When Joe Buck’s Dad, Jack Buck, Called Super Bowl IV 50 Years Ago, The Kansas City Chiefs Won

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Joe Buck will step deeper into the footsteps of his father, Jack Buck, as the play-by-play announcer for Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

Fifty years ago, Jack called his only Super Bowl via telecast — Super Bowl IV, when the Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings.

It was also the last time the Chiefs made it to the Super Bowl.

Jack’s career calling football would continue after that game, but not on television. He went on to call 18 additional Super Bowls for radio and was the voice behind CBS radio’s Monday Night Football for 20 years.

Football wasn’t Jack’s only legacy. It includes covering game play-by-play for the St. Louis Cardinals on KNOX radio station for 47 years, as well as calling 11 World Series.

When Jack died on June 18, 2002, from pneumonia after a battle with lung cancer and Parkinson’s disease, the people of St. Louis mourned alongside his family.

He is memorialized by a statue in front of Busch Stadium, has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame and was inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum in 2014. In addition, the Jack Buck Award — recognizing dedicated support of sports in St. Louis — has been given out annually since 1987.


Super Bowl IV Was A Turning Point In Jack Buck’s Career

Jack Buck, voice of the Cardinals, outside the new Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis, MO
Featured image credit: Adam FagenFlickr(CC BY-SA 2.0 resized)

“My dad had a lot of life changes off and on the air. His career was about to take off and he was about to ascend to his signature job that gave him the impact that he had,” Joe Buck told the San Antonio Express-News.

In 1970, the same year as Super Bowl IV, his youngest son, Joe, was born soon after Jack married his second wife, Carole Lintzenich. In addition to major life changes, Jack had a career break in baseball, moving from general commentary to calling game play-by-play after the Chicago Cubs legendary announcer Harry Caray was fired from his spot with the Cardinals.


Joe Buck Says This Pivotal Year For His Father Shaped His Life

Hank Stram signing Bob Howfield and John Haslam to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1968.
Kansas City Chiefs coach Hank Stram in 1968. Featured image credit: BallardGetty Images

In addition to Super Bowl IV having been the only championship game Jack would call on television, it was also the first game in which Chiefs’ coach Hank Stram was given a mic. While Joe was only 8-months-old, he says the years he tagged along as his dad and Stram covered Monday Night Football, plus 17 Super Bowls together for CBS Radio, culminated into the decision to pursue the family business of announcing. He even credits their camaraderie on-air for how he styles his own broadcasts.

“I don’t know if we have the room that they did on the radio as far as talking, but I think that natural back and forth where two people are listening and feeding off each other is when broadcasts are great,” according to the San Antonio Express-News report.


History Has Already Been Made With Jack & Joe Buck

Joe Buck before Game One of the 2013 World Series
Featured image credit: ElsaGetty Images

While the anniversary of Jack calling Super Bowl IV is special to the family, it is also a reminder that the duo is the only father and son to do play-by-play Super Bowl telecasts. Joe has offered play-by-play for five other Super Bowl games, the first being in 2005, when the New England Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles.

This year, Joe said he is happy to see new faces on the field.

“It feels like a fresh matchup. For as much hype as there already is, people are excited to watch.”