Thinking Cap: What the Buck??

October. What a month! The thirty-one days of October are chalk full of NFL Sundays, college football Saturdays and Major League Baseball playoffs. October is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times to be a sports fan. It is also the time when one of sports shiniest stars shines brightest. (You’re all stars in my eyes!)

Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter is NOT whom we are referring to here!

No. The star I am referring to has never won a batting title. This man has never thrown for an NFL score. This guy hasn’t even played professional sports.

But he has played an integral role in some of the most meaningful, magical sports moments of our generation. At age twenty-five this man became the youngest person ever to announce an NFL season. He also is the youngest man to ever do the play by play for an entire nine-inning MLB game. This man, who has won countless Sports Emmy’s, is at the top of his industry in multiple sports. And this man is hated by hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Why!? Why do you hate Joe Buck?

The guy is great! His ability to do play by play is incredible. Sure, he sounds a bit pretentious and smug- almost like he is better than everyone else. News flash homies: HE IS!

Buck is one of the best NFL announcers we have ever seen(heard?), and that is his second calling. His play by play, alongside Tim Mcarver, for Fox’s game of the week and playoffs is unrivaled. His voice has grown to be the sweet, melodic background for American households on crisp, fall evenings.  (Well some of them. The ones that still enjoy a good pitching matchup whether the Yankees and Sox are involved or not. The ones who don’t throw up their hands and rep ADD. The ones who still love the original American Pass time.)

Just yesterday, Buck called the Packer- Niner game at Candlesick and scooted over to AT&T Park for the Cards-Giants playoff game. Incredible! I mean, who pulls that off? Joe Buck does!

This dude has so eloquently spoken the soundtrack to many of baseball’s most special moments. And get this, while doing so he has even paid homage to his father, legendary broadcaster Jack Buck.

In the 2002 series, just a few months after the death of Joe’s father, Buck had hoped that the proper situation would arise. When Angel closer Troy Purcival struck out Rich Aurilia to end game six and subsequently force a game seven, it did. Buck made an allusion to his father’s call of one of baseball’s most exciting moments of all-time- Kirby Puckett’s walk off homer in game six of the ’91 series. “We will see you tomorrow night!” the Bucks said.

Buck would go on to use the phrase in appropriate instances in the playoff series to follow, perhaps none more magical than game four of the 2004 ALCS. (Four is your answer people. It took me four “Thinking Caps” to mention ’04 and reveal my deep passion for a certain crimson stocking clad ball club that plays in Boston. [THE RED SOX!]) When Big Papi socked the 12th inning walk off, Buck altered the phrase to allude to the fact the extra inning game had gone into the early morning hours. “We will see you later tonight!” (Please excuse me while I shake off the goose bumps and go watch the 2004 World Series DVD…of course the one narrated by Dennis Leary!)

So again I ask, “why do you hate the grey hair?” No, for a second I thought I was talking to Magua from “Last of the Mohicans.” (I see you Daniel Day!)

Why do people hate Joe Buck?

I have two theories.

1)(Perhaps the more logical guess, but not nearly as fun. And isn’t that the whole point of this? Its not logical!)

The “Buck Gets Lumped with Tim McCarver who People Hate” phenomena. McCarver seems to be a target of disdain of Americans everywhere. They claim he is biased towards the Yankees, and well, they don’t like that.

I immediately discard this theory like Manny discarded the K-Rod offering in ‘07(oh crap, the phrase “slippery slope” comes to mind here) because, well, I like McCarver too! But that’s neither here nor there. Well, it sort of is. But moving on to the second theory…

2) The “Adam Banks/Paul Pfeiffer Syndrome”

Ok hear me out here! Buck grew up the son of a world famous sports broadcaster. He was wealthy and had access to sporting events that we normal serfs could only dream of.

Adam Banks was the rich, private school kid who everyone at first disliked. And remember when Pfeiffer’s dad invested in some on shore property and made it big? Kevin Arnold and his father, Jack, couldn’t take it and just about ruined their friendships with their geeky, Jewish long time friends.

Now of course the Ducks were able to move past this and win a Pee-Wee championship, a gold medal and a battle with the varsity squad of their own school, Eden Hall Academy. And Paul’s dad lost his money and Kevin’s sentimental epilogue touched upon the changing country and the resiliency of friendship just like it did every episode.

America seemingly has not been able to get over its jealousy of Joe Buck. And I think it’s damn sad.

So take my advice, listen to Mr. Joe Buck. Enjoy his craft. Appreciate him. And if you want to be one of those stubborn sports fans that just wants to moan and exclaim, “I hate Joe Buck,” well then you can Joe Buck yourself.

Get Real


Past thinking Caps:

Boras Ruins America

You Don’t Break Tradition

Thanks Bud

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