Joe Buck noted Thursday night that Cleveland, where he was broadcasting Bengals vs. Browns for NFL Network, is close to Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Turned out to be great, albeit unwitting, foreshadowing.
A stunned Buck learned live on the air at halftime that he is the 2020 recipient of the Pete Rozelle Award, which gets him into Canton. Hall of Fame president David Baker delivered the news in a recorded message that was followed by a tribute video narrated by actor Paul Rudd.
As Baker said in his announcement, Buck joins his father, the late Jack Buck, as a Rozelle recipient. The Bucks are the first father-son combo to achieve the feat.
When the telecast returned to the booth at FirstEnergy Stadium, Joe Buck still couldn’t fully process what had happened. He received congratulations from his longtime broadcast partner, Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, who was wearing his gold jacket.
Aikman compared his reaction to the announcement with how he reacted to learning live that Jimmy Johnson, his former coach with the Cowboys, had been inducted.
“I got emotional like I did when Jimmy got announced. That’s awesome. . . . Well-earned,” Aikman said.
Buck and Aikman have been broadcasting games together for 19 years. Buck has been calling NFL games for Fox since 1994.
And now the announcer people love to hate on Twitter for being a homer/hater/fill in the blank has been recognized as one of the best to ever do it.