“It’s a good mental trigger to just chill”
Chemistry between commentators is the most important element of a broadcast. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have been working together for nearly 20 years, but that chemistry took a little while to develop—and needed a little liquid inspiration.
On a recent episode of his podcast, Colin Cowherd told Buck that his broadcasts with Aikman have a unique feel because they sound like “college buddies” who each have “a small glass of bourbon.”
Actually, Buck said, the pair really did used to drink in the booth, but it was tequila.
Buck said the idea to bring an adult beverage into the booth began as a way to keep himself from getting too tense during playoff baseball games.
“I went through a couple years where in the first inning of every postseason baseball game, I had the runner go get the biggest beer that the stadium sold,” Buck said. “And I had it sitting there, and I would sip it from time to time to remind myself to relax and have fun—I’m just doing a game.”
When he started doing it for football games, his drink of choice was a little bit classier. Now, though, the booth is dry.
“I brought that over to football, but because Troy is a man of finer tastes, beer somehow became tequila, Grand Marnier and grapefruit juice,” Buck said. “We haven’t done it in a long time now, but it was good for a stretch, and I feel like it’s a good mental trigger to just chill and remind yourself that you’re not refueling an F-16 in mid-flight. You’re doing a sporting event, and if you treat it like anything other than that you’re doing yourself a disservice.”
A lot of people would get fired for drinking on the job, but what Buck is saying makes a lot of sense. This isn’t Harry Caray pounding beers behind the mic at Wrigley Field. Joe’s just sipping on a little grapefruit margarita to keep himself from becoming Gus Johnson.
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