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Volume 26 No. 178
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Aikman Discusses Gottlieb Criticism, Joe Buck, NFL's Rash of Penalties

Aikman (r) considers himself fortunate to be working with Buck for as long as he has
Photo: FOX SPORTS
Aikman (r) considers himself fortunate to be working with Buck for as long as he has
Photo: FOX SPORTS
Aikman (r) considers himself fortunate to be working with Buck for as long as he has
Photo: FOX SPORTS

Pro Football HOFer Troy Aikman appeared on an SI podcast with Jimmy Traina, where he discussed a wide range of topics. Aikman said of his calling out FS1's Doug Gottlieb on Twitter over his criticism of Andrew Luck's retirement, "I felt Doug's comments were out of line. I didn't intend for it to be personal with Doug. I know Doug. I've been on his show several times and I like the guy. I just don't think the opinion of what Andrew is dealing with was really reflected the way that it should have been." Aikman added, "I have great bosses and I will tell you they were great in how they handled it, not because they handled it the way I wanted them to handle it. I think they were very direct with me and honest and I've always respected those kinds of people. They respected the fact that I was honest. They did not like that I would say something about the company. I understand that and I appreciate the way that they discussed it with me."

WORKING WITH BUCK: Aikman also discussed his relationship with booth partner Joe Buck, saying they have a "really good friendship." Aikman: "People feel that when they hear us in the booth, and I wouldn't want to work with anyone else." Aikman also said he does not understand why Buck receives criticism from media and fans, because "he's the best." Aikman said Buck "makes it seem effortless," and considers himself "fortunate to be working with him for as long as I have." Aikman also addressed the idea that he is a "homer" for the Cowboys when calling their games. He said, "I get Cowboys' fans who think I'm too hard on the Cowboys and then I get the divisional fans ... who think that I'm a homer for the Cowboys, which is fine. It is what it is, and I don't lose any sleep over any of it."

OFFSETTING FOULS: Aikman addressed penalties in the NFL this season, and said at a time when the NFL is trying to do "all that it can to get the calls right ... there's more controversy than there's ever been before." He said reviewing pass interference penalties has "only complicated things from the fan's perspective," and has "put these officials in a really tough position." Aikman: "They're gun shy, to be quite honest with you." Aikman: "It's become really hard to call a game. I'm sure it's maddening to watch a game with all the penalties. It's rare that a play happens when there isn't some kind of penalty that's thrown. It's nauseating from my perspective, and I don't think those in the game like it and I certainly don't think the fans like it" ("Sports Illustrated Media Podcast," SI.com, 9/18).