“I hate you for making me like Joe Buck.” – Pardon My Take listener

Like most sports fans, the first time Joe Buck called one of our favorite team’s games, we were a little underwhelmed by his excitement levels during big plays. It turns out we weren’t alone. If one turns to the depths of social media during a Joe Buck prime time sporting event, there are plenty of internet wordsmiths creating beautiful insults about the FOX announcer, some justified, some not.

But something funny happened to us after listening to Joe Buck on several episodes of Barstool podcast Pardon My Take. Quickly, with his witty retorts to anything Big Cat or PFT Commenter threw his way, Buck flexed his sense of humor, no matter how dry, and revealed that he is, in fact, just a human. It’s clear he doesn’t have a problem laughing at himself either.

Anecdotally, the editors of this site felt a strange shift in perception following the episodes featuring Mr. Buck. Initially, we could easily be found proclaiming that we hated his commentating. But then after listening to the more human side of the man, we found ourselves with a far more positive perception of Buck and thus his commentating style.

We wanted to run a survey to determine if we were alone in this shift, or if it was a more common trend following the airing of Pardon My Take’s Joe Buck interviews. The podcast has millions of active listeners, and commonly finds itself atop the Sports Podcast charts in Apple iTunes.

The show’s hosts have commented on this trend as well, that Joe Buck is more popular among their listeners. We wanted to add numbers to this conversation to determine if it was empirically true.

We ran an exploratory survey to find regular Pardon My Take listeners and then asked the responses that tune-in for at least four episodes a month if the podcast has shifted their opinion of Joe Buck. The results were very clear. Pardon My Take has made Joe Buck more popular among sports fans.

Of the 662 Pardon My Take listeners surveyed:

After listening to Joe Buck on Pardon My Take, did your opinion of him change?

Yes, I view him more favorably 76%
No, I view him about the same 19%
Yes, I view him less favorably 5%

 

Comparing PMT listeners with non-PMT listeners favorability rating of Joe Buck

Favorable Neutral Unfavorable
PMT listener 61% 22% 17%
Non-PMT listener 42% 30% 28%

1,333 US-based responses, online survey, (+/- 4%)

“It’s like, come on, I’m just the guy in the suit telling you your team lost.”

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Joe Buck seemed acutely aware of the less-than-favorable opinions many sports fans have about his broadcast style. He also opened up about several sensitive issues, talking about hair transplants, online hatred, and his own battle with depression.

There are those who think this whole thing is a rebrand, a calculated and deliberate attempt to gain more popularity. It could very well be, but it definitely appears to be working.