Joe Buck says he had a friendly exit from Fox after 28 years and is glad to give up calling the World Series

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Terrence Clay

Mar 18, 2022, 8:03:23 PMMar 18

"I think it’ll be a good pressure and a good nervous," Buck tells Sports Illustrated of joining longtime NFL booth partner Troy Aikman on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Buck says he remains friends with Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks, who found a way to allow for Buck's exit despite him having one year left on his contract. "When he told me they had worked out a deal with ESPN to make it a reality, it was a lot of thank-yous and he said, 'We love you, it makes me sick to my stomach, but we understand why you wanna go,'" says Buck. Buck adds that he had intended to give up calling Major League Baseball games at Fox. "This season would’ve been my 25th World Series," says Buck, who hasn't ruled out calling MLB games on ESPN. At some point, it’s like, 'O.K., enough.' It needs a different voice. I had whittled the game so far down. I’ve gone from doing 162 games a year to doing six in the regular season. It’s harder doing that." As for reuniting with Aikman, Buck says: "I think at this point, I wanted a known quantity next to me. I think this business is more intense. As I’m coming up on 30 years in it, it’s more intense now than it’s ever been. With the amount of scrutiny that’s out there, I felt like we have a good thing. I know where he’s going. He knows where I’m going. If it was at all possible, I wanted to try to continue that."
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