WHY Joe Buck Sucks, and why people hate Joe Buck

Do a web search on Joe Buck. A lot of people dislike him. A lot of people hate him. A lot of people think he sucks.

Reading some of the comments about Joe Buck usually reveals that people hate him for one of three reasons. 1. People think he is a pompous prick. It is hard to argue with this one, since he does leave the impression that he is in fact a pompous prick. 2. People think he is disinterested in the sports that he covers. Maybe he is bored because he has been to so many games. Maybe his interest is lacking because he doesn’t have to invest a substantial portion of his disposable income to purchase a ticket, parking, and maybe a couple of beers. 3. People think he is a beneficiary of nepotism. It is hard to argue that Joe Buck would have been given an opportunity as a sports announcer had his father not come before him.

All of these are superficial. None of these are the true reason why people hate Joe Buck, and why people think Joe Buck sucks. I am about to tell you the real reason.

The reason why people hate Joe Buck and think Joe Buck sucks is because he is bad at his job.

Maybe I am spoiled. I grew up in the Chicagoland area. My dad was a huge Bears fan (still is), and I remember watching many, many Bears games as an adolescent. My dad used to do something during the Bears games that, as a kid, I never gave much thought. Before the game started, he would turn on the TV, and turn the volume down all the way. Then he would turn the radio on, and tune to WGN-AM 720, where Wayne Larrivee handled play-by-play duties.

I didn’t know it at the time, but my dad was among what was likely tens of thousands of other Chicagoans who did the exact same thing. Maybe it is because radio featured more prominently in their lives than television as they were coming of age. Maybe it is because the Chicago Blackhawks had the strictest of blackout rules, forcing Chicago hockey fans to listen to games on the radio if they wanted to follow the Hawks, and that carried over to football. Both seem plausible.

But maybe, just maybe, the reason they preferred the radio play-by-play is because they recognized that the TV equivalent was a far inferior product. This seems extremely likely and– coming back to topic– Joe Buck is the quintessential example as to why this is the case.

Try this. Turn on a game that Joe Buck is announcing. Turn the volume up, and go sit in a different room so you can hear the audio, but not see the television. As the play-by-play announcer, it is Joe Buck’s job to be your eyes. In theory, Joe Buck should paint a picture as he describes all of the important events as they occur, hence play-by-play. In practice, you will be almost completely lost.

You will find that Joe Buck does an extremely poor job at informing the audience and describing critical facets of the game. In particular, here are some areas where I find Joe Buck to be lacking:

  • Pre-snap down, distance, and position on the field. It is essential that this critical information is relayed to the audience every single play. Joe Buck often neglects this responsibility. You will often get down, sometimes get distance, and rarely get position. This leaves the viewer to shift their focus from the actual game to a tiny down and distance graphic, then to the field to determine field position. It becomes fatiguing.
  • Pre-snap offensive formation and motion. As it is the offense that primarily drives the game, it is important to provide insight that may not otherwise be readily observed by a casual viewer. Joe Buck almost always fails to describe game elements such as as whether the quarterback is in the shotgun formation, or how many backs / which backs are in what formation. I don’t know if I have ever heard Joe Buck describe pre-snap motion. If I have, it has been extremely rare.
  • Actual details of the play as it unfolds. Joe Buck is so lacking in this aspect– the main duty of a play-by-play announcer– that it would be hard to detail without writing another thousand words. If you have, as I suggested, tried to follow a game with audio only, it should be extremely apparent that Joe Buck does an incredibly poor job of filling in the details. Sometimes he says nothing. Sometimes he just says a player’s name, like he just did in the SF @ CAR divisional playoff game that I am watching (“Newton,” is all he said). Sometimes he is so busy talking about something completely unrelated to the ongoing play that he fails to offer any description of the play as it unfolds. Rarely does Joe Buck provide a thorough and informative account of what is occurring during a particular play.

I think Joe Buck would be well served to follow my suggestion himself. My suspicion is that he is so far removed from what it is like to be an actual sports fan that he simply does not know that he is not very good at what he does. It seems that he is almost comparable to a twelve term congressman who long ago lost perspective on what it is like to be an average Joe. He may mean well, but his ignorance is apparent to any observer who can look past the superficial in a critical fashion.

I also think Joe Buck would be well served to listen to the broadcasts of other announcers, even in other sports. Listen to Jeff Joniak do the play-by-play for a Bears game. That guy keeps you informed and entertained. He is enthusiastic. He is memorable (his call of “Devin Hester, you are ridiculous” has been featured on many television highlight reels). He is everything that Joe Buck is not. Tune into a Blackhawks television broadcast with Pat Foley. Listen as he establishes the cadence necessary to cover ten minutes of non-stop play. Listen as he weaves play-by-play with almost continuous player substitutions. Listen as he effortlessly shifts from offensive to defensive coverage, sometimes every few seconds. Listen to how he paints a picture that informs the viewer, and reinforces what the viewer sees.

