FanDuel - WFBC

July 03, 2008

Joe Buck Prefers Bachelorette to Baseball: Fox's lead baseball announcer told ESPN's Colin Cowherd yesterday that he prefers watching The Bachelorette to watching baseball. "These games take forever," Buck said, "by the time you get through the sixth inning, if you're watching every minute, you've put two-plus hours into the thing. ... From our own perspective the Saturday Game of the Week ... is not as special or unique as it used to be."

posted by rcade to baseball at 10:30 AM - 20 comments

Don't worry, Joe. I'm sure someday the network will stuff as many ads into The Bachelorette as they currently do between innings.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:35 AM on July 03

Buck is really getting hammered on that blog (and others) for these remarks, but for the most part I think he's right. A sport that plays 162 three-plus hour games a year, which are getting longer because of slow play and endless commercial breaks, is making a huge demand on its fans. But if I was a Fox Sports exec, I wouldn't want my marquee announcer to be so bored with baseball that he never watches a game for pleasure and thinks his own telecast isn't particularly special or unique.

posted by rcade at 11:18 AM on July 03

Since when is "sport" a proper noun? On the substance, I really don't care whether Joe Buck loves the sport he is covering -- I would rather judge him on the merits of his announcing. And his announcing leaves a bit to be desired, in both baseball and football. While I'm not clear on whether he dislikes football as well, I wouldn't be surprised if this is a Joe Buck thing in general and not a passion-for-the-game thing.

posted by holden at 12:03 PM on July 03

Who wants to do their job during their free time? Even if JB loves his job, what's wrong with him finding something else to do when he's not working? I think the author of that article did fall off his rocker, making a big deal out of very little.

posted by BoKnows at 12:15 PM on July 03

I loathe Joe Buck's announcing and this is just more fuel for the fire. Since his broadcasts are always tailored to the disinterested, casual fan, it's no surprise to learn that he, too, is a disinterested and casual baseball fan. In my mind, the most frustrating aspects of national baseball broadcasts are the terrible announcing, interminable commercial breaks that frequently overlap with gameplay, and nonstop product placement and network promotions, with slow gameplay coming in a distant fourth. I have begun listening to most nationally-televised games on the radio, where I won't be subjected to small-minded banter and idle speculation about what might happen if this guy gets a hit, and then the game might be tied up, and then OH MY GOSH the hitter who hates this particular pitcher might come up with the game on the line, and what drama that would be!!! Stop speculating on what MIGHT happen to maximize the drama, and just call the game as it happens! Joe Buck pointing out that baseball broadcasts aren't what they used to be isn't the issue, although his horrendous hegemony over big games is clearly part of the problem. Quite frankly, I don't really care if he watches games constantly in his free time, as long as he keeps up with the sports he announces through one of the many media options we have these days. But for the national voice of MLB to declare publicly that he prefers The Bachelorette, of all things, to a baseball game? That's appalling.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:31 PM on July 03

This was my response on the blog: There's a pretty good reason those millions of people who want Joe Buck's job don't have it -- they suck and Joe doesn't. Do you really think FOX wouldn't replace Buck if it had someone more capable? Heck, that person would probably be cheaper too, wouldn't he? So we have two options: 1) There's a vast conspiracy to keep Joe Buck on the air at FOX despite his being completely incompetent; or 2) Joe Buck's pretty good and pretty well-liked, and you're way off base. I'll let you choose which option is the more credible. The reason I capitalize "Sport" and "Baseball" is because they should be. Outside of family and friends Sports is the most important thing in my life. And yet you say family and friends are more important than sports, but you don't capitalize them. And concerning the name of "The Bachelorette", you fail to set it off in quotes or even capitalize it properly. If you want to be taken seriously, try putting a little more effort in your basics.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:22 PM on July 03

2) Joe Buck's pretty good and pretty well-liked, and you're way off base. I'll let you choose which option is the more credible. Sic semper erat, et sic semper erit. Because Buck has a national job, he must be good at his job and popular with the Silent Majority. Buck's current position has a lot to do with his work for the Cardinals, which has an awful lot to do with the fact his dad was a Hall of Fame announcer for them. I don't dislike Buck, but I don't think he's great either. Was he pushed into Dad's job and now doesn't want it? He always struck me as a clever, media-savvy guy and so I'm always disappointed that doesn't come across in his broadcasts. I'm with Venice that he tailors everything to a mythical Joe Average who Just Tuned In.

posted by yerfatma at 01:35 PM on July 03

I like Buck's announcing on both baseball and football, but I don't hear him that often. It will be hard not to hear disinterest in his work in the future after learning that the nattily attired metrosexual would rather watch the Bachelorette than sports.

