Joe Buck’s schedule is booked all week.
The FOX announcer will be on the call for seven consecutive days of either MLB or NFL games. The stretch, would could go to eight days depending on the length of the World Series, began on Sunday for Week 6 of the NFL season.
It has become standard for the play-by-play announcer to call so many games in October given his duties with each league. But this year is further complicated by a Monday night NFL game that was rescheduled due to COVID-19.
Buck will be on your TV for 7 straight days
Buck, 51, has been the lead NFL announcer on Fox since 2002. He calls Sunday’s “Game of the Week” on Fox and his duties expanded in recent years to cover Thursday night games on the network.
He started his busy week on Sunday by calling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win over the Green Bay Packers alongside longtime partner Troy Aikman. That game was in Tampa.
The Emmy winner and three-time national sportscaster of the year will be on the NFL call again Monday for an afternoon tilt between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs in Buffalo. That matchup was pushed back due to a trickle-down effect from positive COVID-19 tests on the Tennessee Titans roster earlier in October.
Then it’s on to two days of the World Series, his 23rd year on the Fall Classic. He’s joined by former pitcher John Smoltz in the booth and they’ll call games between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday and Wednesday. All World Series games will be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, this year due to the pandemic. That’s a help.
Buck will head back east to Philadelphia for a Thursday night game between the Eagles and the New York Giants. Game 3 of the World Series is on Friday and Game 4 is on Saturday, completing a whirlwind week. If a Game 5 is needed, that would make it eight days since it’s scheduled for Sunday.
He’ll have a definite break on Monday. Next week’s schedule is a tad lighter (*if necessary):
Tuesday, Oct. 27: World Series Game 6* in Arlington
Wednesday, Oct. 28: World Series Game 7* in Arlington
Thursday, Oct. 29: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints, in New Orleans
It could be 11 of 12 days for Buck on a major sporting event. Assuming he isn’t working remotely for any — and he hasn’t so far — he’ll be in five different cities during the full span of overlapping games.
Full October schedules a standard for Buck
The World Series and NFL schedule always overlap, creating a hectic stretch for the announcer. In 2019, Buck was on the call for six consecutive days. He and Smoltz began the six-game World Series on Tuesday at the home of the Houston Astros. After another game there on Wednesday, Buck went out to Washington a day early to call a Thursday night Washington Football Team game for FOX.
The Washington Nationals hosted games the next three days and the two went back to Houston for Game 6 on Tuesday. Buck returned to football two days later for a Week 9 game in Arizona.
Announcers aren’t only working while they’re on the air. There are pre-production meetings, research and preparation that go into every game. Not to mention Buck’s travel itinerary is extensive and includes visits back-and-forth between time zones. Dislike the guy if you will, but the grind he puts himself through every October is impressive.
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