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Bob Costas

Bob Costas (right) interviews then U.S. President George W. Bush at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
Born Robert Quinlan Costas
March 22, 1952 (1952-03-22) (age 57)
Queens, New York, U.S.
Occupation Sportscaster
Spouse(s) Jill Sutton (2004–present)
Carole Krumenacher (1983–2001, divorced, 2 children)
Children Keith and Taylor
Parents Jayne and John Costas

Robert Quinlan "Bob" Costas (born March 22, 1952) is an American sportscaster, on the air for the NBC network since the early 1980s.

Contents

Early life

Bob Costas was born in Queens, New York. He is the son of Jayne (née Quinlan) of Irish American descent and John George Costas of Greek American descent, who was an electrical engineer.[1] He grew up in Commack, New York, graduating from Commack High School South. Following high school, he attended the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University where he worked on the radio his freshman year, though he left school before graduating to begin his professional career as a commentator.

Broadcasting career

Early career

His sportscasting career started while attending Syracuse University, as an announcer for the Syracuse Blazers minor-league hockey team playing in the Eastern Hockey League and North American Hockey League.

Costas' career as a professional began as play-by-play announcer for the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association, followed by a stint with the Spirits' station, KMOX radio in St. Louis.

Costas was a prominent contributor to the ABA book Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association. He is extensively quoted on many topics, and the book includes his reflections of ABA life during his tenure as radio voice of the Spirits of St. Louis.

Costas later did play-by-play for Chicago Bulls broadcasts on WGN-TV during the 1979–1980 season.[2][3] He was briefly employed by the CBS network prior to joining NBC Sports in 1980.

NBC Sports

When Costas was first hired by NBC, Don Ohlmeyer, who at the time ran NBC Sports, told the then 28-year-old Costas that he looked like a 14-year-old. Ohlmeyer presumably based his reaction on Costas' modest stature (Costas is 5' 7" in height) and boyish, babyfaced appearance (Costas' appearance has, at times, been compared to actor Mark Hamill's). After Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made disparaging remarks about Barry Bonds (concerning Bonds' alleged steroid use) in a 2007 HBO interview with Costas[4], Bonds immediately responded by dismissing Schilling's comments and calling Costas a "midget" who "knows absolutely jack shit about baseball".

He has been an in-studio host of National Football League coverage and play-by-play man for the NBA and for Major League Baseball. Costas has teamed with Isiah Thomas and Doug Collins for basketball telecasts (from 19972000) and Tony Kubek (from 19831989), Joe Morgan and Bob Uecker (from 19942000) for baseball telecasts. Before becoming the studio host for The NFL on NBC in 1984, Costas did play-by-play with analyst Bob Trumpy for NFL games. In 2009, Costas hosted the World Figure Skating Championships for NBC Sports.

He has also been as co-host on the big horse racing events for NBC Sports since 1997. Costas filled in for Tom Hammond at the hosting desk during the 2002 Breeders' Cup when Hammond had to undergo open-heart surgery.

In 2009, he hosted Bravo's coverage of the 2009 Kentucky Oaks.[5]

Olympics

Costas has frontlined many Olympics broadcasts for NBC. They include the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996, Sydney in 2000, Salt Lake City in 2002, Athens in 2004, Torino in 2006, Beijing in 2008, and Vancouver in 2010. He discusses his work on the Olympic telecasts extensively in a book by Andrew Billings entitled Olympic Media: Inside the Biggest Show on Television. A personal influence on Costas has been legendary ABC Sports broadcaster Jim McKay, who hosted many Olympics for ABC from the 1960s to the 1980s.

