Aikman, Buck ready for Super call
DALLAS, Texas — It didn't take Joe Buck long to realize why Troy Aikman won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.
"About a week," Buck said. "That's all I needed to be around him to realize that."
The ubiquitous Fox play-by-play announcer saw how the Hall of Fame quarterback prepared himself to call football as a color analyst and was instantly impressed.
"He makes me feel unprepared because of the level he goes to with watching film and everything else he does to get ready to call a game," Buck said.
Aikman joined the Fox broadcast crew in 2001, paired with Buck a year later as the network's lead announcing crew and will work his third Super Bowl today when the Steelers face the Green Bay Packers at 6:30 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium.
Christina Aguilera, who spent part of her childhood in Wexford, will sing the national anthem, and the band Black Eyed Peas will perform at halftime.
Aikman, a Hall of Fame quarterback, already has called Super Bowls XXXIX and XLII but has been anticipating today's broadcast in the city where he played all 12 of his NFL seasons, especially knowing his former boss, Jerry Jones, had hoped the Cowboys would be a part of the Super Bowl at the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium.
"For a lack of a better term, this is his hometown," Buck said of Aikman, who grew up in California but lives in nearby Plano, Texas. "For him to do it is special, but it also makes it more difficult."
Aikman's was part of many events around north Texas leading to the Super Bowl and will take over Roger Staubach's role as Chairman of the North Texas Super Bowl Committee after today's game.
Still, that hasn't slowed Aikman's preparation.
"The way I get prepared to do a broadcast is different than the way I got prepared to play games," Aikman said. "The way I prepare as a broadcaster to do a regular-season game and then a playoff game and then a Super Bowl is very consistent with what these players are going through as they go through the regular season, the postseasons and then the Super Bowl."
During Aikman's playing career, he set 45 Cowboys passing records, including the club's career record for completions (2,898), passing yards (32,942), touchdowns (165) and completion percentage (61.3). He helped the Cowboys to six NFC East titles and four NFC Championship Games and was inducted into the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2005.
Aikman's believes his resume validates his analysis to television audiences.
"For me as a broadcaster in a game like this, if I am talking about what the emotion is like or what Aaron Rodgers is feeling when he takes the field, that comes from a pretty good perspective," Aikman said. "The viewer is aware of that compared to saying it and not having the experience and purely guessing rather than really knowing."
Buck expects a pretty simple call from himself and Aikman.
"If this game can't sell itself with what we are presenting with the Steelers and Packers," Buck said, "then we all are in trouble."