Downtown Doomsday: How Joe Buck Will Get From L.A. Rams Game to Emmys on Same Day (Guest Column)
The Fox Sports play-by-play man (and St. Louis native) reveals how he'll cover the game at the Coliseum and make it to the Microsoft Theater in time for the show on Sept. 18.
It'll be a long day, I know that. We get to the stadium about 3½ hours before the historic kickoff at 1:25 p.m. My daughter Trudy, who's 17 and a junior in high school, is coming out and hanging with my wife, [ESPN reporter] Michelle Beisner, but they're going to duck out and leave early to get their makeovers and put their ball gowns on. They'll go from the stadium to our hotel and have a car take them to the Emmys [which begin at 5 p.m. sharp] while I'm doing the rest of the game. As the second half is winding down, I'm going to be checking the time, looking at my watch and wondering what the escape is going to be like.
I'll bring my tuxedo. I might do a slow change: At the end of each quarter, put different parts of my tuxedo on and then shame [broadcast partner] Troy Aikman and whatever suit-and-tie he's wearing! There are times where I don't need to wear pants on the air because on TV I'm only a half-human, waist up. I can go all the way up to the pants. I don't know that I'll go suspenders, but I can certainly have them down at my legs as I do the second half. Then I'll just finish getting dressed in the booth and do a quick change and try to get out of the Coliseum as fast as I can — there's going to be 90,000 people, and it could be treacherous. Am I worried? Yeah, I'm a little concerned! I'm a stresser.
I'm hoping realistically I'll get to the Emmys at 5:30. For purposes of television, my family will have a seat filler with them for however long it takes — somebody will be playing the role of Joe Buck at the Emmys. Hopefully my wife doesn't love him more than me and my daughter doesn't call him "Dad" by the end of the night.
When I'm doing the game, it's not like I'm there digging a ditch. I'm just talking for three hours. It's nothing that a nice vodka soda can't lift at the end of the day, so I'll still go to the afterparties. My daughter is excited about that stuff, and I'm not going to act like I'm not — these are the people that I'm more likely to be in awe of than I would be of [Rams running back] Todd Gurley or [coach] Jeff Fisher or [Seahawks defensive back] Richard Sherman or [coach] Pete Carroll. I'm a huge Ray Donovan fan, and if I see one of the Stranger Things kids I'll be like a giddy high schooler. But the biggest win for me will be if my daughter has a smile on her face: She'll be a witness to the NFL being back in L.A. and a witness to a great show at the Emmys.
This story first appeared in the Sept. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.