posted by rcade at 01:41 PM on July 03

I can live with Buck's not enjoying the game of baseball enough to watch it when he's not announcing. That's his opinion and he is welcome to it, even though it does strike me as odd. I would really think that someone who is paid to know a game might be able to sift through the chaff (y'know paying bills during commercials and whatnot) to get to the wheat, but if he says that he is incapable, that is his business. What is, to me, striking, is that he gives his tacit endorsement to mindless drivel like The Bachelorette ! Personally, I am with him in that I have a hard time justifying spending three hours in front of the television when my family could better use my attention. So Joe, here's a suggestion for you. Turn the television off! At least my dad and I bonded a bit over sports on t.v., as my step son and I do now. To share in the lowest common denominator shitfest that is reality television is (I know, in my opinion) sad as hell. I'll end it there to avoid going off on [more of] a rant about the evils of reality t.v.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:47 PM on July 03

And, in retrospect: I listened to the broadcast again, and it was Colin Cowherd, not Buck, who brings family into the equation. So, I stand by my rant, just change the person at whom it was directed; )

posted by tahoemoj at 01:53 PM on July 03

Because Buck has a national job, he must be good at his job and popular with the Silent Majority. Yes, that's true. You don't get the national gig just because you're Big Jack's boy -- unless you're saying FOX deliberately keeps someone unpopular and awful on the payroll for that reason alone. Could you explain to me why they'd do that? The only reason I could give would be that he has gotten worse since he took the national stage, and now FOX feels locked in with him. I have no idea why that would be true, but I suppose it could be. As for his merits, Joe was much more interesting (and perhaps interested) doing local broadcasts on KMOX than he is on FOX telecasts. You give him grief for targeting Joe Average, but that's exactly what national announcers are supposed to do -- make the game accessible for anyone who tunes in, not fill it with obscure trivia and stories just for diehards. Maybe Joe dislikes that as much as I do. I still find Buck to be very good, even when working with a tool like McCarver. He's clear, knowledgeable and not overly verbose. I'd also point out that there doesn't seem to be the hatred of Buck here that's going on on that other blog. Maybe it's like most other bitchfests -- the people who have the most extreme viewpoints make the most noise, while the other 90% are generally satisfied.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:23 PM on July 03

I still find Buck to be very good, even when working with a tool like McCarver. I think you just identified the major problem in this equation... McCarver. I don't mind Buck as long as he's not trying to crack bad jokes, as he does every once-in-a-while. I do think he is guilty of trying to build too much drama at times with his "what if" scenarios as Venice points out. Since I don't usually watch a baseball game from start to finish, I like when he fills me in on what I've missed. I, personally, like Survivor (guilty pleasure, plus sometimes hot girls in bikinis) and would rather watch that than sit and watch 3 hours plus of baseball. Overall, I would say that Joe Buck is pretty well-liked, even though there are a lot of haters. It's kind of like how A-Rod always gets picked apart for all he does, yet he always is the top vote-getter for the all-star game.

posted by chamo at 02:49 PM on July 03

What is, to me, striking, is that he gives his tacit endorsement to mindless drivel like The Bachelorette ! Exactly. WTF Joe Buck? To share in the lowest common denominator shitfest that is reality television is (I know, in my opinion) sad as hell. I'll end it there to avoid going off on [more of] a rant about the evils of reality t.v. You are preaching to the choir. Please feel free to rant away. Do you really think FOX wouldn't replace Buck if it had someone more capable? I have nothing against Joe Buck. But Fox sports in general is complete shite. They are clearly of the mindset that the game itself is not interesting enough so they need to enhance it with the ridiculous sound effects, visuals, and mind numbing repetition of ad after ad after ad for yet another shitty Fox show. So I wouldn't trust Fox Sports to make any smart decisions when it comes to anything regarding their telecasts, including announcers.

posted by cjets at 03:01 PM on July 03

You give him grief for targeting Joe Average, but that's exactly what national announcers are supposed to do -- make the game accessible for anyone who tunes in, not fill it with obscure trivia and stories just for diehards. I do think this is true to an extent - I suppose if I was hired to announce the MLB playoffs, the producers would end up yelling at me to dumb down my commentary because the hardcore fans are going to watch regardless, and let's not alienate the channel surfers with cockamamie terms like "VORP." So it's not all on Buck that nationally-televised games have such insipid announcing. That doesn't explain the idiotic "insights" of Tim McCarver, however. While I certainly see your point, fraze, it doesn't change the fact that for those of us who follow the entire sports season and watch every game of the playoffs, the announcing becomes more tiresome and repetitive with each game...which may be part of what Buck is complaining about. Bad announcing is driven by the market. Doesn't change the fact that it is still bad announcing. I mean - Jesus. If you're gonna skip sports for another television program, or admit that you do on the radio, can you at least watch/namecheck something good like The Wire?

