The worst-kept secret in sports media was over on Wednesday as ESPN officially announced Joe Buck and Troy Aikman as their new Monday Night Football booth.

The duo, who worked together as Fox’s top NFL broadcasting team for the past 20 years, will call 18 MNF games this upcoming season and will also per the announcement, “both contribute content to ESPN+, with more details to be announced at a later date.”

While ESPN was more than happy to officially announce the news, Buck and Aikman also seemed very excited to finally be able to say what most of the media world has known for weeks now. Both men have described one another as good friends and the ability to continue working together clearly seems to have been a driving factor in getting here.

Aikman, who was initially rumored to be leaving Fox for Amazon before making the shocking move to ESPN, shared his excitement over being able to join the booth he grew up watching on TV.

“Like most kids of my generation, I grew up watching MNF w/Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, and my mom’s favorite Don Meredith so you can only imagine my excitement to be part of the legacy of MNF & continue working w/Joe Buck, my broadcast partner for the last 20 years,” wrote Aikman.

In the span of a few weeks, Buck went from thinking about who will be his new partner in the Fox booth to negotiating his way out of the last year of his contract to join Aikman at ESPN. Thanks to Fox and ESPN’s shared interest in Big Ten football, it became a reality and Buck now says he’s “beyond excited” for the opportunity.

“I just wanted to take a sec to tell you how excited, beyond excited, I am to come to ESPN and to get to do Monday Night Football,” said Buck. “Get to do it with Troy. Get to do it with Lisa Salters. With John Parry. The entire crew. It’s going to be an absolute blast.”

Buck then pointed to a photo of his dad, Jack Buck, who served as the longtime radio voice of Monday Night Football. 

“And for that guy back there, a young Jack Buck, I can’t tell you how many times I went into a Monday Night Football radio booth with he and Hank Stram, and I sat there watching some of the greats to ever broadcast on television go into the Monday Night Football booth, never even thinking that I could end up there,” said Buck. “And well, here we are. Didn’t see it coming and gosh I’m glad it did. Can’t wait for the schedule to come out so we can find out where we’re gonna be each and every Monday night and I know you’ll be there too.”

While this is Aikman’s first time at ESPN, Buck did some brief work for the Worldwide Leader in 1989 as a reporter covering the Triple-A All-Star Game. And ESPN was more than happy to welcome him back into the fold by taking a trip down memory lane.

[Troy Aikman, Joe Buck, ESPN]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.