Announcers are just as much a part of sports as the players and fans. Some are very good, like the Chicago Cubs’ Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies.
On a national stage, Joe Buck has always been a polarizing announcer, and with his connection to the Cardinals, has not been well-liked by Chicago Cubs fans. Cubs fans have become very familiar with Buck over the past four to five years being in the playoffs consistently.
Buck has become the voice of the MLB playoffs and has called every World Series since 2000. Buck also called the National League Championship Series in 2016 when the Cubs won their first pennant in over 70 years.
Buck is perceived as showing his biases for his love of Clayton Kershaw and other high-market organizations. His father, Jack, was the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the St. Louis Cardinals for over 30 years until his retirement in 2001.
I believe that Joe Buck is the best announcer sports has going today. He calls NFL games, MLB games, as well as golf on FOX. Not only the magnitude of the games he has called, including Super Bowls and World Series, but Buck also has a great idea of when just to let things breathe and let the emotion overtake the moment.
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The 2016 NLCS and World Series clincher were great examples of this. After Kris Bryant completed the play, Buck sat in silence and let the moment simmer. The same thing happened after the Cubs clinched the trip to the World Series.
The little things like this let the audience soak it all in too. Fans wanted to enjoy the Cubs going to the World Series and winning a championship, not hear some person talking the whole time. Again this past season, when the Washington Nationals completed an improbable season by winning the World Series in seven games against the Houston Astros.
Those little things add up to him being a great broadcaster. Not only that, but Buck is also knowledgeable of the sports he calls and is always willing to drop some history into his broadcasts. He shows chemistry with his partners by bouncing questions and ideas off of them but making sure not to talk too much. He is the most well-rounded announcer out there and shows emotion at just the right times.
When it comes to baseball, Matt Vasgersian may be the only one who comes close to Buck in terms of knowledge and calling the game. When it comes to the NFL, Buck is no doubt the best, but Al Michaels is right up there.
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Buck is only 51, so he will be around for a long time yet. We, as sports fans, should be looking forward to listening to him call games for as long as we can, because all-time greats don’t come around often.