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Joe Buck In Tough Spot With St. Louis Fans

Jason Barrett

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It’s October in St. Louis, and with the Cardinals in the playoffs for the 12th in the last 16 seasons, it’s time for some local television journalists to throw away objectivity by putting on the Cardinals’ colors — or even gear — while on the air. It’s also time for some in the team’s fan base to believe the Redbirds are being intentionally slighted on the national scene.

First, there were Joe Buck’s comments published this week in the Chicago Tribune, in which Fox’s lead baseball and football broadcaster told Ed Sherman that calling Cubs World Series games “would be the highlight of my career.”

Some Cardinals fans took that as blasphemy from the St. Louisan and son of legendary Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck. As of Thursday afternoon, there were 117 comments on a story about it that was posted on STLtoday.com, the Post-Dispatch’s website.

While some stuck up for him, there were plenty of biting remarks. Among them:

“Buck said that to the Chicago fans because he’s a hack and a sellout who is only in it for the money.”

“Stupid comment Joe. Disappointing to dad.”

“No way he is Jack Buck’s kid! I think he forgot where he came from.”

Whoa there.

Sure, he grew up and still lives in St. Louis. But so what? He hasn’t been on Cardinals local broadcasts since 2007 and has been on the national stage for more than two decades, calling four Super Bowls and 17 World Series — including four with the Cards, highlighted by their epic 2011 matchup with Texas.

Some have perceived his comments, which included saying doing a Cubs World Series at Wrigley Field “would be the cherry on top” of his career, as a slap at his roots. That’s ridiculous. Broadcasting something that hasn’t happened in the lifetime of anyone under age 70 would be a career milestone anyone would relish — nobody ever has done the TV play-by-play of a Cubs World Series game.

“This has nothing to do with the Cardinals. Zero,” Buck said Thursday. “It has to do with an opportunity that nobody has had in the history of television … let alone an organization that is beloved and hasn’t won the whole thing since before World War I.

“To anybody who has an issue with somebody saying that, I would say, ‘If you were given tickets to go, would you go? If it was on TV, would you stop and watch it?’ I think the answer’s probably yes, because of the significance of it.”

Buck is in a tough spot in St. Louis, where some expect him to follow step by step the path his revered father walked.

“I think some people are always going to see me as the little kid that got his chance with the Cardinals and got in on his dad’s coattails in this town,” he said. “I understand that, but it’s been a long time since 1991. I think some people, for obvious reasons, look at me as the son of the success story and somebody who was beloved in this city. And I respect that more than anybody here realizes.

“But I look at it from a different perspective and when I was saying that to the Chicago Tribune, that was said as a baseball fan. That was not said in any way having anything to do with St. Louis. Any baseball fan would jump at the chance to go to see, let alone call, a World Series at Wrigley Field on television — which never has been done. And that’s where it comes from.

But I get it. I get why people feel that way. To a certain amount of people in the city, no matter what I say their (opinion) isn’t going to change.”

Another key contrast: Jack Buck was a Cardinals announcer first, a national broadcaster second. Joe is strictly national now. Quite simply, they are vastly different jobs. To Jack, the Cardinals were “we.” To Joe, the Redbirds are “they.”

Some fans have trouble making that distinction.

“There are certain segments of Cardinal fans, baseball fans, sports fans — especially here in the city — they’re going to have an opinion of me; they think they know me,” Buck said. “They didn’t know my dad; they think they knew my dad, what he would say. And when you get comments like, ‘Your dad’s rolling over in his grave,’ come on. I’ve heard, ‘You’re not your father.’ Well, you’re right. I’m not. We’ve had two different careers.”

Buck’s opinion about Wrigley Field actually respects the baseball roots he inherited from his dad. And I’d bet his father, who did the World Series on TV in the early ’90s and on radio for many years, wouldn’t disagree with his son’s assessment. After all, the Cards win often. The Cubs don’t.

Jack Buck loved big moments, and there would be nothing bigger in sports this year (this decade?) than the Cubs making it to the World Series for the first time since 1945 — unless, of course, they won it for the first time since 1908.

