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Joe Buck has demonstrated numerous times that as an announcer of an event, you remain mum and let the event tell the story. That is why his uncharacteristic, insensitive comment as Los Angeles Charger tight end Donald Parham Jr. was being stretchered off the field on Thursday night was so stunning.
Parham appeared to be unconscious after falling in the end zone while trying to catch a pass from Justin Herbert. For some reason, FOX Sports felt the need to give the viewing audience a close-up of the tight end, eyes closed as he was receiving medical treatment.
That was the initial poor decision. No need to be injected that close to what was a terrifying scene for players, fans, and the TV audience.
Parham was wheeled off the field to get further medical attention. It was obvious to all his arms were twitching/convulsing. Nothing needed to be said.
LISTEN: Donald Parham Jr. is at the hospital with a brain/spine injury. Joe Buck says he'd never speculate on an injury, then speculates DP's arm tremors were bc "it's cold tonight, at least by Los Angeles standards."
Ladies and gents, meet rock bottom for sports broadcasting. pic.twitter.com/s3RbdE0ouO
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) December 17, 2021
It got worse when Buck decided to offer commentary after saying “the last thing we would ever do is speculate about any injury, especially that type,”
So why did the play-by-play voice who has let so many scenes play out by remaining silent feel the need to continue talking and say:
“I will just add this- it is very cold, at least by Los Angeles standards, down on the field. Hopefully, that was more the issue than anything else.”
Buck is often self-deprecating and has a solid presence on social media.
The best thing he could do — and it would be in character for the Pro Football Hall of Famer — would be to step up and say the comment was out of line given the gravity of the situation.
This is one instance where Buck saying something would be far more powerful than remaining silent, which is what he should have done to begin with Thursday.