I think Joe Buck could be a good announcer. Unfortunately, I have seen no improvement in his play-by-play technique over the years. I expect no improvement in the future.

51 thoughts on “WHY Joe Buck Sucks, and why people hate Joe Buck

  1. I think the basic problem with your complaint is you are comparing TV play by play with radio. Radio IS more detailed and complete. TV announcers are taught to allow the picture to tell most of the “nuts and bolts” and all of the directionals…left, right, etc. Viewers can see that. Graphics show score, down and distance, etc. Hockey is the only TV sports done more similarly to radio because the puck IS hard to follow. TV announcers do not, by design, tell you as much as a good radio PBP man will. It is not just Joe Buck by any means. Radio PBP is the purest form of the job. TV PBP is putting captions on pictures.

  2. sorry , Joe Buck only has the voice….he should be the 2nd guy rambling

  3. Joe buck is the absolute Worst sports announcer EVER. Wake up FOX. Not good.

  4. Joe Buck really doesn’t care about sports. He’s a pretty boy that’s ugly

  5. Whoever wrote this article is an idiot. TV play-by-play are there to paint the picture. That’s what radio guys do. The better announcers will let the scene play out and stay out of the way. This guy knows very little about broadcasting and shouldn’t be speaking with such authority.

    This year, at least for baseball, he has the unenviable task of having to make the Giants and Royals sound exciting. I don’t think anyone could accomplish that.

  6. Joe Buck does suck. Gonna stop watching FOX Sports when he’s announcing.

  7. My joy at enjoying the Red Sox play in the World Series for the 3rd time this millenium was tempered by having to listen to Joe *uck’s disinterested reading from the teleprompter and repeating what the producer’s earpiece tells him to say. Thank goodness for the simulcast radio audio via MLB.com (approx 10 seconds earlier).

    If the idiot with the dimpled chin and famous baseball name, has virtually nothing useful to say or insight to add (and he does not), why don’t they put him on the sideline like the female eye-candy and put a real baseball announcer in the booth?

  8. Joe is hated because he represents the ’5%’ type ‘fan’. He likes American football, as long as it’s a sanitized FOX broadcast. Hates actual football and where it came from. Perfect example: In Green Bay there is one road out of the stadium to the airport, and everyone knows it. They played a huge playoff game against Minnesota (if you don’t know that rivalry go there, you’ll see how intense it is). On the drive to the stadium, Packer fans lined up and MOONED the Vikings bus. So when Randy Moss scored, he pretended to moon them. Buck went ballistic, saying it had no place at the game. So a reference by one team’s player towards THOUSANDS of fans had no place because ONE guy don’t like it? Stay home Joe, football ain’t for you…..

  9. joe bucks suck because he doesent have any emotion- and worse he doesent have a style -unless you call like he is reading his lines style.
    it is scripted not at all spontaneous it is dry and lifeless.
    and the only way to watch a game is for the volume to be down
    joe buck could never do golf it takes talent- imagination to do golf well what am i saying! joe buck cant do any sport period
    joe buck could do one thing, maybe, read for talking books, if it a corporate report.

  10. We have suffered through Joe Buck and his cowboy sidekick for the last three games. Will somebody let Fox know that lots of fans are turning off the sound and listening to the guys on the radio. It is obvious to us that Buck loves anybody who plays the Sea Hawks. His knowledge of football and his arrogant style are not worthy of Fox Sports.

  11. He is the WORST there is…. and why does fox sports still let him do all the big games in football, but also his blather is in baseball and now he destroys golf!! He would do good at cricket, polo and soccer. The scoring is slow and he knows those games are a lot slower paced. Then we can talk about another annoying one, erin andrews, I feel like ripping my ears off listening to her…..

  12. Joe Buck is opinionated, lethargic, and just plain awful. He says that he tries to call games down the middle but has a massive boner for certain players. He had a good run for a while, but just like his old partner Tim McCarver, he’s lost it and it’s time for a change.

    Tim McCarver’s last famous line was in the MLB post season where he said that the pitcher, “goes by the smell of the balls.”

    Thanks for the awkward faces Joe, get the heck out of the broadcast chair. You are brutal. Worse than CB Buckner…

  13. I guess he got his job because of his old man but he really is lousy. I’m not a great fan of baseball on TV. Four hours + is too long for me to sit through. If the announcers are a little animated it is a little more tolerable. Buck brings nothing to the table in that regard.

