For many fathers and sons, sports connects and bonds them. Sons follow their Dad’s team because their Dad did...or they follow that team’s archrival, just to spice things up.
When you grow up with a famous Dad who is a Hall of Fame broadcaster, and then follow in his footsteps, there will always be comparisons, and that’s no different for Fox broadcaster Joe Buck.
But where his father Jack Buck is revered, Joe Buck is not. Jack Buck was the St. Louis Cardinals baseball play by play guy from 1961 until shortly before his death in 2002, and is revered and beloved in St. Louis. There’s a bust of him outside Busch Stadium, part of I-64 in St. Louis is named after him and he’s in the St. Louis Cardinals Hall Of Fame along with several others. Cardinals fans get goosebumps recalling iconic moments in team history, and for a vast majority of them, it’s Jack Buck’s voice adding to the tapestry of the moment, getting them choked up.
But for Joe Buck, he has no single team or sport. He’s the lead play by play guy for Fox Sports, he calls the marquee NFL games, and most of the post season for the NFL and Major League Baseball on the Fox network. And because of the nature of his job, he is disliked by a majority of fanbases in all sports. It’s part of the deal when you’re a national broadcaster, though. You get accused of biases, and when he calls a game, the fan bases of both teams think he’s in the tank for the other team.
But there’s a cool father-son moment from last night’s iconic Diggs TD catch and run. It was called by Joe Buck in dramatic fashion, he gave in to the emotion and incredulity of the moment, and then he just let us soak it all in:
Diggs! SIDELINE...TOUCHDOWN...VIKINGS WIN IT
Yet, it wasn’t the only iconic moment called by a member of the Buck family. On October 26th, 1991, his dad Jack called the most famous play in Minnesota Twins history, the game six extra inning shot by Kirby Puckett that propelled the Twins to game seven and the world title:
/crack of bat
Into deep left center...for Mitchellllll...and we’ll SEE YA....TOMORROW NIGHT!!
Joe Buck was criticized by a lot of Minnesota fans in 2011 when he said those exact words in the 2011 World Series, when David Freese hit a game six, extra inning home run. I immediately knew what he did though, and he later explained that it was a tribute to his Dad’s call. For me, also being a Cardinals fan, it was the perfect tribute, in the perfect moment for the team his Dad called thousands of games for.
Fathers, sons, sports. Even when you’re famous, and even when one of them has passed away, they can still connect over moments and time.
So thank you, Joe and Jack Buck, for giving us these two moments, filling in the lines with your dramatic calls, and then giving in to the moment.