A hair-plug addiction almost cost Joe Buck his broadcasting career. Really.

Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck.
Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck. The Associated Press

You may recall that five years ago, Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck missed part of the baseball season because of a virus that affected his vocal cords.

That, Buck reveals in his forthcoming biography, is a lie.

He blamed it on his addiction to hair plugs. In the book, “Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, And The Things I’m Not Allowed To Say On TV,” Buck writes: “I, Joseph Francis Buck, became a hair-plug addict.”

Buck told Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch that during his eighth hair replacement procedure in 2011, something went wrong. Buck was unable to speak when he awoke from the anesthetic, he told Sports Illustrated, and “believes his vocal cord was paralyzed because of a cuff the surgery center used to protect him during the procedure.”

After the procedure, Buck concocted the virus story in part because he was embarrassed.

“I was lying,” Buck told Sports Illustrated. “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 cord 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.”

The book will be released on Nov. 15, and you can read more about Buck’s book and the loss of his voice in the Sports Illustrated story.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff