Most sports fans have an opinion about Joe Buck. Usually, it’s not a good one.
Twitter hates him, media stars admire him, and I’m part of the few who don’t really give a shit. I don’t tune into the World Series to listen to Buck, or berate him for being unfair to a team. I also don’t care if he’s doing the play by play for my Giants on Sunday afternoon. Outside of Gus Johnson, play by play folks are merely white noise to me.
But plenty of people do care enough about the longtime FOX announcer to love ‘em or hate ‘em. That’s why choosing him, an inadvertently polarizing figure, to guest host Jeopardy! for two weeks this summer feels odd.
In today’s social media age, it’s hard for anyone to be universally loved. But it seems like there has been broad acceptance for folks picked to guest host Jeopardy! so far. Yes, Aaron Rodgers might be off putting for Viking fans, and I’m sure plenty of people don’t like Anderson Cooper. But their guest hosting announcements, along with Savannah Guthrie’s, Bill Whitaker’s, and others, didn’t send social media ablaze like Buck’s.
That might be because actual Jeopardy! fans are clamoring for LeVar Burton to get a shot at hosting. He recently said he’s a fan of the show and thinks he would make a suitable replacement for the late Alex Trebek. “I feel like I have been preparing my whole life for the job of hosting Jeopardy!” Burton told MSNBC’s Joshua Johnson. “Should that job come my way, I would be exceedingly glad.” There’s even a change.org petition to make Burton the next host of the game show.
And who wouldn’t want to see that? I mean, I liked Rodger’s stint as guest host. But Burton really makes the most sense for the gig.
Plus, if Jeopardy! wants a beloved new host, they should probably stay away from every sportscaster (including Buck) not named Doris Burke.
Maybe Jeopardy! producers are just holding Burton for the time being, and saving the best guest host for last.
But in the meantime, Jeopardy! and sports fans alike can come together in these troubling times to focus on one issue they are now uniquely passionate about — bemoaning Joe Buck’s presence.
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