The second thing that pops up if you Google “Joe Buck” — after his Wikipedia page and before his seemingly abandoned Twitter account — is a Facebook page dedicated to bashing the Fox Sports announcer.
The page has more than 33,000 likes and a link to an eBay page selling “Joe Buck Sucks” shirts and insulated beverage holders.
The man Fox Sports has tabbed to anchor its foray into major golf coverage with this year’s U.S. Open is one of the most polarizing announcers in sports.
And it doesn’t bother him one bit.
Before Super Bowl 48, he made a video for funnyordie.com lampooning the criticism. His Twitter bio (he’s tweeted once since Oct. 17, 2013) reads: “I root FOR all teams, except yours …”
“I think that comes with the territory,” Buck said of the criticism. “I’ve done 17 (World Series) and I’ve done a lot of big NFL games and I think in this day and age the perception is — I think it’s more of a baseball-driven situation — that when you are the national guy and you show up and you are not doing the game like fans are used to listening to by their hometown announcers, well, then it sounds weird to them.
“They are used to everybody doing the game on TV from their perspective. And when you cut it down the middle and you get excited for the other team when they hit a home run too, it hits a weird note with them.
“I get it in St. Louis, where people say, ‘Why do you hate the Cardinals?’ How could you possibly think that? But it is just kind of the nature of it.”
If anyplace outside of his hometown of St. Louis has a soft spot for Buck, perhaps it’s the Northwest. He’s the voice behind some of the region’s greatest hits. Buck announced the Seahawks’ Super Bowl win last year and their improbable comeback in January’s NFC Championship Game. And, Buck jokes, “I haven’t called a Mariners game since I was 22.”
Now, he’ll supply the national commentary for the biggest golf tournament the Northwest has ever hosted.
But he won’t hold his breath waiting for Washingtonians to launch joebuckrocks.com.
When the red light goes on at Chambers Bay on June 18, there is sure to be plenty of criticism from what Buck calls the Twitterati. He says, “I’m glad people care.”
“Believe me, if (CBS golf announcer) Jim Nantz criticizes me, or (ESPN/ABC announcer) Mike Tirico criticizes me or my boss (Eric Shanks) criticizes me, that’s one thing. But if some unnamed person online criticizes me, that’s just the world we live in.
“I get it a lot but so does everybody. I just can’t worry about that.”