Fox’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were summoned to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for Sunday’s NFC Wild Card game between the Eagles and Buccaneers. What transpired was a massacre with the Eagles, 9-8 during the regular season (the worst record of any playoff qualifier), falling woefully short, proving ill-equipped to challenge the defending world champs in a game that’s outcome was never in doubt. Predictably, the Bucs did whatever they wanted Sunday, boat-racing the Birds to the tune of 31 points, accomplished on four touchdowns with two courtesy of longtime Eagles nemesis Tom Brady.
Obviously, anything can happen in the playoffs (ever watched March Madness?), but Sunday’s game never felt like a fair fight, with the talent gulf simply too great for Philadelphia to overcome. This competitive imbalance may be a consequence of the NFL expanding its playoff field from 12 to 14 teams with neither Philadelphia or New England (47-17 losers in Buffalo Saturday night) showing much fight this weekend.
Not one for subtlety, Aikman made little effort to hide his resentment at calling a lesser game, acknowledging his desire to be in Dallas for Sunday’s marquee matchup between the Cowboys (his former team) and 49ers. Unfortunately for Aikman, that assignment went to CBS’ lead announcing team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, another Cowboys alum.
Aikman has been in the booth for plenty of Cowboys’ broadcasts over the years, though there’s no arguing he and Buck drew the short end of the stick, lending their talents to a game most of America tuned out by the second quarter.