During the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Opening Ceremonies, Costas' remarks on the China Team's possible drug use caused an uproar among the American Chinese and international communities. Thousands of dollars were raised to purchase ads in the Washington Post and Sunday New York Times, featuring an image of the head of a statue of Apollo and reading: "Costas Poisoned Olympic Spirit, Public Protests NBC."[6][7] However, Costas' comments were made subsequent to the suspension of Chinese coach Zhou Ming after seven of his swimmers were caught using steroids in 1994. Further evidence of Chinese athletes' drug use came in 1997 when Australian authorities confiscated 13 vials of Somatropin, a human growth hormone, from the bag of Chinese swimmer Yuan Yuan upon her arrival for the 1997 World Swimming Championships. At the World Championships, four Chinese swimmers tested positive for the banned substance Triamterene, a diuretic used to dilute urine samples in order to mask the presence of anabolic steroids. Including these failed drug tests, 27 Chinese swimmers were caught using performance enhancing drugs from 1990 through 1997; more than the rest of the world combined.[8]

Major League Baseball

One of Bob Costas' most memorable broadcasts occurred on June 23, 1984 (in what would go down in baseball lore as The Sandberg Game). Costas, along with Tony Kubek, was calling the Saturday baseball Game of the Week from Chicago's Wrigley Field. The game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in particular was cited for putting Ryne Sandberg (as well as the 1984 Cubs in general, who would go on to make their first postseason appearance since 1945) "on the map." In the ninth inning, the Cubs trailed 9–8, and faced the premier relief pitcher of the time, Bruce Sutter. Sandberg, then not known for his power, slugged a home run to left field against the Cardinals' ace closer. Despite this dramatic act, the Cardinals scored two runs in the top of the tenth. Sandberg came up again in the tenth inning, facing a determined Sutter with one man on base. Sandberg then shocked the national audience by hitting a second home run, even further into the left field bleachers, to tie the game again. The Cubs went on to win in the 11th inning. Costas said when Sandberg hit that second home run, "Do you believe it?!" Willie McGee hit for the cycle in the same game.

While broadcasting Game 4 of the 1988 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics on NBC, Costas angered many members of the Dodgers (especially the team's manager, Tommy Lasorda) by commenting that the team quite possibly had the weakest-hitting lineup in World Series history. Later (while being interviewed by NBC's Marv Albert), after the Dodgers had won Game 4 (en route to a 4–1 series victory), Lasorda sarcastically suggested that the MVP of the 1988 World Series should be Bob Costas.

Besides calling the 1989 American League Championship Series for NBC, Costas also filled-in for a suddenly ill Vin Scully (who had come down with laryngitis.) for Game 2 of the 1989 National League Championship Series. Game 2 of the NLCS occurred on Thursday, October 5, which was an off day for the ALCS. NBC then decided to fly Costas from Toronto to Chicago to substitute for Scully on Thursday night. Afterwards, Costas flew back to Toronto, where he resumed work on the ALCS the next night.

Bob Costas anchored NBC's pre and post-game for NFL broadcasts and the pre and post-game shows for numerous World Series and Major League Baseball All-Star Games during the 1980s (the first being for the 1982 World Series). Costas didn't get a shot at doing play-by-play (as the games on NBC were previously called by Vin Scully) for an All-Star Game until 1994 and a World Series until 1995 (when NBC split the coverage with ABC under "The Baseball Network" umbrella). It wasn't until 1997 when Costas finally got the chance to do play-by-play for a World Series from start to finish. Costas ended up winning a Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-by-Play.

In 1999, Costas teamed with his then-NBC colleague, Joe Morgan to call two weekday night telecasts for ESPN. The first was on Wednesday, August 25 with Detroit Tigers playing against the Seattle Mariners. The second was on Tuesday, September 21 with the Atlanta Braves playing against the New York Mets.

National Basketball Association

When NBC gained the NBA network contract from CBS in 1990, Costas hosted the telecasts and was teamed in the studio with ex-Lakers coach Pat Riley. He also hosted the studio program Showtime and did play-by-play for the 1991 All-Star Game. In 1997, Costas began a three year stint as the lead play-by-play man for The NBA on NBC. NBC enlisted Costas' services after they were forced to (temporarily) remove Marv Albert from their broadcasts due to lingering personal and legal problems at the time. Costas stepped aside following the 2000 NBA Finals, in favor of a returning Marv Albert.

While this, in essence, ended his active role on the NBA on NBC program (by this point, Hannah Storm and briefly Ahmad Rashad had replaced Costas on studio anchoring duties), Costas would return to do play-by-play for selected playoff games. Costas also anchored NBC's NBA Finals coverage in 2002, which was their last to date as Hannah Storm also anchored it with Costas.

Costas is a critic of the raunchier side of pro wrestling. He condemned Karl Malone during a live NBA broadcast for participating periodically in WCW matches.

