Since he began working at FOX in 1994, Joe Buck has called so many memorable games and events. This month, he had the opportunity to be the play-by-play voice for The Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox that was well-received by many people.
Buck was a guest on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina and he mentioned that more people talk to him about that event than anything else he has done in his illustrious career.
“I think baseball, FOX, everyone involved, the state of Iowa was proud of that whole experience with the Field of Dreams game. I’ve had more comments on that in the week since than anything I’ve done in a long, long time. I feel like everybody I know in my life, in fact, people I don’t know want to come up to me and tell me how cool that was.”
One of the things that stood out to Buck in Iowa was the amount of equipment that FOX used to produce the game.
“It was the night before the game, getting there to go through the rehearsal and what Kevin Costner wanted to do and seeing the truck compound. It had as much equipment in the truck compound as any US Open I ever did, which had at least 3-4 times more equipment than any Super Bowl I’ve ever done. I said to one of the guys, is FOX paying for all this? It was a big, big production that had a lot of moving parts to it.
“I walked through the scaffolding and bleachers that they had constructed and walked onto that field and saw what it looked like and I was stunned…It was pretty breathtaking to see the extent to which they paid tribute to that movie and how excited the players were and these two teams were to even be there.”
In addition to calling the game, Buck had another role for the event and that was helping Kevin Costner figure out what he wanted to do for the event as Costner trusted Buck to lead him in the right direction.
“He said ‘I don’t want to throw out the first pitch. I want to make this feel cinematic’. I said ‘Well, everyone is piggybacking off your movie. Do what you want. This should be your call’. He was very particular the way he wanted it done and was confiding in me to try to help him get it done. FOX was on board and then getting MLB on board was pretty easy. What you saw was exactly what Kevin Costner wanted to do.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling
“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”
In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.
During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.
“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.
ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.
NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.
Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.
One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.
Michael Irvin Removed From NFL Network Super Bowl Coverage
“I came into the lobby and I talked to somebody. I talked to this girl. I don’t know her, and I talked to her for about 45 seconds.”
A complaint from a female to NFL Network has caused the network to remove Michael Irvin from its Super Bowl coverage.
NFL Network did not comment on the nature of the complaint or the allegation of any impropriety by Irvin, simply stating Irvin would not be a participant in coverage of the event from Arizona.
“Michael Irvin will not be a part of NFL Network’s Super Bowl LVII week coverage,” said NFL Media Vice President of Communications Alex Riethmiller in a statement.
Irvin claimed the interaction happened during a brief moment Sunday after having dinner and drinks with former Cowboy defensive back Michael Brooks.
“This all happened in a 45-second conversation in the lobby,” Irvin told The Dallas Morning News. “When I got back after going out … I came into the lobby and I talked to somebody. I talked to this girl. I don’t know her, and I talked to her for about 45 seconds. We shook hands. Then, I left…That’s all I know.”
Irvin, 56, admitted he didn’t recall the conversation between him and the female but called the interaction “just a friendly conversation”. He defended himself by saying “There was definitely nothing physical”.
The report from The Dallas Morning News added that Glendale police officials do not know about any incident regarding Irvin.
A report from Front Office Sports claims ESPN executives are “poised to pull the plug” on Irvin’s scheduled appearance on First Take from Radio Row Friday.
The Pro Football Hall of Famer has been with NFL Network since 2009, and in August of last year signed an extension to remain with the cable channel.
Pro Bowl Lowest Rated Since 2006
While the numbers decreased, the Pro Bowl was still the second-highest rated All-Star Game for the major professional sports leagues.
The NFL completely revamped its Pro Bowl format for the 2022 season, and the changes did not garner more viewers.
An average of 6.28 million viewers tuned into the event across ABC, ESPN, and DisneyXD Sunday for the first 7-on-7 event. That number is a decrease of 6% compared to last year and is the lowest-rated Pro Bowl since the 2006 event saw just 5.96 million viewers. That figure excludes the 2021 Pro Bowl, which was a “virtual” event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the numbers decreased, the Pro Bowl was still the second-highest-rated All-Star Game for the major professional sports leagues, with the MLB All-Star Game seeing an average viewership of 7.51 million. The 6.28 million who watched the Pro Bowl is a virtual tie with last season’s NBA All-Star Game.
The Pro Bowl Skills Challenge — now produced by Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions — did see a large increase in viewership compared to last year. More than 1 million viewers tuned into the Thursday night primetime event, which is the second-best figure on record. That audience is a 23% increase compared to last year’s event.