Joe Buck Nearly Let Vanity, Hair Plugs Ruin Career

Sportscaster woke up from 8th procedure without a voice
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2016 4:04 PM CDT
Becoming 'Hair-Plug Addict' Nearly Ended Joe Buck's Career
Sportscaster Joe Buck says hair plugs nearly ruined his career.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Sportscaster Joe Buck nearly lost his career because, in his own words, he was "a hair-plug addict." He tells Sports Illustrated he was "consumed" by the threat of losing his hair. "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," Buck says in the exclusive interview. Buck underwent his first hair replacement procedure in 1993 at the age of 24. He says it was "pure vanity," though he deluded himself that he was doing it to keep his television gig. The habit continued until 2011, when he woke up from his eighth procedure to find he couldn't speak.

Somehow during the operation, one of Buck's vocal cords suffered nerve damage and became paralyzed. During the six months—nearly the entirety of the 2011 baseball season—it took for his voice to completely return, Buck lied to friends and bosses, telling them the vocal cord damage was due to a virus. "I didn’t say it was an elective procedure to add hair to the front of my head," Buck says. "It was embarrassing." Buck writes about the experience in his upcoming memoir. He says "the main reason why" he wrote the book was to openly and honestly talk about a difficult period in his life. And while he hasn't had a hair replacement treatment since 2011, he says he hasn't necessarily given up the habit for good either. Read the full story here. (More Joe Buck stories.)

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