Sports broadcaster's strange obsession nearly cost him his career

Fox broadcaster Joe Buck. Photo / Getty Images
Fox broadcaster Joe Buck. Photo / Getty Images

American sports broadcaster Joe Buck's obsession with his hair - or fear of losing it - nearly cost him his livelihood.

The Fox Sports announcer admits in his upcoming memoir, Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, And The Things I'm Not Allowed To Say On TV, that when he suffered a paralysed left vocal chord in 2011, it wasn't the result of a virus, as he said at the time.

It was due to complications from his addictive use of hair plugs, reports the New York Post. Buck began using them at the age of 24.

"Broadcasting is a brutal, often unfair business, where looks are valued more than skill," he wrote. "I was worried that if I lost my hair, I would lose my job.

"OK, that's bulls**t. It was vanity. Pure vanity. I just told myself I was doing it for TV."

A few weeks before the 2011 baseball season, Buck had his eighth hair replacement procedure. When he woke up from the anaesthesia, he couldn't speak. Buck thinks a nerve in his vocal chord was damaged when a restraint used during the hair operation got jostled.

He was treated by a Harvard laryngeal surgery expert who also has worked with Adele, but Buck lied to everyone about how the impairment happened.

"I was too scared and embarrassed to tell them the truth," wrote Buck, who hasn't had hair plugs since. "But I'm doing it now."

Buck told Sports Illustrated it's a relief to come clean, including to broadcast partner Troy Aikman and other Fox Sports colleagues who never have known the real story.

"When I started thinking about writing a book, this was the main reason why," Buck said.

"It wasn't about stories with my dad. I wanted to detail the time in my life where I had a lot going on and I was stressed, a time when I started to take antidepressants and was going through a divorce.

"Then I had this situation with my voice that rocked me to my knees and shook every part of my world. I'm 47 years old now and willing to be vulnerable sharing a story. Whether the book is read by one person or one million doesn't concern me. Getting this out and being honest, really telling my story, that was the impetus behind this."

- news.com.au

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