As some sports fans may remember, Buck suffered from hair loss for years. Since he had a high profile job and worked on-camera most of the time, he decided to do something about it. The announcer chose to have hair plug surgery, which he became addicted to after his first procedure. Although hair plug surgery is a long and painful process, Buck became obsessed with the results.
In 2011, Joe Buck announced that a virus messed up his voice for a portion of the year. Yet that wasn’t the truth. A side effect from his eighth hair transplant procedure damaged his left vocal chord, and almost ruined his career.
Enter Matthew McConaughey at an event that same year where Buck still struggled to talk. The pair spoke for a bit when they ran into each other, and peak McConaughey ensued. The actor asked Buck what happened to his voice, and the announcer explained the situation following his hair surgery.
Please read the next quote while imagining McConaughey speaking with his calm Texas drawl. It won’t be hard, trust us. It’s about as McConaughey-esque as it gets.
“So what you’re saying buckaroo, is that you fixed your video, but f—-d up your audio,” Joe Buck hilariously recalled McConaughey saying to him as the actor burst with laughter.
“Like I’m about to have a nervous breakdown. And Matthew McConaughey in one sentence summed up where I stand in life right now with my whole career flashing before my eyes. Internally, I was like… you mother… yea, that’s exactly what I did,” Buck amusingly added.
Hair Plugs Almost Cost Joe Buck His Career
Although the interaction between Joe Buck and Matthew McConaughey is hysterical, there isn’t anything funny about what could have been. During what would be his final hair plug procedure, the tube that went down Buck’s throat during surgery paralyzed his left vocal chord.
For a man that makes his living talking, it was the worst side effect of the surgery possible. To make matters worse, the 2011 baseball season was getting ready to begin in a few short weeks. For reference, baseball season usually starts in early April. Buck admitted that his voice didn’t feel normal until six months later in October.
Therefore whenever people questioned him, he lied and said a virus caused the issue with his voice. He even used that excuse with his employers at FOX Sports. Thankfully for Buck, his voice came back, but he truly feared for his career for a while. In his 2016 book Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, And The Things I’m Not Allowed To Say On TV, Buck opened up about his odd addiction and how it almost cost him his job.
“Broadcasting is a brutal, often unfair business, where looks are valued more than skill,” Buck wrote in his book, according to Sports Illustrated. “I was worried that if I lost my hair, I would lose my job. O.K., that’s bulls—. It was vanity. Pure vanity. I just told myself I was doing it for TV.”
The broadcaster felt embarrassed over his hair plug addiction and felt like he couldn’t come clean to anyone. He told his bosses, the media, and even his own friends that it was a virus. However, he finally shared his story with them and the world in his book, and has spoken freely about it ever since.
“I was too scared and embarrassed to tell them the truth,” Buck wrote. “But I’m doing it now.”