It’s Time for Vikings Fans to Forgive Joe Buck

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

Nineteen years ago — yes, that long ago — former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver and Hall of Famer Randy Moss mortified Joe Buck, and Buck mortified Vikings fans.

It’s Time for Vikings Fans to Forgive Joe Buck

The announcer called a playoff contest between the Vikings and Green Bay Packers during the 2004 season, an upset by the Vikings in Green Bay that lives in purple lore to this day.

Fans to Forgive
Minnesota Vikings Randy Moss moons the crowd after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter of their game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, January 9, 2005 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. © Dale Guldan / USA TODAY NETWORK.

En route to toppling Green Bay, Moss seized a touchdown pass out of the sky and unveiled a “mooning” gesture to Packers fans, paying homage to Packers fans mooning opposing players as they left Lambeau Field via bus.

Buck was outraged, calling Moss’ touchdown celebration a “disgusting act,” and Vikings fans have labeled Buck as the enemy since.

Well, now, almost two decades later, Buck is ready to make amends and, in fact, regrets the infamous disgusting act call.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.

ESPN’s Kevin Clark asked Buck this week about one regret from his career, and immediately, he identified the Moss moment, “The Randy Moss call, for sure, with the ‘that’s disgusting.’ I don’t know why, and the irony of it all is a) we were at FOX together for a brief while when he was there, b) now we’re at ESPN together and my wife, Michelle, does the pre-game show.”

Since 2004, Buck has been interwoven in football’s fabric, while some Vikings faithful haven’t shed the grudge.

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“Of all the people on that show, even prior to our arrival, because he’s been there since we got there, the nicest human being to my wife was Randy, and I would go, like, on Mondays and support her and he’d be the guy that would hop off the set and come down, and we’d give high fives and the handshake and the lean-in hug,” Buck added.

At the time, Moss was perceived as a brash renegade personality, so perhaps Buck was riding the wave of populism. There was nothing overly obscene about Moss’ celebration, especially in the context of Packers fans physically mooning opposing teams’ players after games. Moss was merely having fun and twisting the knife ever so slightly.

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Buck added, “The more time goes on, the more I think, man, I can’t believe that came out of my mouth … that was too far, and it was not calculated. You never know what you’re going to see when you go into a stadium.”

Moss entered the Hall of Fame in 2018, and by 2024’s standard, the Lambeau dance might be considered tame. The mid-2000s were a weird era of scrutinizing players’ individuality, a time that has since passed with the rise of social media and players’ ability to speak their minds with the click of a button.

Here’s the Buck clip:

It’s time to forgive. You’re allowed to do that.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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