Joe Buck will spend roughly three and a half hours on Sunday talking to more than 100 million Super Bowl viewers and, for most of that time, he'll be hidden from sight. Before the game, Buck will have only a few minutes on camera to introduce himself as an expert but impartial observer. He'll do this as he always does, by wearing the right shirt.
Unlike ESPN's talking heads, who dress outrageously in order to better define their personalities for the audience watching them bicker – for instance, Chris Berman is a loud man in loud ties; Ray Lewis is an aggressive man in a sharp suit; Mike Ditka is an elder statesman in pinstripes – Buck isn't wearing a costume. Generally speaking, he's wearing a shirt and tie. And he wears them well thanks largely to his choice in collars. Buck almost always wears a semi-spread collar, which might seem like a minor thing but is actually a major reason he always looks so damn trustworthy.
Semi-spreads are a conservative look that splits the difference between a wider English spread, which showcases the tie knot, and a straight point, which cuts down sharply. Perfect for men with long faces – Buck qualifies – this collar type allows men to wear a tie and a jacket without having all the lines of their clothes converge abruptly at the neck. What that means for Buck, and for the in-the-know businessmen that favor the semi-spread, is that they can look approachable, relaxed, and respectful all at the same time. That's a trick Buck needs to pull off on Super Bowl Sunday and one many men could use for their Monday morning presentations.
Many brands offer semi-spreads. Because the right collar looks better attached to a custom shirt, we get our semi-spreads from Proper Cloth, which offers shirts in subtle, Buck-style patterns as well as splashy ESPN-ready colors. [From $95; propercloth.com]