We received an intern horror story this week so delicious that it warranted its own post. Our old pal Joe Buck is involved. So is Joe Buck's sweat-soiled napkin. Allegedly. The story — and Joe's response — after the jump.
From an anonymous reader:
Back in 1997 I was an upper classmen at Syracuse, the self-absorbed, self-titled "Mecca of Broadcasting Schools". As anyone in the business NOT sucking up to his alma mater knows, it doesn't matter one iota where you went to school to make it as a broadcaster of any kind. Anyway...I got a great opportunity to intern at a national broadcast network in NYC that summer in the sports dept. Few days a week, lots of hot babes on each floor, perks etc. Fun gig. The guy I interned for no one really knows, but I'll keep his name anonymous anyway because he's a pitiful enough character in his own right and doesn't need anymore attention drawn to him. Boomer Esiason knows him well, though.
There was a collaborative effort with someone he knew over at FOX and they were looking for someone to putz around at a Yankees-Mariners game in July that FOX Sports was doing. I jumped at the chance to see my Yanks play only a year after winning it all.
In the booth were Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. At first we got along all right. Buck asked where I went to school (rolled his eyes like most non-SU broadcasters do when they hear you are from there) and I told him I liked the story of how he broke in the biz on his 18th birthday when his dad, Jack Buck, put him on the air unexpectedly to call an inning as a b-day gift. He reminisced about it and I thought, "Cool."
Then he started to get arrogant because I knew some things about him and he ate up the attention. Big, big ego on the guy. Probably why he has such a huge fivehead. Mockingly shouted to me "Hey, Capt. Syracuse", even though I NEVER talked up SU or it's J school. Things like that. In his mind, he had "hand" as in upper hand. Here was the schoolboy intern with the GRRRREAT Joe Buck! Me: Yawn.
At one point before the game started, he was taping his game intro which he was was doing without a script, ad-libbing. I was watching him from about 5 ft away, facing him. He kept blowing it, over and over and over. It was getting hard to watch. At one point, he stopped down and sternly told me, "Look, I KNOW it's NOT you, but could you move? You are distracting me." I did and after a few more takes, he got it right. Maybe it was me?
A few minutes later he is yukking it up with McCarver and his badly dyed hair and I am in the vicinity. McCarver is telling stories about when he was a player and played with Jose Cruz Sr (Cruz Jr was with the M's then) and they were kind of good. At this point, it was hot in the booth for the day game and Buck grabbed a napkin or two and wiped his brow. When finished he attempted to hand me the wet and soiled used napkin and arrogantly as hell said this verbatim: "Here, you could probably get a lot for this up in Syracuse back at school."
The ARROGANCE! Astonished and done with his pomposity, I just looked at him. As my luck would have it at that EXACT moment, McCarver tossed his used cigar butt onto the booth floor. I saw it, pointed to it and in a moment of quick witted wise assery retorted, "Nah, I can probably get more for THAT!"
Buck was not pleased. Some intern had just rebuffed HIM and not accepted his sweat soaked napkin AND said McCarver's used up, soggy stogie butt was more valuable. His ego was bruised. The fivehead became a forehead for a bit.
Needless to say, Buck never spoke another word to me, "Capt. Syracuse", the rest of the game until after he sheepishly said in a post-game goodbye, "Good luck".
I'm not in the media and don't want to be, but I never thought Buck would keep me out of it, so I didn't worry about the wise ass remark. Plus, no matter who it is, it's nice to be able to tell someone to go fuck themselves without actually saying, Go fuck yourself!".
Every word of that story is true. It sounds like a pat on the back for me, but, hey- it happened and it makes for a good story anytime Buck is on TV and someone says he's a big dick.
Here now is Joe Buck's response:
Like I am sure all of Deadspin's readers know by now every detail contained in that story is TOTALLY true. For any young readers always remember most anonymous, 13 year old stories usually are. I am just disappointed that my old friend left out some fun details like the wedgie I gave him in the fourth inning just because I could, and because I knew it would embarrass him. Or that I made him carry me to the stretch FOX limo on his back in case I started to sweat again from having to walk. That was my favorite part of a day I will never forget in the summer of 1997. Oh, just a couple of things for the record - college dropouts like myself never roll their eyes at a place like Syracuse or any other school for that matter. I am sure I couldn't even get in Syracuse. Oh, and for someone who started his career thanks to nepotism, I never treat kids (especially ones like this guy who at the time could not have been more than 8 years my junior) like they don't belong in the booth or that I am not there to help any way I can. Maybe he did ask me to critique his tape or for career advice and I didn't hear him - I probably couldn't over the trumpets I usually have accompany me when I ride on the back of a runner to the parking lot at baseball stadiums across the country. Love, joe
P.S Anyone know where I can get a good forehead tuck?
There you have it. You've heard from both sides. You have 10 minutes to decide whom to believe.