Joe Buck Once Took a Reduced Workload From Fox to Avoid ‘Underexposure’

No one can ever accuse longtime Fox broadcaster Joe Buck of taking days off.

One of the most iconic sports media figures from his time, Buck has done everything imaginable in the nearly 30 years that he has worked at Fox. Whether Buck and Troy Aikman are discussing an NFL game or he’s at a golf tournament, the veteran announcer is continuously a busy man.

Things weren’t always exactly that way. At one point, Buck asked Fox for a reduced workload because he wanted to avoid a sense of ‘underexposure.’

Joe Buck has had a lengthy broadcasting career

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If there has been a memorable baseball or football moment in the last 20 years, there exists a strong possibility that Joe Buck called it.

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter’s walk-off home run in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series? Buck was there at Yankee Stadium. Giants receiver David Tyree’s famous helmet catch? Buck and Troy Aikman were in Glendale, Ariz., on the call.

The son of legendary broadcaster Jack Buck, Joe has carved his own excellent legacy on the microphone. Although the son is very divisive for his tone and trolling skills, Joe has attained the level of success he has for a reason.

Buck has seen his roles at Fox change over the years

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Joe Buck has been at Fox since the network obtained the NFL rights in 1994.

Along the way, Buck has done everything that one can imagine. Buck is arguably most well-known for his role on the network’s No. 1 NFL broadcast team alongside longtime Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

Older football fans will remember Buck’s lone year hosting Fox NFL Sunday in 2006. Fox promoted Curt Menefee to that role in 2007.

When he isn’t doing NFL games, Buck is the lead voice for Fox’s MLB coverage. Although Buck has worked fewer MLB regular-season games over the years, he and Atlanta Braves legend John Smoltz still call the World Series and other postseason games.

Buck and Smoltz also call the MLB All-Star Game. Through the end of the 2020 MLB season, Buck has announced 22 World Series and 20 All-Star Games.

Buck also called the U.S. Open on Fox for several years. Fox opted out of its 12-year contract with the USGA in June 2020 and sold the rights to NBC.

Joe Buck took a reduced workload to avoid ‘underexposure’

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If you think Joe Buck is busy now, you should have seen him in the mid-2000s.

In addition to his MLB and NFL duties for Fox, Buck served as the St. Louis Cardinals’ television play-by-play announcer for FSN Midwest.

Gradually, Buck worked fewer games each season. Baseball fans who preferred hearing anyone but Buck won big in the summer of 2007, as he worked fewer games for both the Cardinals and Fox.

In an interview with The New York Times that summer, Buck explained why he chose to take a reduced workload.

“I don’t know who had a more tiresome, wall-to-wall schedule than my father, and I know what it’s like to be a kid in that situation. He was gone a lot. He needed to be. I understood it. So did my mom. Because my career has gone the way it’s gone, I don’t have to go wall to wall. While I’m deathly afraid of overexposure, I’m more afraid of underexposure at home with my wife and girls.”

That season proved to be a sign of things to come. Buck left FSN Midwest before the Cardinals’ 2008 season to focus full-time on his Fox Sports duties.

Fox has assigned Buck fewer regular-season baseball games each year. He has made up for that by usually calling two NFL games per week during the regular-season: one on Thursday Night Football, and another three days later.

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