Fox denies Vikings request to pull Buck from booth

Updated: January 12, 2005, 8:46 PM ET
Associated Press

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Fox Sports turned down Minnesota Vikings owner Red McCombs' request to remove play-by-play announcer Joe Buck from Sunday's divisional playoff game at Philadelphia over his sharp criticism of wide receiver Randy Moss.

After Moss caught a touchdown pass in last weekend's win at Green Bay, the wide receiver celebrated in the end zone by pretending to pull down his pants and moon the Packers fans before briefly wiggling his back side against the goalpost. Buck immediately called it a "disgusting act."

McCombs said that statement was out of line. A two-sentence news release issued by the team said McCombs felt Buck's comments "suggested a prejudice that surpassed objective reporting."

Dan Bell, a Fox spokesman, said the network has "no intention whatsoever" of removing Buck.

"We hope Mr. McCombs enjoys Joe's play-by-play call Sunday, because he'll be in the booth," Bell said.

McCombs, whose office is in San Antonio, was not immediately available for further comment.

Buck, during an interview on Sporting News Radio earlier this week, stood by his criticism.

"I have nothing against Randy Moss," Buck said. "I don't even know the guy. I just know that with the history that he's had, and coming off that game at Washington, it was just stunning to see that."

Moss drew plenty of negative scrutiny the week before for walking off the field in frustration while his teammates lined up for an onside kick with 2 seconds left in a 21-18 loss to the Redskins.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press