An Emmy-winning sportscaster—and son of broadcasting legend Jack Buck—rehearses his life with early frivolity and later gravity.
In the first few pages, readers may think they’re seated in coach with a jokester and are in for an interminable flight. But soon the “jockular” surrenders to the more thoughtful, and, by the end, readers will know a lot about the longtime FOX sportscaster. Several times Buck declares that he knows he’s the beneficiary of great fortune—he had a paved pathway into his profession—but he also confesses some insecurities (we get much detail about his hair-plug operations and his issues with weight), one of the most significant of which was his having to follow his father. Buck sometimes pauses in his chronology to reflect on friends, failures, awkward on- and off-air moments, and successes—to his credit, he does not dwell too long on these. Although he discusses his failed marriage, he does not convey with absolute certainty what caused the collapse; some general comments about decay and unhappiness suffice. Still, he remains self-deprecating throughout, confessing his weaknesses, including what he has perceived as a failure to be as emotional as he thinks he should be on the air. (He says he has worked to remedy that.) The author writes affectingly about the decline and death of his father and about the near loss of his own voice following a hair-plug surgery. He also writes enthusiastically about FOX Sports, his longtime professional home, and takes only a few potshots at other sports journalists—Phil Mushnick and Keith Olbermann among them. He heaps praise on Mike Tirico (the best, he says), Al Michaels, and Bob Costas, and he ends with a brief discussion of his recent tattoos.
With light humor and darker emotion, Buck candidly calls the game of his own life.