Joe Buck has certainly grown in popularity among both critics and viewers-at-large, and currently seems very at-home calling both football and baseball for Fox.
(He even did a great job with golf coverage for a few years.)
Talking to Colin Cowherd yesterday, Buck mentioned that one of his strategies for building rapport in the booth included sharing a few drinks. Obviously that’s a common practice for getting to know anyone, but Buck was actually doing it during the game.
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) February 15, 2021
The full quote:
“I’ll say this. We have had that glass of bourbon in the booth. Although it’s not bourbon, it’s tequila, splash of Grand Marnier and grapefruit juice. I went through a couple years where in the first inning of every postseason baseball game I had the runner go get the biggest beer the stadium sold. And I had it sitting there and I would sip it from time-to-time to remind myself to relax and have fun. I’m just doing a game.
“And I brought that over to football, but because Troy is a man of finer tastes, beer somehow became tequila, Grand Marnier and grapefruit juice. We haven’t done it in a long time now, but it was good for a stretch and I feel like it’s a good mental trigger to just chill and remind yourself that you’re not refueling a F-16 in mid-flight. You’re doing a sporting event and if you treat it like anything other than that you’re doing yourself a disservice.”
This is a fine and good thing. Obviously getting sloppy drunk on stadium booze would be very bad, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. If there was one consistent criticism about Joe Buck earlier in his career (well, aside from nepotism), it was that he needed to loosen up a bit. Buck has absolutely done that, and while attributing all of that relaxation and chemistry to the booth drinks is very much a stretch, it couldn’t hurt.
As he notes, it’s not about a buzz, it’s more about remembering what they’re doing: calling a game. It’s amazing how much that attitude translates for viewers. Plus, hey, we got Troy Aikman’s preferred tequila cocktail recipe out of this, too, so that’s an added bonus.