As the New York Jets play host to the Buffalo Bills on this season’s first edition of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will embark on their 22nd season in the broadcast booth alongside one another, which will set an NFL record. After spending two decades at Fox, the pair are set to begin their second season of broadcasting MNF for the Worldwide Leader.
If you asked Buck or Aikman, neither would have imagined that they would be readying for their 22nd season together in the broadcast booth. And that’s exactly what their colleague, Adam Schefter, did during the most recent episode of The Adam Schefter Podcast, in which both Buck and Aikman appeared as guests.
“I never thought we would last 22 years,” Buck told Schefter. “Not for any reason other than the TV business is so weird and it’s so, I think, flighty at times, where you don’t know who’s gonna get the rights. When Fox came out of the sky in 1994, I never thought I’d be doing any NFL games, period, let alone working with a Hall of Famer and close, best friend like Troy.
“22 years sounds longer than it feels, I can tell you that. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but that’s a generation’s worth of time. I know I’m proud of it and I know Troy is too.”
Aikman has now spent a decade longer in the broadcast booth than he did under center with the Dallas Cowboys. And while the broadcasting booth has now been his home for the better part of two decades, he nearly chose to come out of retirement and play for the Miami Dolphins and head coach Dave Wannstedt rather than embark on this journey with Buck.
He seemingly made the right call considering he was able to get his broadcasting career jump-started shortly thereafter and form an ongoing partnership of 22 years with Buck.
“When I started, Adam, I really thought I’d do it for a couple of years until I figured out what I was gonna do,” Aikman told Schefter. “My second year is when I got partnered with Joe, and then Cris Collinsworth was a part of that, and it was really great. I learned a lot.”
“But to think that we would be together all this time later, especially to still be together with another network, is pretty incredible. I think it’s something that we both take a lot of pride in. And like Joe said, we are great friends. We have great respect for one another. We have a lot of fun when we are together. It’s been amazing. I do not feel like it’s been 22 years. It’s flown by.”
Buck and Aikman will continue to have fun together, as they are fortunate that they’ll be able to call Aaron Rodgers’ first regular season game in a different uniform on Monday night.