Back in January, who would have predicted that the last time Joe Buck appeared on Fox would be on… The Masked Singer?
Hours after ESPN officially announced that Buck and Troy Aikman were the network’s new broadcast team for Monday Night Football, the play-by-play personality revealed himself as the mystery singer under the golden, magnificently horned helmet after Ram was eliminated on Wednesday night’s show.
One of the judges, Modern Family‘s Eric Stonestreet, guessed that Buck was the man behind the ram helmet, based on the masked singer appearing to know him. Stonestreet and Buck worked together on Fox’s Domino Masters, so there was some familiarity and friendship there.
Host Nick Cannon asked Buck what made him want to perform on the show, a question many viewers (and sports fans who might not watch The Masked Singer, but learned of Buck’s appearance on social media) likely wondered themselves.
“Eleven years ago, I had a paralyzed vocal cord,” Buck said. “So to come out here 11 years later and kind of throw my nerves to the wind, and sing in front of this great audience, I was like, ‘Hey, you know, why not? Let’s give it a shot.'”
After Buck explained some of the clues toward his identity during his two-episode stint on the show, he broke into another rendition of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” for his send-off performance.
Was that a message to Fox Sports executives, who Buck and Aikman have indicated didn’t show them much love during recent contract negotiations? Maybe. Or perhaps it was a plea to sports fans and viewers, who haven’t always embraced Buck during his 25-plus years at Fox as the lead voice of the NFL and World Series.
Buck has always been interested in stepping out into mainstream culture and showing he can do more than call sports play-by-play. So appearing on The Masked Singer can’t be a complete surprise. Plus, he’s a Fox company man. He’s essentially been the face — and voice — of Fox Sports for more than two decades.
Obviously, that’s no longer the case. And what would have been a fun offseason diversion instead turned into a strange, though unspoken, flamboyant goodbye to Fox after a nearly 30-year run. Sports media and broadcasting in 2022 has been amazing.
AT&T Sportsnet’s Kelsey Wingert Shows Off Stitches After Being Drilled Line Drive
“The veteran reporter is expected to get married in June. Doctors are “hoping” the scar doesn’t effect her big day.”
Baseball reporters at the regional level have some of the toughest jobs in all of sports. Not only do they cover each for all 162 games, but there’s always the potential for getting drilled by a foul ball.
While all MLB ball clubs have expanded their netting this season to protect fans sitting close to the field, Rockies sideline reporter Kelsey Wingert suffered a nasty injury via a foul ball earlier this week.
A scary incident took place on Monday’s outing against the Rockies and San Francisco Giants at Coors Field in Denver. In the ninth inning, Giants outfielder Austin Slater hit a foul ball off Daniel Bard, with the ball heading straight to the dugout, right where Wingert was standing while reporting for AT&T Sportsnet.
After getting attended to by the Rockies medical staff and walking it off, giving fans a “thumbs up,” Wingert ended up having to go to the hospital where she received multiple stitches to her forehead.
The 29-year-old reporter took to Twitter on Wednesday to express her gratitude towards the Rockies organization and AT&T Sportsnet general manager David Woodman, who along with his wife Paula, stayed by her side at the hospital.
“I had a CT scan to make sure there was no internal bleeding or fractures and all came back clear. Thank God,” Wingert said on Twitter Wednesday. “The stitches will have to come out in a week. I’m very lucky it wasn’t worse. It was just really scary and bummed me out given the circumstances.”
You would think this was the first time Wingert got hit by a ball but back in 2018 while working for Fox Sports and the Atlanta Braves she was struck by a foul ball while standing near a camera past the Braves dugout, resulting in a fractured eye socket.
Wingert retweeted a photo taken of her black eye after returning home where she made light of what could’ve been an awful occurrence.
While recovering from her wound, Wingert will be taking a few games off. The veteran reporter is expected to get married in June. Doctors are “hoping” the scar doesn’t effect her big day.
Greg Olsen To Partner With Kevin Burkhardt For Super Bowl LVII
“Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.”
The deal isn’t done yet, but Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reports that Greg Olsen is on his way to joining Kevin Burkhardt in the top NFL booth at FOX. Although Tom Brady will take over that role after he retires and leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olsen will spend at least this season on FOX’s A-Team.
Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.
Earlier this year, the former Panther told The Mac Attack on WFNZ in Charlotte that he was disappointed he didn’t get to call a postseason game. He will more than make up for that in 2023. As Burkhardt’s partner, Olsen is in line to be the analyst for Super Bowl LVII.
Marchand writes that we could get a taste of what is to come in February. He speculates that if the Buccaneers are not in the Super Bowl, it is possible Tom Brady could make his FOX debut, either in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen or as part of the network’s studio show.
Now, FOX has to make a decision about it’s number 2 NFL booth. According to Marchand, Drew Brees is a candidate to be the analyst. Adam Amin and Joe Davis have emerged as candidates for the play-by-play role.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.