Joe Buck sat down with a good friend from college in the most recent episode of his podcast with Oliver Hudson called Daddy Issues. Buck said he lived vicariously through his much more interesting and cool friend Lee during their final year at Indiana University.
Buck said his senior year at Indiana University was packed with work, but he always found time to visit his good friend Lee Dabagia. The two English majors were fast friends and have stayed in touch ever since.
“He was the opposite of me,” Buck said of Lee. “He was a weed guy in college. I Wasn’t a weed guy in college. I kind of lived vicariously for a semester through Lee. Saw the cool side of Indiana University. … He was kind of what I wished my college career was like. But I was working and doing all this kind of stuff during college.”
Joe Buck went on to have one of the most illustrious broadcasting careers in sports history. He’s called Fox NFL games since 2002 with Troy Aikman and Cris Collinsworth. And he has lead Fox’s MLB commentary since 1996, including the All-Star Game and postseason. His dad Jack Buck was also a legendary play-by-play man with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Vice of Choice for Joe Buck is Much More Stranger
Buck said he enjoys a good beer or a glass of scotch, but that wasn’t the vice that became a problem for him. It wasn’t hard drugs or sex either. His habit was hair plugs.
In his 2016 memoir Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, And The Things I’m Not Allowed To Say On TV Buck explains how his vanity led him down a strange path. Sports Illustrated released an excerpt.
Buck started losing his hair early. So, fearing it could hurt his then-budding TV career he flew to New York and got his first round of hair replacement. He wrote that after the procedure, “I, Joseph Francis Buck, became a hair-plug addict.”
He wrote that he would often find breaks in his schedule at the end of a season to fly to New York and get more hair-plug treatments.
“Broadcasting is a brutal, often unfair business, where looks are valued more than skill,” writes Buck. “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.”
But a procedure in 2011 nearly ended his career. A mistake during the six-hour treatment coupled with personal stress caused him to be unable to speak when he woke up from the anesthesia, he writes. Doctors told him his voice may never come back. It took months and countless rounds of vocal cord treatments to heal. All the while, he lied to his colleagues about the cause.
But years later, he said, he wanted to step forward and tell the truth in his book.