Joe Buck: No, Lions fans, we don’t hate your team

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Houston — The Lions rarely draw Fox’s top broacast team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, but when they do, the social-media complaints are always the same. Despite being considered by most observers as the best in the business, Lions fans can’t help but feel the tandem are heavily biased toward whoever the opponent is that week.

That’s the nature of the business, according to Buck.

“In this day and age, people want it all from their side,” Buck said last week. “If I dare say something good about the other team or if I get excited and scream and yell about a touchdown that (New York Giants quarterback) Eli Manning throws against them, that to them means I’m rooting against them or disrespecting (their team).”

Lions fans are particularly sensitive to the commentary when the team is playing the Green Bay Packers. But here’s the funny thing, Packers fans started a petition on seeking to ban Buck and Aikman from calling their games because of, you guessed it, negative opinions and bias.

Buck, needless to say, was amused.

“That’s just kind of the way of the world these days,” Buck said. “I think, the irony of all that, of all the teams that we cover, I can’t imagine us having said better things about any team more than Green Bay, more than Aaron Rodgers, more than Mike McCarthy. It’s just silly stuff.”

To be fair, it’s difficult not to praise Rodgers, who has the best career passer rating in NFL history. And the Packers have gone to the playoffs eight consecutive years, winning the NFC North five of the past six.

Just reading those credentials is likely to get any Lions fan on edge. But what the petition shows is that no fan base, even one of a consistent winner, is immune to perceptions of bias.

“I’m here to tell you, whether it’s me or the next guy, it’s always going to have to be that way,” Buck said. “The petitions and all that, 20,000 people, 40,000 people, we’re about do a game (Super Bowl) for 120 million. So, sorry, it’s really not that big of a deal.

“Unless the Houston Oilers are in this game, that was the team I grew up loving for some reason – (Dan) Pastorini, Earl Campbell and those guys – I have no rooting interest,” Buck said. “I’m just here to do the games.”