To read more visit STL Today where this article was originally published

 

Sports TV News

Ian Rapoport: I Have Never Thought It is Me vs Adam Schefter

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows.”

Jordan Bondurant

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In terms of NFL insiders, Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are the two biggest names out there. And sometimes it can be a race between the two to get the biggest scoops first. Especially now with the NFL coaching carousel in full swing.

This week two teams hired new head coaches – the Broncos traded two first round picks to the Saints to acquire the rights to Sean Payton and the Texans signed DeMeco Ryans.

Rapoport tweeted that Denver had pursued Ryans up until the day they announced the trade for Payton.

Not even 15 minutes later, Schefter appeared to clarify the information out there with the two teams.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday, Pat McAfee referred to the conflicting information as a “source off.”

Ian said he stood behind what he put out there.

“I know it’s fun to call it a source off or whatever, but for me I reported what I had based on the best information I can get – based on talking to many, many people throughout the course of the last month,” Rapoport said from the Senior Bowl. “And then whatever happens as a result of this I don’t really mind.”

In terms of any sort of rivalry between him and Schefter, Rapoport doesn’t view it as a head-to-head matchup.

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows,” he said. “And everyone can sort of judge for themselves whichever way to go.”

McAfee gave kudos to Rapoport for his reporting on the Ryans situation. He also said it’s a good thing Rapoport doesn’t worry himself too much about what other insiders are doing.

“I think you should feel good about it, but I do like a good source off,” McAfee said. “And I appreciate the fact that you don’t view it as you versus Schefter. But you two are at the top of the game. So that’s a compliment more so than anything.”

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Sports TV News

AEW Considers Launching Streaming Service

“It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.”

Jordan Bondurant

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All Elite Wrestling is looking into launching its own streaming service.

According to reporting from Bloomberg, a source “familiar with management’s thinking” said AEW is looking to strike a deal with broadcast partner Warner Bros. Discovery.

Since launching in 2019, AEW now puts on two weekly shows on Warner channels TBS and TNT and airs two shows on YouTube.

Last year AEW acquired Ring of Honor from Sinclair Broadcast Group. As part of that deal, AEW took ownership of RoH’s extensive content library Honor Club. So much like WWE did with WWE Network when it launched in 2014, AEW could launch its streaming service and have all of Ring of Honor’s content in a one-stop shop.

It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.

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Sports TV News

NBC Officially Unveils Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge as New Big Ten Booth

“With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

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It’s officially official: Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge, and Kathryn Tappen will join the Big Ten on NBC booth when the network begins airing the conference’s football package in 2023.

NBC made the announcement Thursday, after weeks of speculation about the moves.

“We are excited to showcase Big Ten Saturday Night on the NBC Sports’ primetime marquee,” said NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood. “When you hear Todd’s voice, you know it’s a big college football game. It has been that way for decades.

“Noah is one of the industry’s rising young play-by-play commentators, who has excelled calling numerous sports across multiple platforms for a wide range of audiences. We are thrilled to pair him in the booth with Todd.

“Kathryn has told the stories of so many memorable Notre Dame Football moments over the last decade in her on-field reporting and interviews,” Flood continued. “With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

Blackledge joins NBC after working as a college football analyst for the network for the past 17 seasons. Previously, he was the an analyst for CBS and ABC, making 2023 his 30th consecutive season covering college football as an analyst.

Eagle is the son of broadcasting legend Ian Eagle, and currently serves as the radio voice of the Los Angeles Clippers. He comes to NBC after calling college football games for FOX Sports in 2022.

Tappen has spent the past nine seasons working NBC’s college football coverage with Notre Dame. Eight of those nine seasons were spent as the network’s sideline reporter before anchoring the studio coverage from South Bend in 2022.

2023 will mark the beginning of a seven-year contract for NBC to air Big Ten football games in primetime. The move is one of the biggest notable expansions in the college football arena for the network since its partnership with Notre Dame began in 1991.

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