With reports that Troy Aikman may soon be leaving FOX for a job at ESPN, a common sentiment was that for better or worse, it would be weird to have Aikman paired with anyone other than Joe Buck. Those sentiments might have been premature.
On Thursday, news broke that in addition to Aikman, ESPN is also trying to land Buck.
OK maybe the split isn’t happening https://t.co/G2vb5s2zJC
— Kris Burke (@KrisBurke) February 25, 2022
This wouldn’t be unprecedented. FOX landed the tandem of John Madden and Pat Summerall after CBS initially lost its NFL package following the 1993 season. Then, when Monday Night Football went from ABC to ESPN after the 2005 season, Madden and his new partner, Al Michaels, went together from ABC to NBC to call Sunday Night Football games.
Buck isn’t someone that you’re going to find a lot of neutral opinions on. Give an NFL or MLB fan your opinion of Buck and chances are you’ll be in a (potentially heated) discussion for a while.
On that note, the possibility of Buck moving to ESPN was exciting for some.
This would be a huge power move from ESPN. I don’t care what ya’ll say on this app, Joe Buck is really good at what he does. https://t.co/PvlvGkZJH7
— Ross Maghielse (@Maghielse) February 25, 2022
— Tony "Baccala" (@TonyBaccalaNY) February 24, 2022
For others, not so much. Even there, though, the idea of getting Buck away from his current jobs was intriguing.
Yes please get Buck away from FOX so that a new fresh, young voice who actually loves baseball can call the World Series https://t.co/PgRDqBdwUu
— Isaac (@isaacfromFL) February 25, 2022
If this gets him off the World Series, I am all for it https://t.co/gNf8cip0De
— Jake Gullekson (@JakeGullekson55) February 25, 2022
FOX’s contract with MLB lasts through 2028. If Buck were to go to ESPN, he’d either have to work out a special arrangement to continue calling games or stop altogether. Given that he has called every World Series since 2000, as well as both 1996 and 1998, leaving that behind would be a big deal.
I think it would be hard for Buck to give up the World Series. https://t.co/DtNK1ZhEbz
— Brian Hammons (@BrianHammons) February 25, 2022
It is worth noting that special arrangements have been reached between the two networks. Alex Rodriguez, for example, is a part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast as well as FOX’s pregame shows.
Buck’s history in baseball did raise another interesting question. What could he do to help ESPN’s MLB broadcasting?
Joe Buck to ESPN would be a power move because he can bring Monday Night Football to the next level AND bring Sunday Night Baseball back
— Chase Senior (@Chase_Senior) February 24, 2022
If and it's a big IF ESPN could get Joe Buck they would be able to tackle their baseball booth and football booth in one swoop.
— Kyle Nuss (@KDN1692) February 24, 2022
Neither Buck nor Aikman are signed to ESPN yet. So, a lot needs to happen before people start getting overly excited about what either going to ESPN might mean.
But given the broadcasting dominos that could fall, the coming weeks will be an interesting time of speculation for sports fans.