Since 1994, Joe Buck has been on everybody’s television screens calling NFL games or Major League Baseball games (since 1996) for FOX. However, if you ask him, he felt he was more lucky enough to work for a network that had the rights to those sports, so he could have that opportunity.
This week, Buck was on the The Athletic Baseball Show with Jayson Stark and Doug Glanville. One of the things he talked about is how people think Buck hates their team when he calls games:
Stark asked Buck if he would have told Buck back then that he would end up calling 23 World Series and 6 Super Bowls as well as calling baseball for a total of 30 years (both locally in St. Louis and nationally), what would he say? The son of the late, great Jack Buck thought what he’s done is more of an indication on how great FOX is doing than what he is doing:
“It’s weird for me to look back. I was just trying to make sure I wasn’t going to get exposed as some fraud. A lot of stuff was swirling around and I just remember thinking let’s get through this one. Calling my dad before and after games and just knowing I ended up in a place that just continues to buy the rights to baseball. I didn’t win a national title search and Simon Cowell isn’t evaluating my broadcasts. FOX wrote the bigger checks and I was lucky enough to audition when they got football and get in the door. I just ended up at the place that continues to want to pay to cover baseball in October at a network level.”
Glanville asked Buck about what the difference is between baseball and football in terms of being able to elevate big moments, such as a home run call.
“I think baseball lends itself to those moments a little bit more. The NFL doesn’t lend itself to that. Baseball has so much nuance and so much more time to talk about how we talk to the manager, here is the matchup he’s looking at, here’s who on his bench. The guy could be at the plate fouling off pitches. There’s time to do that. If you love the strategy of baseball which is becoming less and less part of the game in my opinion unfortunately, you love calling this game.”
Glanville also asked Buck what he thinks about athletes voicing their opinion on social issues. Buck says his dad told him before Buck started calling Triple-A games to realize how hard it is for people to play the game.
“I think my dad would be very proud that the people he admired so much are willing to use their voice for social change. I think that is the next step in the evolution of the professional athlete. I couldn’t be more proud of what I see around me. The way Colin Kaepernick grew up is so different than the way I grew up and I respect that. Then, when they start putting money and time behind these efforts, you realize how special a lot of these athletes are. I’m very proud that the people I get to cover are also making a difference in society.”
AEW Dynamite Moving To TBS
“Wrestling hasn’t been seen on TBS since the network cancelled WCW Thunder in March of 2001.”
Hockey is coming to TNT. That means wrestling is moving to TBS. The network will be the new home of AEW: Dynamite starting in January.
AEW’s original TV show airs on Wednesdays. That will be the spotlight day of the TNT NHL package. The network will present hockey doubleheaders every Wednesday, leaving no room for wrestling.
TNT won’t be completely out of the AEW business. In a press release, WarnerMedia announced that Friday will still see AEW: Rampage airing on the network. The press release pointed out that Rampage has gotten off to a very hot start for TNT.
“Since its August 13 debut, AEW: Rampage has ranked as one of the top cable programs on Friday night. The second week of the show featuring the debut of CM Punk delivered the strongest ratings for the AEW franchise since the premiere of AEW: Dynamite.”
Wrestling hasn’t been seen on TBS since the network cancelled WCW Thunder in March of 2001. That changes on January 5.
Louis Riddick Explains How MNF Production Meetings Work
“Riddick expounded more on the production meetings with coaches, including one with a particular Bay Area play-caller.”
The Monday Night Football campaign is in full swing, and The Athletic’s Robert Mays had MNF analyst Louis Riddick on The Athletic Football Show to discuss his weekly routine for putting on a top-notch broadcast.
Riddick dove into the process each week and discussed which coach has impressed him the most during his time in the booth. Tuesdays are a rest and recovery day after traveling home — then the process starts on Wednesday.
“We kinda have a, from a booth perspective, between Steve Levy, Brian Griese, myself, and then Phil Dean the producer and Jimmy Platt, the director. Us five get together and just discuss the previous week’s game and whatever we want to bring up that is positive or negative,” Riddick described to Mays on the show.
The brain trust discusses play breakdowns, production, and situations that popped up during the game. Next up is choosing the important voices for the next game that they want to speak to.
“We give Phil the list of coaches and players that we think are important to talk to,” Riddick said. “He sends that into that team’s PR department, and then usually they say yay or no. Most teams are very, very good with giving us the players that we want because it’s better for them. They know the more we highlight them, the better it is for them.”
Riddick expounded more on the production meetings with coaches, including one with a particular Bay Area play-caller.
“I would say our meeting with [San Francisco 49ers head coach] Kyle Shanahan,” Riddick answered. “Before we did the Bills game down in Arizona because they had to move from Santa Clara because of what was happening was some of the best football conversations I’ve ever had in my life, quite honestly. From team building, coach-player relationships, X’s and O’s, the opponent, what he learned from his father, what he feels specifically that running backs need to have and why… It was fricken incredible, incredible.”
Riddick can be seen on Monday Night Football breaking down all the action throughout the 2021 NFL season. Listen to the full episode here.
Women in Sports Media Celebrate Kate Scott Joining 76ers
“The west coast native is heading east to continue pursuing her dreams, and she received a ton of support from the women throughout sports media this week.”
Kate Scott is breaking new ground, and the sports broadcasting community took notice.
Scott joined Lisa Byington as the only full-time female voices of NBA franchises when the Philadelphia 76ers announced her addition this week. She replaces longtime TV play-by-play voice Marc Zumoff.
“Being the voice of the 76ers is a dream come true,” Scott said to NBC Sports Philadelphia. “As a kid playing hoops alone in my driveway, I actually used to imagine I was Allen Iverson; the clock would wind down in my head, people would scream, ‘You’re too small! You don’t belong!’ But I’d fade away, hit the shot, and the crowd in my mind would go wild.
“To now get the opportunity to be the voice of that team is incredible, and I look forward to earning the respect and trust of the phenomenal city of Philadelphia, and 76ers fans everywhere, one call and one game at a time.”
Scott seemingly busts down barriers every year. She recently became the first woman to call Olympic men’s basketball as part of NBC Sports’ coverage of Tokyo 2020, where she covered both men’s and women’s games.
“Kate’s energy, passion, and tremendous knowledge of the game of basketball made her the ideal candidate to usher in a new era of 76ers basketball on NBC Sports Philadelphia,” Philadelphia 76ers President of Business Operations Chris Heck said. “We’re thrilled that she’ll call our city home and look forward to the lasting connections and memories she’ll make with the best fans in sports. Kate and Alaa [Abdelnaby] are a dynamic broadcast pairing that 76ers fans will enjoy watching on the call this season and beyond.”
The west coast native is heading east to continue pursuing her dreams, and she received a ton of support from women throughout sports media this week.