Be careful what you wish for, Joe Buck. That lesson leads today's SN column.
You want to be the next Costas -- or the next sportscaster who can transcend into "entertainment?" Buck had already gone down that road with his endorsements for Budweiser and National Car Rental. Then he gets his own live irregularly broadcast HBO show.
The date picked was ideal: Nothing else going on in sports yesterday (or today). Brett Favre was the guest. He confirmed most of what we suspected about him. (That he's a media whore! No, kidding: That he is coming back, to the Vikings, at some point.)
Then Buck had to get cutesy with the comedy -- so he invited on Artie Lange... not exactly the gentle comedy of "Family Circus," which is where Buck had positioned himself (especially with his career-defining -- and utterly ridiculous -- call-out of Randy Moss a few years ago).
And Lange went blue -- of course he did: The scorpion and the frog, remember? Buck wanted to be "edgy." And Lange tries to be edgy. Buck knew exactly what he was getting into.
For all the "Golly! I guess that's the end of my talk-show career!" from Buck, you know he was happy about it. Why? Same reason Costas was happy a year ago: Buzz. Not Bissinger, just buzz -- people are talking about the Joe Buck Show this morning, just as they were tweeting about it last night.
The show itself was not particularly good -- and the laughs felt forced. The final segment -- Buck's version of "I think I think..." was cringe-worthy. Also, what's the good of a TV talk-show that pops up in June, then doesn't show up again until September? I want THAT gig.
But the harangue from folks like the sports-media guys at USA Today is exactly what Buck wanted -- even if it completely confuses his current, Midwestern gentle-comedy brand. Folks are talking about Joe Buck. Just like Joe Buck wanted.
More in the column today:
*Luke Harangody: The next Tyler Hansbrough.
*Rossi: The US Soccer star who got away.
*Brandon Marshall: Get him to Chicago!
*Pablo Sandoval: Another reason I'm going from perennial worst in my fantasy league to Top 5.
Complete column here. More later, including my Blogs With Balls recap/analysis.