No. 1 Golf Buddies: Troy Aikman and Joe Buck

September 10, 2010

Buck: We’re just two buddies who are going out to play golf. I know it’s hard for him to swing a golf club with three Super Bowl rings on his hands…actually, that’s something that could help your game, just one time take those things off.

Aikman: We definitely take shots at each other. Joe’s competitive and he takes the game really seriously. I mean, I take it seriously but…

Buck: Yeah, I’m obsessed, that’s what he’s saying…

Aikman: Right, so if he’s struggling, it hurts. And it hurts when I’m struggling, so we have some fun at each other’s expense, but it’s not fun for either one of us when we’re not playing good golf, so we never cross the line.

Buck: That’s easy for him to say. He’s got a full head of blond hair and blue eyes. He’s the captain, the quarterback—OU, UCLA, Dallas Cowboys. They lay down palms when we show up at golf courses in the Dallas area. They lift him into the clubhouse and place him into the golf cart. What are you going to make fun of Troy Aikman about?

Aikman: I’m not above throwing a club, but I don’t think I’ve got any anger problems on the course. We keep our language in check too. Unfortunately I’m not above letting it go a little bit…

Buck: He curses like a sailor; let me be the one to say it.

Aikman: Yeah, I wasn’t really above that on the field either.

Buck: Unfortunately, when we’re partners he can’t grab me by the facemask and tell me to “wake up.”

Aikman: And we usually are playing together…

Buck: Yeah, people like to make us play together so they can tell their friends “Hey, you know those two clowns on TV on the weekend? We took them down.”

Aikman: And there’s nothing that they want more than to go home and tell their wife and their friends that they kicked Tory Aikman’s butt. I was just in a club championship and the guy who beat me was 73 years old [Buck laughs hysterically]. Good guy.

Buck: What really pissed him off was that the guy was using a walker and one of his tennis balls came off the bottom in the middle of the fairway.

Aikman: We gamble and compete which is part of the fun. Joe usually comes out on top…

Buck: That’s not true, he’s just trying to throw me a bone here. We’re definitely competitive with each other, but the competition has never gotten in the way of fun. We’re out there to make fun of each other and laugh, and if this was just to win a $20 Nassau it wouldn’t be worth it. There’s a lot of better ways to earn 20 bucks…and if you want I’ll list them for you later.

Aikman: Joe’s a really solid player; he’s got all the shots. The only thing Joe needs to work on right now is his chipping…

Buck: Yeah, I’m yippy.

Aikman: I’d count on him putting the ball right down the middle off the tee, though. But right now the driver’s probably the worst part of my game.

Buck: You don’t want to be anywhere near the left rough [when Troy’s on the tee] about 280 yards out. Because he can pound it. You don’t sculpt a body like that with P90X, running, jogging, training—you notice who the light beer’s in front of—without being able to really mash it, and he can. What’re you, 6’8″, 6’9″…

Aikman: Yep

Buck: 7 feet tall! I’m 6’1″ and when people see us together, they think I’m 4’6″.

Aikman: Hey, I’m big-boned.

Buck: He makes me look like a twerp.

Aikman: Without sounding corny, I consider Joe one of my closest friends. Golf has allowed us to have interests beyond our profession and something to do together.

Buck: When Troy and I first took over for John Madden and Pat Summerall, my Children’s Hospital golf tournament was coming up. I had only met [Troy] when I was a young announcer and he was this older, fading, gimpy player…

Aikman: Right…

Buck: …whose glory days were clearly behind him—wait, don’t print that—but I asked him and immediately he said “Where and when, I’ll be there,” which is just the sort of guy he is. And that’s really how our relationship started. It all started around golf.

Aikman: I think it makes us feel good when people say, “Wow, it sounds like you guys really like each other,” because when you’re working in the booth, doing big games with a lot of viewers and a lot of expectations, you’re really out there naked. So working with someone who’s got your best interest at heart can make all the difference. All those experiences on our golf trips, laughing and having beers, that’s all a big part of it. That’s why, nine years in, here we are.

Troy Aikman, 43, led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories. Joe Buck, 41, has been Fox Sports’ lead NFL play-by-play man since 2002.