Week 8 NFL Announcing: FOX 'Buck'-ing the Numbers

↵During Thursday night's World Series Game Two, Joe Buck plugged FOX's Sunday sports schedule with a sense of, for Buck at least, glee. For most of the country, and at least for those in New York, Philadelphia and much of the Midwest, Sunday will be the best day of sports FOX has ever produced. So Buck had every right to be, ahem, excited. ↵

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↵It would be enough for fans in New York and Philly that the Yankees are traveling down to face the Phillies on Saturday, Sunday and Monday in the World Series. But Sunday will be twice as contentious in the stadium parking lots as the Giants travel to face the Eagles at 1 p.m. The game was originally slated for a 4 p.m. start but the league moved the game to the earlier timeslot to accommodate the World Series. ↵

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↵Or, more likely, the league moved the Giants-Eagles game to the earlier timeslot so more people could get the Vikings-Packers game at Lambeau Field. You may have heard a thing or two about this contest. Following that game, FOX will present Game Four of the World Series. Best. Day. Ever. ↵

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↵It really is a big day for FOX and when the numbers come out on Monday, it will be interesting to see if FOX uses the last two weeks to rethink the decision on where to send Joe Buck in future years during the baseball playoffs. Last week, the Yankees ALCS Game Six clincher over the Angels did a solid 9.3 national rating for FOX, attracting 15.5 million viewers. In the late NFL game last week, the Cowboys-Falcons matchup did a 16.8, or 28.4 million viewers – in the middle of the day. The number was the highest-rated football game of the season, including prime time, and was the most for a Sunday NFL game on FOX since 1996. With the hype FOX and the NFL have given Favre's return to Green Bay – Cowboys or not – you almost expect this week's game could surpass that number. ↵

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↵So while everyone expects MLB and FOX to boast the best ratings ever for a World Series, especially with the Yankees and Phillies locked at one game apiece heading into the weekend, they'll pale in comparison to what the Vikings at Packers game will do. ↵

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↵It stands to reason that FOX may think about taking Buck off playoff baseball altogether next year in favor of more highly-rated NFL contests in October. And for Buck, it has to be tough for him to miss such a momentous game in Green Bay for a World Series. Remember less than 16 months ago, Buck was on ESPN Radio talking about how baseball just isn't special anymore. Not like football. For him, this must be like getting invited to two bar mitzvahs on the same day and your parents make you go with them to the one for the nerdy kid from Hebrew School because they are friends with his parents instead of the one for the most popular kid in school where all the cute girls will be. (Non-Jews can swap 'bar mitzvah' with 'wedding', 'parents' with 'wife' and 'cute girls' with 'open bar' and the analogy still holds). So when Sunday at 8:20 p.m. rolls around and Buck waxes nostalgic about Favrapalooza II: Revenge of the Cheesehead while ho-humming his way through Game Four of the World Series, know that the ratings will likely agree with him. ↵

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↵FOX
↵FOX has four early games, with the Giants at Philly, called by Kenny, Moose and Goose, being clearly the best of the lot. Dick Stockton and Charles Davis get Seattle at Dallas, Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan get San Fran at Indy and Ron Pitts and John Lynch get St. Louis at Detroit in a game that only two-percent of the country will see, if they can stomach it. That has the chance to be the worst NFL game ever played. If I'm Pitts or Lynch, I really need to reassess my place with the company after getting that assignment. ↵

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↵Late games for FOX are, obviously, Minny at Green Bay with month-long Buck stand-in Thom Brennaman and Troy Aikman on the call and Carolina at Arizona with Chris Myers and Brian Billick. ↵

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↵CBS
↵CBS has six games on their docket this weekend and while undefeated Denver at Baltimore seems like the best game on paper, the network is sending Jim Nantz and Phil Simms to cover Miami at the Jets. It will be very interesting what game does better in New York in the early time slot. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf draw the better game of the two. Also in the early slot is Cleveland at Chicago with Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots and Houston at Buffalo with Ian Eagle and Rich Gannon. ↵

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↵Late games for CBS are Oakland at San Diego with Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts and Jacksonville at Tennessee with Gus Johnson and Steve Tasker. ↵

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↵Map links and announce crew pairings courtesy of The 506. ↵

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↵And just for document's sake, we'll provide the audio of Buck from Colin Cowherd's show last year where he crushes baseball and says he watches DWTS instead of sports. And he's the less obnoxious and self-righteous of the two in this conversation. It'll make you want to bang your head against a wall made of hammers. Or nails. Enjoy! And enjoy Sunday! ↵

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↵Buck_0001
↵by bsap11 ↵
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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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