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Going into his Jeopardy! hosting stint, Joe Buck was surely bracing for impact. The Fox sportscaster is a lightning rod in the NFL and MLB worlds, inspiring so much antipathy among sports fans that they’ve chanted “Joe Buck sucks” at games and petitioned to have him banned from live commentary. Combine a public figure people love to hate and an always riled-up fanbase, like the Jeopardy! hive, and sparks are bound to fly.
This week, Buck took the storied Jeopardy! lectern as the final guest host of Season 37, and as expected, fans made no secret of how they feel about him. But surprisingly, the feedback was a mixed bag, with some viewers even giving Buck begrudging credit for hosting the game well. Others compared him to Nickelback and begged him to quit his day job, including legendary Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer. You can’t win ‘em all, right? Buck, for his part, was prepared for pushback.
“For the most part, everybody wants to be liked,” Buck told Esquire in 2018. “At some point, you can’t be unrealistic about it. The only people I want to really like me are my family and the people who employ me.” Buck also told Esquire how he responds to the public's perception of him, saying "I try to have fun with it. I think you kind of stick the pin in the balloon and let the air out, and if people know you can laugh at yourself, well, I can’t be that big of a dick."
Bringing in a human lightning rod to round out the season is a fitting end to this strange, sad, exhilarating year of Jeopardy!, which saw fans engage with the show on social media like never before. Below, we rounded up a sampling of feedback to Buck’s hosting gig.
Jeopardy says whoever hosts full time will have to quit their other job, so I’m crossing my fingers it’s Joe Buck
— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) August 9, 2021
With his Jeopardy appearance, Joe Buck is only calling NHL games away from ruining everything I love.
— Rick Monti (@Aldo_Monti) August 9, 2021
Jeopardy goes from LeVar Burton and David Faber to Joe Buck.
Jeopardy producers: pic.twitter.com/lESqf6VF0F
— Keith England (@Keith_England) August 9, 2021
— Fake Jeopardy! Stories (@fake_jeopardy) August 10, 2021
After all these years, I still have no idea why everyone hates Joe Buck. Like, I know I’m supposed to hate him, but I don’t remember why.
— Oddsball Sports (Come Get Your Free Pick) (@OddsballSports) August 10, 2021
— Geph (@mr_merrymonx) August 10, 2021
I know we hate on Joe Buck on this website a lot, and I’m sure I’ll get hate for saying this, but I actually kind of like him as the Jeopardy host
— Daniel Lacy (@DanielFLacy) August 9, 2021
As expected, Joe Buck was excellent in his first game hosting @Jeopardy. His feigned interest in the interview portion was Trebek-esque.
— Dan Stanczyk (@DanStanczyk) August 10, 2021
— Matt Amodio (@AmodioMatt) August 10, 2021
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