Broadcaster Joe Buck Reveals a Hair Plug Addiction Almost Ended His Career

The veteran Fox sportscaster shares story in memoir ”Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I'm Not Allowed to Say on TV”

October 7, 2016
Photo: Billy Bennight / PR Photos

As Stern Show staffer Sal Governale can attest, hair plugs can be a harrowing procedure. However, according to veteran Fox broadcaster Joe Buck’s new memoir, the surgery can also be potentially career-ending.

In his new book, “Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I’m Not Allowed to Say on TV” (written with Michael Rosenberg), Buck reveals the condition which kept him out of broadcasting work in 2011 was not, in fact, a throat virus as originally reported. According to Sports Illustrated’s preview of the memoir, Buck was sidelined by a paralyzed vocal chord resulting from a hair plug procedure gone awry.

“Broadcasting is a brutal, often unfair business, where looks are valued more than skill,” Buck wrote. “I was worried that if I lost my hair, I would lose my job. O.K., that’s bull—-, it was vanity. Pure vanity. I just told myself I was doing it for TV.”

Buck started undergoing hair plug procedures at the age of 24. He went in for his eighth such procedure before the 2011 season, but after he awoke from the anesthetic he couldn’t speak. His vocal chord was paralyzed, possibly because a cuff used by the surgery center for his protection was jostled during the procedure. The resulting PR move was to fabricate the story about a throat virus, but the lie took on a life of its own. Through his memoir, Buck decided to come clean.

“When I started thinking about writing a book, this was the main reason why,” Buck told Sports Illustrated. “It wasn’t about stories with my dad. I wanted to detail the time in my life where I had a lot going on and I was stressed, a time when I started to take anti-depressants and was going through a divorce. Then I had this situation with my voice that rocked me to my knees and shook every part of my world.”

“Lucky Bastard” comes out on Nov. 15.

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