People & Personalities: Joe Buck Broadcasting Despite Virus In Vocal Cord
Fox announcer Joe Buck Thursday said that a "virus developed in the nerves of his left vocal cord in mid-February -- shortly after he broadcast the Super Bowl." In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes Buck "has made significant progress, and while he estimates he still is a month or so away from full recovery, he's set to broadcast" Saturday's Reds-Cardinals game. Buck: "I just have to plow through it. I'm not damaging it or hurting it by talking. I'm just waiting for it to fire like it's supposed to." Buck called MLB games for Fox the first two weekends this season, and he said that he "can't recall missing an assignment in his career." He said that the ailment "'came out of the blue,' isn't painful and the difficulty he has now is raising his voice at the proper time" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/22).
NO SHRINKING VIOLET: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes ESPN/ABC NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy's "sense of humor and plain-spoken analysis are two huge" reasons why he has "risen to the top of the NBA's broadcast chain." Van Gundy's "transition from coaching to broadcasting, which began during the 2002-03 season when he worked at TNT, was accelerated by his willingness to criticize players and coaches who are part of a fraternity he once belonged to." Van Gundy said, "I didn't realize players you praise 99% of the time would get really sensitive over the 1% of the time you thought they could do something better. Those things are a little surprising" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/22).
EYE FOR TALENT: ESPN Producer Jay Rothman said the feedback from the "Gruden's QB Camp" draft prospect series "has been tremendously positive for us, even from the players' camps." In L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes if Gruden in the series "seems to have taken his game up another couple of notches, and not just as a media consultant to up-and-coming players, it might have some residual effects." Jon Gruden "tends to keep a leash on his words" on "MNF," as he "could be working with some of these players and coaches again." But if potential employers "wonder what kind of field general he could be in the draft 'war room,' here's a window of opportunity for Gruden to rebrand himself" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 4/22).
BE OUR GUEST: ESPN MLB analyst Barry Larkin said that he talked to Reds COO Phil Castellini and VP/Baseball Operations Dick Williams "about doing some Reds TV games on Fox Sports Ohio -- but he couldn't work it out" after moving to ESPN from MLB Network. However, Reds Senior VP/Business Operations Karen Forgus said that the club is "interested in Larkin -- and other former Reds turned broadcasters -- doing guest shots on Reds telecasts" (CINCINNATI.com, 4/21).