National Football League

In 2006, Costas returned to studio hosting duties on The NFL on NBC (under the Football Night in America banner), which was returning after a near ten year hiatus. Costas last hosted NFL telecasts for NBC in 1992.

Costas is nicknamed "Rapping Roberto" by New York Daily News sports media columnist Bob Raissman.[9] Al Michaels also called him "Rapping Roberto" during the telecast between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants on September 10, 2006, in response to Costas calling him "Alfalfa."[10]

National Hockey League

Costas hosted NBC's coverage of the 2008, 2009 and the 2010 NHL Winter Classic. [11]

Talk show hosting

Costas also hosted the syndicated radio program Costas Coast to Coast, 1986–1996, which has recently been revived as Costas on the Radio. Like Later, Costas' radio shows have focused on a wide variety of topics, and have not been limited to sports discussion. Bob's radio show, Costas on the Radio, which ended on May 31, 2009, aired on 200 stations nationwide each weekend and syndicated by the Clear Channel owned Premiere Radio Networks.

Costas hosted Later with Bob Costas on NBC from 1988 until 1994. This late night show created by Dick Ebersol, coming on at 1:30 a.m. as the third program in NBC's nightly lineup after Johnny Carson and David Letterman, was something of a break from the typical TV talk show format of the era, featuring Costas and a single guest having a conversation for the entire half hour, without a band, opening monologue or studio audience. On several occasions, Costas held the guest over for multiple nights, and these in-depth discussions won Costas much praise for his interviewing skills. The show was taped in GE Building's studio 8H at the Rockefeller Plaza with Costas interviewing the guest for 45 minutes to an hour before turning the material over to editors who condensed it down to 22 minutes plus commercial breaks.[12]

In June 2005, Costas was named by CNN president, Jonathan Klein, as a regular substitute anchor for Larry King's Larry King Live for one year. Costas, as well as Klein, have said that Costas was not trying out for King's position on a permanent basis. Nancy Grace was also named a regular substitute host for the show.[13]

On August 18, 2005, Costas refused to host a Larry King Live broadcast where the subject was missing teenager Natalee Holloway. Costas said he had no hard feelings about the subject, but that he was uncomfortable with it.[14]

HBO Sports

In 2001, Costas was hired by HBO to host a 12 week series called On the Record with Bob Costas.[15] On the Record with Bob Costas was similar to the format of the old Later program as they both concentrated on in-depth celebrity interviews.

In 2002, Costas began a stint as co-host of HBO's long running series Inside the NFL. Costas remained host of Inside the NFL through the end of the 2007 NFL season. He hosted the show with Cris Collinsworth and former NFL legends Dan Marino and Cris Carter. The program aired each week during the NFL season.

In 2005, On the Record with Bob Costas was revamped to become Costas Now, a monthly show that would focus more on sports and air year-round in a 9 p.m. ET/PT time slot. Costas Now was more akin to HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Costas left HBO to sign with MLB Network in February 2009.

MLB Network

Costas agreed to become a contributor to MLB Network. At the channel's launch on January 1, 2009, he hosted the premiere episode of All Time Games, a presentation of the recently-discovered kinescope of Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. During the episode, he held a forum with Don Larsen, who pitched MLB's only postseason perfect game during that game, and Yogi Berra, who caught the game.

Costas joined the network full-time on February 3, 2009. He hosts a regular interview show titled MLB Network Studio 42 with Bob Costas as well as special programming, and provides play-by-play for select live Thursday Night Baseball games.[16]

Interests

Love of baseball

Costas is a devoted baseball fan (he's been suggested as a potential commissioner) and wrote the best-selling Fair Ball: A Fan's Case for Baseball in 2000. For his 40th birthday, then Oakland Athletics manager Tony La Russa allowed Costas to manage the club during a spring training game. The first time Costas visited baseball legend Stan Musial's St. Louis eatery, he left a $3.31 tip (on a $47.51 bill) in homage to Musial's lifetime batting average (.331). Costas delivered the eulogy at Mickey Mantle's funeral. In eulogizing Mantle, Costas described the baseball legend as "a fragile hero to whom we had an emotional attachment so strong and lasting that it defied logic." Costas has even carried a 1958 Mickey Mantle baseball card in his wallet.

