick Natanui-is-the-greatest-footballer-ever-and-he’special-because-he’s-6’6-and-canleap-tall-buildings-with-a-single-bound-and-he’s-from-Fiji-so-aren’t-we-super-multicultural-n’shit) the majority of footy commentators are as beige as a Richie Benaud suit and as edgy as a bowling ball, placing them on a par with used car salespeople and rental property managers.

I’ve tried to take all of the things that shit people about Australian sports callers and cross-reference them with Buck.

Making it all about him? Nope.  He doesn’t use the word ‘I’ or ‘my’ very often.

Hyperbole: Does he try to make a garden variety screen pass on 3rd and short sound like the most spectacular play since “the catch?” (Huddo, BT, Dwayne Russell, I’m looking at YOU here) Nope. If it’s a big play, Joe gets a bit loud but hardly “shouty” – unlike the vast majority of AFL commentators on radio and TV here.

Positioning himself as an oracle? Nope. I’ll argue with anyone on this. Joe knows his place. Troy Aikman has the Super Bowl championship rings, not Joe. I’m assuming that he’s being fed by a producer or has his own McAvaney style bag of stat tricks at his disposal, but for mine, he lets Troy do the analysis and then goes with a follow-up question based on something Troy presents, but it’s not like he comes up with bizarro-world theories and language that makes Fox’s David King look like he’s communicating effectively.

So what is it about Joe that gets sports fans up in arms?



Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 4.49.06 pm


Al “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” Michaels and Cris Collinsworth do a fine job – especially after all these years. I grew up listening to Al Michaels and John Madden call Montana to Rice so many times it was ridiculous.

Is it that compared to his Fox contemporaries, he bites it? I’ll take Joe, Pam and Troy over Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa any day – and that’s not to say I don’t like Kenny, the Moose and the Goose, I just think Troy and Joe work better.

Is it something to do with his baseball work and the hate just follows him to NFL on Fox?


Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 4.45.15 pm


Have I missed something? Is there some historical reason for why Joe isn’t liked? Did he kill Bambi for Rupert Murdoch and then turn up at a San Francisco farmers market and strangle a puppy dog every time he smelled patchouli in the air or met a vegan?

There’s a lot of things I’d like to learn about #Murica over a beer and some ribs, or a cheesesteak. Or an evening at a crab shack. Or over some gumbo. The dislike of Joe Buck is just one of them.


Share your thoughts on Joe in our comments section or tweet @SteveBakewood 

About Steve Baker

Steve Baker cashed in his horses for choppers and went tear-assing around 'Nam, looking for the shit. He's been known to chopper in t-bones and beer and turn the L-Z into a beach party. Steve's the defending 'Most Pessimistic Dallas Fan' champion and is in the midst of a life-long campaign to one day buy the Cowboys off Jerry Jones and end the madness. He's also chief button-pusher for the Footy Almanac Podcast, so you can blame him.

Leave a Comment