Joe Buck was leading the FOX telecast of the World Series for a 14th consecutive year and for his 16th time in total in Wednesday night's Game 1.
Analyst Tim McCarver can be a chore at times, as he stretches to make a point. I forgive him for this, since McCarver is such a good guy ... as former athletes turned big-time broadcasters go.
Buck was his usual professional self. I have no trouble with him in his role as the voice of important sports events, and expressed this favorable view in the 140-character world of Twitter last night.
Complaints about Joe Buck are ridiculous. He's just fine on play-by-play of large events.— Patrick Reusse (@1500ESPN_Reusse) October 24, 2013
Immediately, Minnesota's Buck bashers came roaring out of their TV dens with Tweets, including one fellow with this suggestion: That Buck is the most-biased announcer in the sports world, and he instantly mutes the sound when Joe is on the telecast.
My response was that how does he know Buck has this great bias if he mutes the sound and doesn't listen? I'm still waiting for the answer to that.
It is nothing new for the fans of teams playing in a World Series, an ALCS, a Super Bowl or a NFC title game to decide that the announcers are biased against their team.
Way back in 1987, Twins fans were fully convinced that Al Michaels was rooting for the Cardinals to win the World Series.
I was writing for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and authored a column that announcers for these events didn't really care which team was the winner ... and, besides, it wasn't all that important what they said. As it turned out, Al Michaels was offended by the suggestion that the in-booth dialogue was unimportant, and he gave me what-for around the batting cage at the Metrodome.
Best I can tell, the anti-Joe Buck attitude with what seems a majority of Minnesota sports fans comes from the episode in Green Bay in January 2005. That's when Randy Moss mooned the Lambeau Field crowd during the Vikings' 31-17 playoff victory.
"That's disgusting,'' barked Buck.
He was correct, even with the lame excuse offered by Randy worshippers that this was a pantomime of the manner in which some Packers' fans apparently enjoyed greeting the team busses of an opponent.
Pro athletes can't be allowed to function with the same standards of behavior toward drunken fans as the drunks behave toward them, or Tiger Woods would be charging into the gallery, tracking down the loudest, drunkest load of ignorance in the crowd and shouting, "IN THE HOLE,'' after every tee shot.
Moss had been disgusting to his teammates and any right-thinking Vikings fans a week earlier in Washington, when he left the field early in a 21-18 loss to the R--skins that appeared to knock the Purple out of the playoffs.
Matt Birk challenged Moss for his ridiculous behavior in the postgame locker room, and then all the day's results came in and the Vikings backed into the playoffs at 8-8.
They wound up with a playoff game in Green Bay, Daunte Culpepper played great, Brett Favre played horribly, and Joe Buck called it that way. The Vikings won 31-17.
And after one of those touchdowns, Randy Moss acted in low-class fashion, and Joe Buck called him out.
Anyone still bad-mouthing Buck over that is as silly and juvenile as Moss was that day in Lambeau, or on numerous Sundays when his preference was to pout, jog half-heartedly and mail-it-in.
His behavior was disgusting that day in Lambeau Field, and it was disgusting during his brief return here in 2010.
Joe Buck is good at what he does. He's a pro, which Moss failed to be on too many occasions.
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