Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the Monday Night Football pregame show Photo credit: ESPN

In their second season at ESPN, no one looks happier going to work than Joe Buck and Troy Aikman do when they’re in the Monday Night Football booth.

The joy, happiness and satisfaction they appear to have with their decision to leave Fox for ESPN was on full display again during ESPN’s Monday Night Football pregame show. With the New York Jets making their first Monday Night Football appearance since Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles just four plays into the season, Scott Van Pelt asked Buck to explain how they’ve been able to keep their season from derailing.

“When you’ve got a head coach that’s Robert Saleh and he’s here,” Buck said before he paused, turned to Aikman and shared a curious chuckle with his broadcast partner. “Because of the defense. I think you have to look at the way the defense has been played. They’ve won games because of defense and special teams,” Buck continued before he again looked at Aikman and shared another laugh. “And I don’t see why that won’t continue.”

Unfortunately for the Jets, it did not continue, and they lost to the Los Angeles Chargers 27-6, prompting Aikman to all but declare them a dead team during the postgame show with Van Pelt. But what caused Buck and Aikman to be so giddy during the opening minutes of the pregame show?

Was it just the jubilation of being on ESPN? Did Aikman pass gas? Did they have an inside joke about Robert Saleh’s defense? Poor Scott Van Pelt was on the outside. And the poor audience was left hanging because Van Pelt never asked what they were giggling at.

One thing, however, is clear, in their 22nd season as broadcast partners, Buck and Aikman still enjoy working together. Good for them, because that’s certainly not always the case with paired sportscasters. Phil Simms’ tenure with Jim Nantz ended awkwardly after 13 seasons together on CBS. Boomer Esiason and Al Michaels didn’t seem to get along during their two seasons in the Monday Night Football booth.

But there doesn’t seem to be a bad breakup in sight for Buck and Aikman. As they surpassed John Madden and Pat Summerall as the longest-tenured announcing duo in NFL history this season, ESPN’s duo is still giddy about sharing a booth.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to