Costas has been fairly outspoken about his disdain for Major League Baseball instituting a wild card. Costas believes that it diminishes the significance of winning a divisional championship. He prefers a system in which winning the wild card puts a team at some sort of disadvantage, as opposed to on an equal level with teams by which they were outplayed over a 162 game season. Or, as explained in his book Fair Ball, have only the three division winners in each league go to the postseason, with the team with the best record receiving a bye into the League Championship Series. Once, on the air on HBO's Inside the NFL, he mentioned that the NFL regular season counted for something, but baseball's was beginning to lose significance.

Political views

Costas declared on June 27, 2007, that the presidency of George W. Bush had "tragically failed."

I think it is now overwhelmingly evident, if you're honest about it, even if you're a conservative Republican, if you're honest about it, this is a failed administration. And no honest conservative would say that George W. Bush was among the 100 most qualified people to be President of the United States. That's not based on political leaning. If a liberal, and I tend to be liberal, disagrees with a conservative, they can still respect that person's competence and the integrity of their point of view."[17]

The following summer, Costas would interview Bush, as he made an appearance during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing (pictured above).

Personal life

Costas was married from 1983 to 2001 to Carole "Randi" Randall Krummenacher. They had two children, son Keith (born 1986) and daughter Taylor (born 1989). Costas once jokingly promised Minnesota Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett that if he was batting over .350 by the time his child was born he would name the baby Kirby. Kirby was hitting better than .350, but Bob's son initially was not given a first (or second) name of Kirby. After Puckett reminded Costas of the agreement, the birth certificate was changed to "Keith Michael Kirby Costas".[citation needed] On March 12, 2004, Costas married his second wife, Jill Sutton. Costas resides in St. Louis, Missouri.

Awards and honors

Bob Costas has won multiple National Sportcaster of the Year awards (from the National Sportcaster and Sportswriter Association) and nearly 20 Emmy Awards for outstanding sports announcing. In 1999, Costas was a recipient of the Curt Gowdy Award, which is awarded to members of the electronic and print media for outstanding contributions to baseball. He is also an honorary board member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

He was selected as the Dick Schaap Award for Outstanding Journalism recipient in 2004.

In 2006, Costas was also awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Loyola College in Maryland.

On April 19, 2007, while at the Iowa Cubs vs. Albuquerque Isotopes Pacific Coast League baseball game, Costas was made an honorary member of the Iowa Cubs Video Production Team during a brief induction ceremony in the Principal Park pressbox.

He is a Honorary Trustee of Webster University, a private college located in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves. He is a frequent supporter of the school, to include numerous radio commercials

In popular culture

Costas has occasionally played himself on various programs. Costas once appeared on the television program, NewsRadio, as himself. He hosted an award show and later had some humorous encounters with the crew of WNYX. Costas also once appeared as a guest on the faux talkshow cartoon Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Costas appeared on the The War to Settle the Score, a pre-WrestleMania program that The WWF aired on MTV. Costas appeared as himself along with his rival/counterpart Al Michaels (who now works for NBC) from ABC in the movie BASEketball. Costas also appeared as himself in the movie Pootie Tang where he remarks that he saw "the longest damn clip ever". On January 30, 2009, Costas guest starred on the television series Monk in an episode titled "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs". Costas was "supposed" to appear in the fourth season premiere of Celebrity Deathmatch (ironicly titled "Where is Bob Costas?") as a guest-commentator, but about halfway through the episode it was revealed that John Tesh had killed him before the show to take his place.

Apart from his normal sportscasting duties, Costas has also presented periodic sports blooper reels, and announced dogsled and elevator races, on Late Night with David Letterman.

Bob Costas has been impersonated several times by Darrell Hammond on Saturday Night Live.[18]

In a supposed effort to fulfill a deal he made on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, as coverage of a game resumed he sipped a glass of pink lemonade and said "Ah, that's restaurant quality lemonade."

Costas has been alluded to in popular music. Arguably his most honorable accomplishment was having his named mentioned in the Mac Dre song "Mafioso"-"Got game like Bob Costa." Costas was "name checked" in a Ludacris song after he had mentioned being a fan on the late night talk show Last Call with Carson Daly.

