Mulligans
May 04, 2020

The call Joe Buck would like to do over is not the one you'd first think

It's been over 15 years since Joe Buck's most infamous call, and yet still to this day it follows him. "That is a DISGUSTING act by Randy Moss," declared Buck as Moss fake-mooned the Green Bay Packers fans after scoring a touchdown at Lambeau Field. Moss was mimicking what the Green Bay fans do to the visiting team's bus as it rolls out of the parking lot, but Buck still had no time for it. The clip has been memorialized on YouTube with a picture of Buck making an awkward face, which rolls over the tape as he says DISGUSTING:

A sampling of the comments on this video, some from just a few years ago and some from just last week:

"Joe Buck is such a buzzkill."

"Joe Buck is a snowflake."

"REALLY CAN WE ALL JUST KILL JOE BUCK."

As you can see, Buck's call still resonates with people, even during a global pandemic 15-plus years later.

What irked viewers so much was just how aggressively Buck said disgusting. Meanwhile, one of his partners at the time, Cris Collinsworth, seemed to get a kick out of it. Judging by the reaction Buck received after the call, viewers got a kick out of it too, or at least they wanted to get a kick out of it before they were scolded by Buck.

You'd think Buck would jump at the opportunity to rectify the Moss mooning call, but you'd be wrong. This week, Buck spoke to The Athletic's Richard Deitsch, who reached out to a number of well-known play-by-play men and women and asked each of them what they'd use their one broadcasting mulligan on. The whole piece is a phenomenal read, but the Buck section stood out, mainly for the fact he would not re-do the Moss call.

"I said what I said because it was how I felt at the moment. I did, however, learn the power of the word 'disgusting,'" Buck said.

Buck's actual choice for a mulligan? The final out of the 2006 World Series, which the St. Louis Cardinals won over the Detroit Tigers. In an effort not to sound like a homer (Buck was raised in St. Louis, where his father Jack was the play-by-play voice of the Cardinals), Buck was especially monotone when Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright recorded the final out. "For the first time since 1982, St. Louis has a World Series winner," said Buck, with the energy level of Ben Stein saying "Bueller? Bueller?" in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Listen for yourself:

Ease up on the electricity, Joe! Kidding aside, he had good reasons for it, but looking back he wishes he could have channeled his "DIGGS! SIDELINE! TOUCHDOWN! UNBELIEVABLE!" energy from the 2018 NFC Divisional Game rather than ... whatever that was in 2006.

"I had heard so much noise that year and I let it get in my head," Buck tells Deitsch. "What came out as I tried to not sound biased—because I live in St. Louis and my dad's face is on the outfield wall—was flat. Flatter than Stanley. Basically, dead-assed. I listen to that highlight and cringe. I vowed after that to not let that stuff affect how I make a call ever again because it's a game you cannot win.

"So it was a learning experience, but definitely a call I want back. Unfortunately, live events don't work that way."

No they don't, which is why Buck is stuck with that "DISGUSTING act" forever, no matter how many more iconic calls he produces. Let's hope sports come back soon, before Buck has to start commentating actual DISGUSTING acts.