Joe Buck may be no stranger to shame. After all, the sports announcer is the constant target of ridicule from fans due to his understated way of calling games and penchant for thinking he’s against every team. According to Buck, however, he’s never felt as foolish as he did calling his second Super Bowl in 2012.
Joe Buck’s biggest gaffe
Buck didn’t stumble into the television’s entertainment business; it is in his blood. His father, Jack Buck, was one of the most respected voices in professional sports, and Joe continues his father’s legacy by calling major games across many sports.
In 2012, Joe was preparing to call a potentially historic Super Bowl, which pitted the undefeated New England Patriot against a young, unproven Eli Manning and the New York Giants. The game became an all-time great, as the Giants stunned the Patriots to win the championship.
For Joe, however, the Super Bowl was memorable for a different reason. He discussed this with Graham Bensinger, talking about a moment just before he went on air. Someone pointed out something in his hai — it was hair gel. He ran to the bathroom and came back just in time.
This may seem inconsequential to some, but to someone like Joe, a hair-loss problem would be personally catastrophic.
Joe Buck plugs in
Joe has always been self-conscious about his hair or lack thereof. In his autobiography, Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, And The Things I’m Not Allowed To Say On TV, Joe chronicled his choice to get hair replacement treatments at 24 years old. He claims to not only become a believer in the treatment but an all-out addict.
It nearly cost him his career, according to Sports Illustrated. “Broadcasting is a brutal, often unfair business, where looks are valued more than skill,” explains Joe. “I was worried that if I lost my hair, I would lose my job. O.K., that’s bulls—-. It was vanity. Pure vanity. I just told myself I was doing it for TV.”
According to Joe, a cuff used for the procedure messed with a nerve in his left vocal cord. This caused him to lose his iconic voice for several months, although the official statements said he lost his voice due to an infection. This embarrassment explains why a simple gaffe like the one at the Super Bowl could affect him.
Buck’s Super Bowl memories
Despite these horror stories, Joe has a lot of great memories calling the big game. He went on to speak about the same game with the hair gel incident, including a common criticism of one particular play from his 2008 Super Bowl.
“One of the criticisms you get from Giants’ fan if you go online … is the [David] Tyree catch,” Joe said. “I didn’t scream and pull a groin about the Tyree catch, and the funny thing is when you’re doing that game, you have to be dead sure that what you’re saying is right.”
Joe discussed how difficult it can be to call a play like that with so little time to digest everything. He’ll have a chance to add to his collection of Super Bowl memories alongside partner Troy Aikman when the game kicks off on February 2, 2020.
Follow more updates from Sportscasting on our Facebook page.