Super Bowl Just Another Game to FOX's Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
While there will be no physical pressure on Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the FOX booth as they call the Super Bowl, the fact that they'll be calling the game before what is expected to be the largest audience in American television history means that it's not just another telecast.
Yet, for Aikman and Buck, the key will be to treat the situation in Cowboys Stadium Sunday as if it were a New York Giants-Dallas game in Week Five.
"Having broadcast a couple of Super Bowls now, I think the same holds true in broadcasting," said Aikman, who led Dallas to three Super Bowl titles in the 1990s. "You get excited because you know it is a big game and you know a lot of people are watching and that they're interested.
"You get through the initial part of that and it becomes a typical broadcast like any other game that you call. But they're a lot of fun to be a part of and it's exciting doing playoff games, especially to be a part of a Super Bowl broadcast."
Buck, who is also FOX's lead baseball play-by-play voice, says the magnitude of the game as a television vehicle only becomes a thought during down times, like commercial breaks or if very little is taking place.
"When we come on camera at the beginning, when you're coming back from break, there's always that little voice in the back of your head that's going, 'Don't screw it up, don't screw it up, don't screw it up,'" said Buck.
"The way you can quiet that voice down is by just doing your thing and getting into real good action, then, I think all that stuff is true and you just do what we've done every other week when we've been standing in a booth."
Indeed, it's a savvy crew that will work the game for FOX. Among the top announcers and executives, only division president Eric Shanks and game director Rich Russo have worked fewer than three of the six Super Bowls that FOX has carried since it got the NFC package in 1994.
Shanks, who will share executive producer credits with FOX Sports Media Group Chair David Hill and Vice Chair Ed Goren, is working his first Super Bowl, while Russo will be cutting his first Big Game, though he has directed the NFL's international Super Bowl feed for the last six years.
"At no time do any of us sit around and say, 'Oh my gosh. I'm really nervous because there might be 150 million people watching the Super Bowl,'" said Shanks on a conference call this week. Then, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, Shanks added, "Before I go to bed every night, I pray for Joe and Troy just so they don't screw it up. It has nothing to do with me. I just worry about them."
Buck quickly added, "Thanks for the confidence."
FOX will blanket Cowboys Stadium with 42 cameras to be split between game and pregame coverage, along with 18 replay machines. Aikman and Buck will be joined in the booth by rules analyst Mike Pereira, while Pam Oliver and Chris Myers will patrol the sidelines.
Kickoff is scheduled for about 6:30 ET.