posted by Venicemenace at 03:25 PM on July 03

But baseball and The Bachelorette actually have a lot in common. People are coming up to bat, people are trying to get to first base, people are trying to score..... the game itself is not interesting enough Baseball is 9 parts stupifying repetition and 1 part scintillating action. Unless every announcer has the intelligence, wit, and madness of a Robin Williams to make every utterance unique, they quickly run out of ways to say another batter struck out.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:26 PM on July 03

that's exactly what national announcers are supposed to do -- make the game accessible for anyone who tunes in I'm not going to argue that fraze, but it's frustrating all the same. In this Era of the Echo Chamber where everyone can design their own tailored video feed to only show them the best of Hentai Tentacle Rape (as an example), isn't it time to retire the idea the announcers need to worry about the teeming masses waiting to be shown the sport? Sports always need to attract the next generation, but I feel like as a kid I was interested in things that were knotty and complicated and hard to understand. I wanted that sort of Insider Knowledge/ brotherhood feeling. Maybe that's just me, but if you bring people in by showing them a surface cut of the sport, are they going to stick around if you don't give them something more?

posted by yerfatma at 04:48 PM on July 03

Joe Buck is a OK announcer until he's stacked up against the greats of the past, and then he may seem ordinary. Rather watch something else (insert program) other than baseball. Not surprised, stated about 18 months to 2 years ago it he wanted to go in another direction in entertainment field other than sports. Can't remember the interviewer or all the details, but that one fact stuck in my memory. As far a baseball games lasting to long-never watch them live. Record and watch later, so can skip through the commercials. Get away with it because work evening and games are generally over by the time arrive home.

posted by giveuptheghost at 04:48 PM on July 03

Not surprised, stated about 18 months to 2 years ago it he wanted to go in another direction in entertainment field other than sports. Can't remember the interviewer or all the details, but that one fact stuck in my memory. I remember that interview as well, ghost. I was still in St. Louis at the time and I recall it being on a local news program. Maybe Channel 5 (NBC) with Frank Cusamano? But JB did say that he would be happy to leave the sports industry to pursue other interests. He didn't elaborate much at the time, but it seemed pretty clear that he would not be announcing for much longer.

posted by BoKnows at 05:12 PM on July 03

Maybe that's just me, but if you bring people in by showing them a surface cut of the sport, are they going to stick around if you don't give them something more? I'm not disagreeing with you, yerfatma, but I am saying it's the prevailing trend, and something I was even told when I was calling college games for radio and television. I just don't think it's fair to blame Buck for that. It does make some sense, as your hardcore fans aren't going to leave a telecast if it's dumbed down some, but you could alienate the casual fan by holding a five-minute discourse on the relative merits of the sacrifice bunt. If you're gonna skip sports for another television program, or admit that you do on the radio, can you at least watch/namecheck something good like The Wire? Because he's Joe Buck, all he can watch is PBS? Maybe Channel 5 (NBC) with Frank Cusamano? I did several sports panel shows in the St. Louis area with Frank -- super-nice guy, down to earth and very knowledgeable. Great story: We're taping "Around The Horn" and Frank and I are both guests. The segments run about eight minutes and are one-take deals -- if we stop, we have to start over again from the top and the spontaneity is lost. Cusamano has his young son (I believe his name is Alex) with him that night. The first segment is about half done when I notice Frank's son, who is maybe 3-4 years old, is dancing around off camera. He has to go. He's not yelling for his father, but Frank sees him and recognizes the pee-pee dance. Frank gives the boy a little hand wave and he manages to hold it until our director clears us. Frank then bounds out of his chair, scoops up Alex and races out the front door of the studio into the parking lot, where Alex finally gets the pause that refreshes. They both come back in like nothing at all had happened and we go right on to the next segment. That kid's got a future in the business.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:09 PM on July 05

Because he's Joe Buck, all he can watch is PBS? I don't think those of us who are questioning his tv taste are recommending he only watch or endorse PBS (or HBO, as in the example.) We're simply pointing out that if you are going to abandon the televised games of the sport in which you (and your dad) made your life, perhaps you would [claim to] do it in favor of something less vacuous than The Bachelorette and the other completely devoid of conscience lookalike reality shows.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:43 PM on July 05

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