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The Loop

Foot Meet Mouth

Leave it to Joe Buck to say something stupid

December 17, 2021

Joe Buck probably gets more stick than he deserves. He’s not a homer anymore than the next booth bobblehead. His bone-dry monotone is actually soothing once you get used to it. Hell, even his infamous “THAT IS A DISGUSTING ACT” can be read as something of a sign of the times, pre-Twitter and YouTube when ‘South Park’ was still considered edgy. N

ow that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to give Joe Buck some stick, and this time it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t deserve it.

Buck and his funhouse mirror reflection Troy Aikman were on the call for Thursday night’s tilt between the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs and the Justin Herbert-led Los Angeles Chargers. On the opening drive of the game, the Chargers’ Donald Parham suffered a non-contact head injury in the back of the end zone, when his helmet whiplashed into the turf after an attempted diving grab. Parham was knocked immediately unconscious and remained that way for some time as team medics attended to him.

It was a grisly scene that got even worse as Parham’s face mask was removed and he was strapped to a backboard. As he was transported from the field, Parham could be seen experiencing tremors. We’re not going to show that to you here—righting one of Fox’s wrongs from the broadcast, as they trained the cameras squarely on Parham throughout the ordeal—but it’s out there if you want to find it.

Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Joe Buck went ahead and opened his mouth.

An absolute classic of the genre. The surest sign a sports broadcaster is about to start speculating is when you hear “we’re not going to speculate…” As soon as those words leave their lips, you know you’re about to get some of the patchiest, most reckless guesswork this side of cable news. Buck wondering aloud if the uncontrollable shaking of a man who just suffered a traumatic brain injury on live TV was because he was a little bit chilly is about as patchy and reckless as it gets.

As cringeworthy as that is, however, it’s small potatoes compared to the bigger picture, which is Parham’s health. The Chargers last update was that he had been transported to UCLA Harbor Medical Center for tests and imaging relating to a head injury and was in stable condition. Until we hear more from the Chargers, that’s all we know, because unlike Buck, we're actually not going to speculate.