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In January, who would have predicted that the last time Joe Buck appeared on Fox would be on… The Masked Singer?

Hours after ESPN officially announced Buck and Troy Aikman as the network’s new broadcast team for Monday night footballthe play-by-play personality was revealed to be the mystery singer in the beautifully horned golden helmet after Ram was eliminated on Wednesday night’s show.

One of the judges, modern family‘s Eric Stonestreet, guessed that Buck was the man behind the ram helmet, based on the masked singer appearing to know him. Stonestreet and Buck worked together on Fox’s Domino Mastersso there was a certain familiarity and friendship there.

Host Nick Cannon asked Buck what made him want to star on the show, a question that many viewers (and sports fans who might not watch The Masked Singerbut learned of Buck’s appearance on social media) probably wondered.

“Eleven years ago I had a paralyzed vocal cord,” Buck said. “So to come here 11 years later and kind of throw my nerves to the wind and sing in front of this big audience, I was like, ‘Hey, you know, why not? Let’s try.'”

After Buck explained some of the clues to his identity during his two-episode stint on the show, he broke into another rendition of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” for his farewell performance.

Was this a message to Fox Sports executives, who Buck and Aikman say didn’t show them much love during recent contract negotiations? May be. Or maybe it was a call to sports fans and viewers, who haven’t always embraced Buck in his more than 25 years at Fox as the main voice of the NFL and World Series.

Buck has always been interested in stepping into mainstream culture and showing that he can do more than call the sport play-by-play. thus appearing on The Masked Singer can’t be a total surprise. Plus, he’s a Fox Company man. He’s basically been the face — and voice — of Fox Sports for over two decades.

Obviously, this is no longer the case. And what would have been a fun off-season diversion instead turned into a weird, if unspoken, flamboyant farewell to Fox after a nearly 30-year run. The sports media and broadcast in 2022 has been amazing.

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