“It Was Vanity. Pure Vanity.” | ESPN NFL Voice Joe Buck Again Undergoes Hair Plug Replacement That Almost Permanently Damaged His Voice In 2011

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 17: Troy Aikman and Joe Buck attend the 2022 ABC Disney Upfront at Basketball City - Pier 36 - South Street on May 17, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/WireImage)

New ESPN play-by-play announcer Joe Buck is excited to be joining his new partner from Fox, Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman. 

Buck is no stranger to prepping for the NFL season as it pertains to travel, production meetings and the overall weekly telecast. To prepare for that, Buck received hair plugs, and he recently shared a pic of the work being done to his Instagram page. The voice of the NFL has long been receiving these treatments as he preps for the upcoming season. Here’s what he said in his post.

“Training camp doesn’t just start for players. New network, newly arranged follicles. Hello ESPN!!! Cannot wait for September 12, and for this green to wash out of my hair. I promise I’ll look normal-ish by week 1. Oh and why four people on the head??? It’s a big head!”

This procedure has become a formality for Buck, but it also almost cost him his broadcasting career back in 2011.

Buck’s Vocal Cords Damaged Because Of Surgery

Buck had a real scare in 2011, one that he detailed in his 2017 book titled “Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, And The Things I’m Not Allowed To Say On TV.” Buck is the son of Jack Buck, legendary St.Louis Cardinals and NFL “Monday Night Football” announcer.

In the memoir, Buck talks about how he’s been getting the plugs since 1993. During an appearance on shock jock Howard Stern’s show, Buck said in 2011 he woke up from the six-hour procedure voiceless. He was told that the breathing tube inserted down his throat damaged his vocal cords, leaving him without his money-maker. The serious situation forced him to miss part of the MLB season, and it nearly cost him his career behind the mic.

But that horror didn’t deter Buck’s vanity. He’s now had eight procedures done since 1993. Roughly every 3.5 years he still gets it done. He says he’s addicted to it.

“Broadcasting is a brutal, often unfair business, where looks are valued more than skill. I was worried that if I lost my hair, I would lose my job. OK, that’s bullsh-t. It was vanity. Pure vanity. I just told myself I was doing it for TV.”

Buck And Aikman Got Paid To Leave Fox

The Buck-Aikman duo got paid handsomely to join ESPN, combining to rake in $33 million per year. They’re replacing the trio of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese, who came nowhere near that type of cash with three guys in the “MNF” booth. But they don’t exactly bring the name-brand cachet that Buck and Aikman do either.

When someone like Tom Brady is getting a $100M bag before he even retires to join a network announcing team, guys like Buck will do anything to keep up with the growing competition from former players who are still in their 30s and 40s.