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February 9, 2009 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | February 9, 2009 |

Stick with me here, because the following mini-rant does have a connection to trade news.

So last October, I went back to Philly to watch my beloved Phillies become World Fucking Champions. It was a good thing. That Sunday, after going to the Linc to watch the Eagles throw a beating on the Falcons, I was in a Philly bar watching Game 4 of the Series. It was a small bar, about 60 people there, and it should come as no surprise that everyone was united in rooting against the Tampa Bay Rays. But folks were also united in an utter hatred for Fox announcer Joe Buck. At least three times during the game, the bar erupted in a “fuck Joe Buck” chant. And then at the first half of a rainy Game 5 on Monday night, a sizable number of people at the ballpark again busted out with the “fuck Joe Buck” chant (who says Philly fans are uncouth?). And I was a proud and vocal member of that group.

Those of you who regularly watch football or baseball are surely familiar with Joe Buck, but for the non-sports watchers out there, let me explain why we would take up a chant against him on the eve of what we thought was going to be a World Series Championship. Simply put, Buck is a sanctimonious prick. He’s the son of legendary St. Louis Cardinals announcer Jack Buck. But unlike his father, who had a good sense of humor and an independent and colorful personality, Joe is a stiff and boring announcer with no color or individuality. Listen to his call of David Tyree’s amazing catch in last year’s Super Bowl:

Troy Aikman comes across as impressed. Buck, apparently, thinks he’s watching a guy in the stand catch a hot dog from a vendor. He is either unwilling or incapable of raising his excitement to match what’s happening on the field.

Unless, of course, someone tries to have some fun on the field, and then the sanctimony comes out a-raging:

Chris Collinsworth takes Moss’ action in stride, bemusedly noting that “he shoots the moon to the fans,” while Buck jumps in to immediately declare it a “disgusting act.” The thing of it is, it was actually quite amusing given the fact that the Packers fans notoriously moon the Vikings team bus on a regular basis. As I recall from watching the broadcast, Buck never once mentioned that tradition, but simply went on at length about what a shitheel Moss was for his little fake moon (to be fair, Moss is a shitheel, but not because of this). So when amazing shit happens on the field, Buck couldn’t care less. But if something offends Buck’s own moral superiority, then he gets all sorts of fired up.

Joe Buck is a cockslinger.

Which is why I think it’s a disgusting act that HBO is developing a show for Buck. The not-TV network is likely unhappy that it just lost the excellent “Costas Now” show, as Bob Costas is moving on to a permanent spot on the new MLB Network. To fill that gap, HBO Sports has apparently decided to bore its viewers into submission. Four times a year, Buck will be filmed hosting a live town hall show, apparently akin to the recent town halls Costas did on HBO. But while those often resulted in thoughtful and stimulating sports discussions, I guarantee that Buck’s show will be dreadfully dull.

The President of HBO Sports, meanwhile, is a deluded fool, claiming that Buck is “talented and engaging,” and, get this, going on to say: “We will craft the series to showcase Joe’s character and personality.” I’ve taken shits with more character and personality than Buck.

And I think other fans would likewise beg to differ. I read this story on Newsday, and one of the commenters summed up his feelings thusly:

The worst people ever to live rankings:
1. Hitler
2. Stalin
3. Bin Laden
4. Joe Buck

I wonder if HBO will change its slogan from “it’s not TV, it’s HBO” to “it’s not TV, it’s holier than thou … and preachy … and self-satisfied … and a fucking grade-A asshat.”

In fact, with a hat tip to the guys at Pacdude Games for my favorite new stupid web site, I give HBO’s decision the following verdict:

Boy, I can’t wait for this show to premiere in May!

Bom bom bom bom, faaaaaail / Seth Freilich

Industry | February 9, 2009 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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