After all, Buck was coming from a network where he was the face of both NFL coverage and the MLB postseason. He’d even led the network’s golf coverage when Fox had the USGA rights for a few years. ESPN offers baseball, golf, and plenty more for broadcasters, and having a name like Buck on the payroll would theoretically be appealing for more than just one property, even if ESPN would have to make room for him.
We’ve seen an example of the network doing just that, working with Omaha Productions to produce a Buck-led PGA Championship alternate broadcast that actually served as his debut on the network.
Since then, though, there hasn’t been much news as to what Buck (or Aikman, for that matter) might have on their docket going forward.
On Wednesday, Buck offered a bit of insight, saying on a preseason MNF conference call with media members that as far as on-air responsibilities, ESPN’s NFL calendar is more than enough.
Yeah, no, I’m not thinking that at this point. I think it will be other projects that I’m working on that has me in the role of a producer or somebody that you don’t see. That’s kind of the immediate future for me.
I would never say never, but I think I’m pretty good with just calling football the rest of my life or the rest of my career I should say, which hopefully doesn’t turn into the rest of my life (Laughing). Let me just be honest with that right now.
That doesn’t mean Buck won’t be appearing elsewhere, though, as he noted earlier in the call while citing Scott Van Pelt specifically:
I don’t know that it’s going to be anything that’s going to be leaned on during the course of the season, but you know, if Scott Van Pelt asked me to come on, I would come on any time he wanted me to come on. That’s kind of how I view it. That’s how it was in my previous life, and that’s how it’s going to be forever for me.
But as far as anything that’s baked into a contract, no. I think they just rely on us to say, well, we’re paying you guys an exorbitant amount of money, so if somebody asks you to come on TV, come on TV. Don’t be a putz.
Words to live by!
In any case, it remains tempting to imagine Buck popping in on a random spring weeknight to call an NBA game, and maybe at some point that happens. But it’s clear that for now, he’s much more focused on learning the ropes at a new network with a new production team for an entirely new broadcast window.
That’s probably plenty of “new” for him right now.