Joe Buck Gets Emotional On-Air Following Surprise HOF Announcement

falcons vs packers nfc championship game fox tv announcers joe buck troy aikman

Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Joe Buck. (Getty)

It wasn’t a side of Joe Buck sports fans were used to seeing. The long-time sports broadcaster was suddenly speechless.

Buck was calling the Bengals-Browns game (spoiler alert, Browns won 35-30) on Thursday night when a surprise announcement hit him at halftime. The 51-year-old is heading to Canton after earning the Pete Rozelle Award. He will join his legendary father, Jack Bucks, as the only father-son duo to receive that honor.

Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker delivered the news — apparently, it was a secret to everyone doing the broadcast, including Buck — and NFL Network aired a teary-eyed tribute narrated by Paul Rudd. It was a special moment for a visibly emotional Buck.

“Oh, my god. I don’t even know what to say,” Buck said during the broadcast, via NFL.com. “That’s unbelievable.”

When the network came back from commercial, Troy Aikman — Buck’s partner in the booth for 19 years — was wearing his Gold Jacket and joked that Buck needed to get fitted for his own jacket. According to a press release, Buck will be recognized during 2021’s Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner on Aug. 6 and he’ll be presented with the award formally during the enshrinement of the Centennial Class of 2020.

“For 26 years, the entire lifetime of FOX Sports, Joe Buck has been a voice bringing the game to life for fans of NFL football,” Baker said in a statement. “Joe’s preparation for his games and his delivery in key moments of those games bring an added quality to the network’s production. Being named this year’s Rozelle Award winner is well-deserved recognition for over two decades of excellence in his craft. I know his dad would be proud.”

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What is the Pete Rozelle Award?

The Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award was created in 1989 and gets bestowed annually “in recognition of longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.” Dick Ebersol was last year’s winner and other notable honorees include John Madden, Al Michaels, Chris Berman, Jim Nantz, Frank Gifford, and Jack Buck.

The award is named for Pete Rozelle, arguably the greatest NFL commissioner of all-time. He ran the league for nearly 30 years and oversaw the creation of large television-rights deals, including Monday Night Football and the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

“There are a lot more TV sets in use on Monday night than on Sunday afternoon,” Rozelle famously said.

In an ESPN SportsCentury documentary, Rozelle was called “the all-time hero of the NFL, the man who contributed the most to changing America’s Sunday afternoon watching habits.” He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985 before passing away in 1996.

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