On September 11, 2001 (the day of the terrorist attacks), Costas was in New York City for an appearance on NBC's Today Show to discuss with Katie Couric basketball legend Michael Jordan's return to the NBA. The interview started off at approximately 7:03 a.m. Eastern Time.

In 2002, Costas was the keynote speaker for the opening ceremonies of the 25th Empire State Games held in Syracuse, New York.

In 2002, Bob was the play-by-play announcer, alongside ESPN's Harold Reynolds, for Triple Play 2002 during the ballgame for PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

In 2006, Costas voiced the animated character Bob Cutlass, a race announcer, in the movie Cars.

On October 18, 2007, Costas appeared along with former Baseball Commissioner, Fay Vincent at Williams College for "A Conversation About Sports" moderated by Will Dudley, Associate Professor of Philosophy.

On June 13, 2008, Costas appeared the MSNBC's commercial-free special coverage of Remembering Tim Russert (1950~2008), as a colleague of the host (of that broadcast), Keith Olbermann. He paid tribute to Russert as a person who loved sports and athletes, mentioning Russert's love of Yogi Berra.[19]

On February 11, 2010, Stephen Colbert jokingly expressed his desire to stab Costas at the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

He guest-voiced as himself in The Simpsons 2010 episode, "Boy Meets Curl", when Homer and Marge make the U.S. Olympic curling team.

Career timeline

References

  1. ^ Bob Costas Biography (1952–)
  2. ^ fuzzymemories.tv
  3. ^ fuzzymemories.tv
  4. ^ Associated Press, Schilling: Bonds and McGwire lack of denials tantamount to admissions. USA Today, July 2, 2007.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Liang, K. Harrison (1996-08-29). "Text of Protest Ad". China News Digest. http://museums.cnd.org/CND-Global/CND-Global.96.3rd/CND-Global.96-08-31.html. 
  7. ^ Sandomir, Richard (1996-09-06). "Cultural Views: Differing Outlooks". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C07E6D6163BF935A3575AC0A960958260. 
  8. ^ Penner, Mike (1998-01-18). "Latest Drug Scandal Has China Critics Seeing Red". http://articles.latimes.com/1998/jan/18/sports/sp-9735. 
  9. ^ Bob Raissman (2006-09-12). "NBC out-Foxed in opener". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/story/451507p-380022c.html. 
  10. ^ Michael Hiestand (2006-09-11). "Scores, injury updates early fodder for NBC's Sunday-night NFL show". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/2006-09-10-weekend_x.htm. 
  11. ^ a b NHL.com – 2008 NHL Winter Classic
  12. ^ Later 1994
  13. ^ "CNN hires Bob Costas". Associated Press. 2005-06-09. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/06/09/entertainment/main700753.shtml. 
  14. ^ "Bob Costas refuses to anchor Holloway coverage". Associated Press. 2005-08-19. http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/usworld/news-article.aspx?storyid=42748. 
  15. ^ IMDb > "On the Record with Bob Costas" (2001)
  16. ^ Bob Costas Joins MLB Network
  17. ^ Bob Costas: 'Inescapable Fact' That Bush Presidency 'A Tragically Failed Administration'|NewsBusters.org
  18. ^ Darrell Hammond impersonation on Bob Costas
  19. ^ Costas: Russert understood competition
  20. ^ a b c d e HBO: Costas Now

External links

Preceded by
Len Berman
Greg Gumbel
Studio host, NFL on NBC
19841992
2006-present
Succeeded by
Jim Lampley
Incumbent
Preceded by
none
Studio host, NBA Showtime
1990-1997
Succeeded by
Hannah Storm
Preceded by
Bryant Gumbel
American television prime time anchor, Summer Olympic Games
1992–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Sean McDonough
World Series network television play-by-play announcer (with Al Michaels in 1995 and concurrent with Joe Buck in odd numbered years)
19951999
Succeeded by
Joe Buck
Preceded by
Marv Albert
Play-by-Play announcer, NBA Finals
19982000
Succeeded by
Marv Albert
Preceded by
Jim Nantz
American television prime time anchor, Winter Olympic Games
2002–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent







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