Vikings Demand Removal of Fox Announcer Joe Buck
Vikings don’t want Fox announcer (ESPN – AP)
Minnesota Vikings owner Red McCombs asked Fox Sports to remove play-by-play announcer Joe Buck from Sunday’s divisional playoff game at Philadelphia because of his sharp criticism of wide receiver Randy Moss. After catching a touchdown pass in last weekend’s win at Green Bay, Moss celebrated in the end zone by pretending to pull down his pants and moon the Packers fans before briefly wiggling his back side against the goalpost. Buck immediately called it a “disgusting act.” That statement, in McCombs’ view, was out of line. A two-sentence news release issued by the team said McCombs felt Buck’s comments “suggested a prejudice that surpassed objective reporting.”
Dan Bell, a Fox spokesman, said the network has “no intention whatsoever” of removing Buck. “We hope Mr. McCombs enjoys Joe’s play-by-play call Sunday, because he’ll be in the booth,” Bell said. McCombs, whose office is in San Antonio, was not immediately available for further comment. Buck, during an interview on Sporting News Radio earlier this week, stood by his criticism. “I have nothing against Randy Moss,” Buck said. “I don’t even know the guy. I just know that with the history that he’s had, and coming off that game at Washington, it was just stunning to see that.”
Moss drew plenty of negative scrutiny the week before for walking off the field in frustration while his teammates lined up for an onside kick with 2 seconds left in a 21-18 loss to the Redskins.
Fox is right to stick by its guns. Buck is a fine announcer and his reaction was shared by many. Giving his honest reaction is his job, after all.
Interestingly, the headline to the story changed three times while I was compiling this. In addition to the one above, they had “Vikings demand removal of Fox announcer” and ” Fox denies Vikings request to pull Buck from booth.”