  14. Why don’t they get rid of Joe Buck if he has many people that don’t like himself like myself.

  15. What a blessing. Technical difficulties. A world Series inning without the droning’s of Joe Buck.

  16. As a sports fan but primarily a football fan I hope the World Series goes 7 games so I can watch football on Fox without having to listen to that asshole Joe Buck. I despise him. He is really good at being an arrogant, pompous creep. He is worse than just being a homer for his teams, mostly from California, the land of assholes. I use the radio broadcast and put up with the delay so I don’t have to listen to him. Troy is still a stiff. Buck must be a major stockholder at Fox.

  17. You are spot on with your knowledge of Buck. Watching him now live as I read this ( carolina vs green bay) and I did what you suggested. The 1st play into this experiment was a kickoff. Buck goes silent, then talks to Troy about something not about the kickoff. You wouldn’t know the games was even back on. Then and this is how he explained the next play. And I quote! BUCK. That was a big one, now he loses yards wow was that a big one. Thank you sir for putting my hands around why I hate to hear him call games. I don’t hate Buck, and Troy is no better, but Joe needs to want to get better or get a new job. Thank you sir…

  18. I can’t take it anymore. Joe buck is the worst what is fox thinking. Do they even watch the games he is on???? Please find someone else I am tired of turning my volume down and listening to local updates on the radio. Come on Fox have some balls.

  19. I liked his daddy much better. Jack was a great baseball announcer. “And we’ll see you tomorrow night”, after Kirby Puckett’s game winning home run in game 6 of the 1991 world series, sent shivers down my spine. Where as Joes constant complaining about Minnesota Vikings receiver Randy Moss’s antics in a playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, in a distant past game, made me sick. He aint like his daddy.

  20. I used to mute fox broadcast, now I just don’t even watch the games when Joe Buck is broadcasting, just seeing him when he gets his awkward camera time makes me want to punch him as hard as I possibly can. He is incredibly terrible, I don’t understand why Fox keeps him employed, I wish he would die a terrible death, or a quick one, like tomorrow.

  21. This article is only half right. The other half of the unbelievably bad experience that is Fox sports football is Troy Aikman. When these 2 idiots get together I actually think they’re competing with each other to blurt out more crap that NO ONE CARES ABOUT and has nothing to do with the game. The 2016 AFC game was exciting, very close and called on CBS . If someone counted the words spoken on that entire game I would that the Buck/Aikman duo had them beat in the first quarter. Its no secret that Fox has some real trash in their bin when it comes to people they pay to talk (try Fox and Freaks or O’Reilly) but god almighty when these 2 idiots make my ears bleed. Maybe one of them has Rupert Murdoch havin sex with a farm animal. I’m glad that Fox doesn’t have the Super Bowl. If a petition gets going to rid the airwaves of these 2 count me in!

  22. Now he is ruining the US Open, get rid of this annoying idiot!

  23. Disagree about comments stating TV p-b-p announcers do not have to “call” the game similar to radio announcers. I understand what you are saying, but it is as important in TV as radio.

    Buck has neither technical savvy about the sports he calls nor does he have the interesting stories to make up for the lack of the former.

    I sought out “Joe Buck sucks” on Google and found and commented on this post because while watchin the 2016 All-Star game, he used the word “freaking.” Sorry, but not only is that so unprofessional, it is lazy. Swearing is lazy enough, but to use a lazy version of swearing is even lazier.

    Remember how he dressed down Randy Moss for the “faux” moon? Like he was some moral representative of America? Then he uses “freaking” to his family audience?

    There are not enough words or time in the day to describe just how horrible of an announcer he is.

    I hate Joe Buck and wish he would disappear.

  24. Joe Buck calling a home run:
    Belted, back at the wall. Gone.

  25. As a native St Louisan I had the privilege of listening to the great Jack Buck call Cardinals games through my childhood and early adulthood. “GO CRAZY FOLKS! GO CRAZY!!!” That call of Ozzie Smith’s home run in the 1985 playoffs is one of my first great sports memories and is recognized as one of the all-time-great calls in any sport. Joe Buck has not done justice to his father’s legacy!

  26. Joe Buck sucks because in baseball and football he is biased against one team or another. He never is really neutral when he announces a game. And he can only state the obvious. He doesn’t give you much perspective into the games, the players or the strategies of the teams. And his delivery is in a monotone, almost as thoughhe doesn’t really care about the game he is announcing. How can he get his viewers excited when his style is so bland? And in golf, he is the absolute worst. He may play golf, but he knows absolutely nothing about the game or its finer points. Joe can’t hold a candle to Jim Nance. In baseball terms, as announcers go, Joe is low Class A compared to Jim Nance’s major league.

  27. You meant “uninterested” not “disinterested”…..Disinterested: not influenced by considerations of personal advantage.
    “a banker is under an obligation to give disinterested advice”
    synonyms: unbiased, unprejudiced, impartial, neutral, nonpartisan, detached, uninvolved, objective, dispassionate, impersonal, clinical.

