Troy Aikman Caught Joe Buck Off Guard with Monday Night Football Move

by Patrick Norton

While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have yet to debut in the broadcast booth for ESPN, the anticipation remains off the charts. Nearly two decades since John Madden’s departure from the Monday Night Football booth, the crew finally boasts a big-game sense again.

Buck and Aikman called NFL on FOX games for 20 seasons. But when Aikman split at the beginning of the 2022 offseason, the relationship appeared over. However, it took weeks for an announcement that the worldwide leader in sports would poach Aikman’s familiar play-by-play partner.

During an appearance on Steve Bennett’s The Sports-Casters podcast, Buck mentioned his shock when Aikman bolted. Without a prior conversation, the departure left Buck without his partner that had become synonymous with his broadcasting over the years.

“Honest to God, I never saw it coming,” said Buck. Instead, the play-by-play icon figured Aikman could take on a new role with Amazon’s Thursday Night Football. However, Monday Night Football never felt in the cards.

Buck said, “It is true that all year long, I thought that at worst, Troy was going to do the Thursday nights on Amazon and then do the doubleheader game.”

But moving to ESPN’s Monday Night Football is a win-win for both parties. The crew can focus on one game per week and showcase a big-game attitude with a prominent network. However, the greatest win is Buck’s new coworker, his wife, Michelle Beisner-Buck – a features reporter for the network’s football coverage.

Joe Buck’s 35-Year Career Calling MLB is Over

As for Joe Buck, Aikman’s Thursday Night Football appearances would’ve kept the status quo at FOX. However, he divulged that his reign as the lead baseball commentator after 23 World Series broadcasts would’ve ended regardless.

Buck said, “I think when I saw him walk out of the door, and he was gone totally, it kind of started in my head, ‘You know, what do I want to do here?'”

“I’d told FOX, and I’ve said this a million times, and I said this to them, I was going to do baseball one more year, which would have been this year, and then I was going to step aside,” said the broadcasting legend.

Buck reiterated his thoughts on leaving baseball for good with a tweet last week. Filling Buck’s shoes at FOX and leaving mixed reviews is Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play man, Joe Davis.