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A Debilitating Hair Plug Addiction Nearly Cost Joe Buck His Broadcasting Career

by Derek de Koff October 06, 2016

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From the right angle, life can be seen as a steady stream of personal problems; some more soul-bending than others. Joe Buck, Fox Sports announcer, apparently developed a highly rare one: A debilitating addiction to hair plugs and elective hair replacement procedures that practically cost him his whole damned career.

As Buck tells Sports Illustrated in an exclusive interview, he took some time off back in 2011 for what was reportedly “a virus that affected the laryngeal nerve of his left vocal cord.”

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In truth, as USA Today reports, the damage to his voice was caused expressly by his unquenchable thirst for those elective hair procedures.

Hee tells journalist Richard Deitsch that he’s had a deep-seated fear of losing his locks even since coming to the realization that the job of broadcaster hinges more on one’s physical appearance than any innate skill.

From the very first time he got replacement treatment in 1993, he was addicted and wanted more. And then more. And then some more.

Then in 2011, as he was undergoing his eighth procedure, there were some serious complications: he was unable to talk upon wakening from the anesthetic. Doctors claimed it was nerve damage.  He claimed it was a virus.

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As he tells Deitsch:

“I was lying. I think people bend the truth all the time, unfortunately. It was really for self-preservation and ego for me. As I look back, I gave partial truths. Where I lied was when I said the reason why. People would ask, ‘Why is your vocal chord paralyzed?’ I said it was a virus. I didn’t say it was an elective procedure to add hair to the front of my head. It was embarrassing. There’s an embarrassing element to that. Any surgery done to improve one’s looks is not really something someone wants to talk about. So it’s very cathartic to get this out. There are a lot of people across the country, for as silly as this sounds, who obsess about hair loss. I would tell myself I needed to look younger, I needed to have thicker hair, I don’t want to look older than I am. The truth of it is that it was an ego thing, whether I was on TV or not.”

Apparently, the only reason he was let back on the air despite his voice never returning to its full force is because of his relationship with the bosses and the equity he’d built up over the years.

Check out the complete interview here.




Derek de Koff
Derek de Koff

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