  28. Jay Johnston gets it. Joe Buck inserting his “moral high ground” was laughable. His opinion represented exactly no one else’s. He’s just a hater and used his platform to admonish those he doesn’t like. Joe Buck is a douche.

  29. OMG I agree with most of the comments. After just watching the World Series game 1, I too turned the volume on mute and fired up my vintage HiFi and enjoyed old school announcers at their finest describe the game in a most unbiased way with color and commentary yet I could tell who they liked better the Cubs or Indians. When will the suits learn and fire that dufus!!

  30. I mean I COULDN’T tell who the announcers liked better. Oh man go home Joe Buck you do indeed suck !!

  31. Everyone agrees he sucks. The reasons seems to vary. I disagree with the article that we need Joe Buck to do more detailed play-by-play. I am watching the game on the TV, so I don’t need him to say more of the obvious. But in baseball that’s exactly what he does, over and over. “That’s a ground ball to second.” “Here’s a fly ball to left.” He adds absolutely no value to the broadcast, and in fact his voice vandalizes the sounds of the game. I wish there were a Secondary Audio Programming alternative after Spanish that just provided the sounds of the crowd with no broadcaster. That would be infinitely better than being forced to hear Joe Buck. I’ve sent e-mails to people at Fox Sports complaining about him. I suggest everyone reading this do the same. Eventually they’ll get it and remove him from the seat.

  32. Joe Buck is a idiot. Not even close to his dad. I often think his dad put a load in a flower pot and hatched a blooming idiot. This guy is a colorful as a funeral alb. His knowledge is sparce, his stories are not funny and make no sense. So why does Fox and others keep him? Defies reason doesn’t it. This guy on a serious note has no form, no substance and he drove Tim McCarver crazy. So Jack we miss ye and Joe we hardly understand ye. Perhaps selling Lead pencils at Second and Chestnut might keep him busy and away from those of us who love the game.

  33. The reason I cant stand Joe Buck is he never shuts up. When I’m watching the World Series I don’t want to hear what happened in the 3rd minute of the 2nd inning of the 1921 World Series. It is annoying.

  34. To anyone who thinks that Joe Buck is a good announcer, you have no idea how a game should be called. The problem with Buck and others of his ilk is that they’re lazy. They let the pictures tell the story. Buck aggravates this by adding no useful commentary. Radio announcers are, by nature of the medium, better at “painting the picture” but that is no excuse for a TV play caller. If you doubt me, listen to the great Vin Scully. Even though you’re watching the game, he paints the picture and gets you to not only understand the game within the game but actually enjoy it.

  35. Hair plugs is a St. Loius guy. His hate for Chicago pours out of his hair plug pores. He’s an butt…🍆

  36. Totally agree Joe Buck sucks. Also agree he got his job because of his dad.
    What is actually the worst about Joe is that he just cannot shut up. He announces a tv game like he is on the radio. Sports on tv are for viewing not listening to . especially baseball. I mute any baseball game he is any part of.

  37. Joe Buck sucks!! I wish we could get a different announcer!!! Not everyone cares to hear how great you think the Packers are! A lot of us are Giants fans and would really like to mute Joe Buck!!!!

  38. You can’t compare a TV broadcaster with a radio broadcaster. That’s like saying Mason Crosby is a better kicker than Aaron Rodgers. Why would you describe things that people can see for themselves? I don’t need the down and distance told to me. I can read it on the screen. I don’t need him to tell me that Rodgers is scrambling to his left because I can see for myself. He’s obviously good at what he does because people still watch him, he still has a job. He’s just not what some people want him to be. No reason to hate the guy. He also doesn’t call the game like your favorite radio broadcaster because he has to be more neutral than the radio guys do. I just don’t get the hatred. He’s just a guy. He might not be what you want him to be. Oh well. Life goes on. Don’t be a hater.

  39. Really people why is there so much hate in this world if you think you can do a better , try it!!

  40. I also agree. Joe Buck really REALLY sucks, even more than ESPN’s Andy Petree (former NASCAR announcer).
    Like Petree, Buck has no animation or emotion. Unlike Petree, Joe Buck has no knowledge of sports, no knowledge of athletes’ names (except “Newton” “Newton”), no analytical skills, no play-by-play, and Buck is a narcissistic spoiled second-generation rich “fortunate son”.

    One other thing I hate about FOX NFL Sunday is they almost always give the Cowboys the primary Fox Sports coverage (probably because they put Troy Aikman up in the booth to try to cover up some of the lethargic “coma-inducing word-vomit” coming out of Joe Buck’s uneducated mouth). At least the Cowboys don’t suck THIS season.

  41. Joe Buck is beyond terrible, I don’t know what is worse watching the Packers lose or listening to Joe Buck!

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