Bob Costas

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Robert Quinlan Costas (born March 22, 1952 in Queens, New York) is an American sportscaster, on the air for the NBC network since the early 1980s. Costas is known for his knowledge of sports and his quick wit. His mother was of Irish Catholic extraction, and his father was of Greek extraction. He was raised as a Roman Catholic.

Costas earned his bachelor's degree in 1974 from Syracuse University. Prior to joining NBC in 1980, he was a play-by-play announcer for the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association, and was briefly employed by the CBS network.

Bob Costas has won four National Sportcaster of the Year awards (from the National Sportcaster and Sportswriter Association) and three 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 basketball.

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 1997-2000) and Tony Kubek (from 1983-1989), Joe Morgan and Bob Uecker (from 1994-2000) for baseball telecasts.

Costas hosted Later with Bob Costas on NBC, 1988-1994, and syndicated radio program Costas Coast to Coast, 1986-1996. He 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. Costas has been fairly outspoken about his disdain for Major League Baseball instituting a wild card. Costas believes that it diminishes the integrity of winning a divisional pennant.

Costas has frontlined many Olympics broadcasts for NBC. They include the Olympics in Seoul in 1988, Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996, Sydney in 2000, Salt Lake City in 2002, and Athens in 2004. A personal influence on Costas has been legendary ABC Sports broadcaster Jim McKay, who hosted many Olympics for ABC from the sixites to eighties.

In 2001, Costas was hired by HBO to host a 12 week series called On the Record with Bob Costas. 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. 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 is more akin to HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

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 is not trying out for King's position on a permanent basis. Nancy Grace was also named a regular substitute host for the show. [1]

Beginning in 2006, Costas will be scheduled to return to studio hosting duties on The NFL on NBC, which is returning after a near ten year hiatus. Costas last hosted NFL telecasts for NBC in 1992 before being replaced by the likes of Jim Lampley and Greg Gumbel.

On August 18, 2005, Costas refused to host a Larry King Live episode where the subject was missing teen Natalee Holloway. Costas said he had no hard feelings about the subject, but that he was uncomfortable with it. [2]

Trivia

  • Costas once jokingly promised that if Kirby Puckett was batting over .350 by the time his child was born he would name his kid Kirby. True to his word, since Kirby was hitting better than .350, Bob gave his son, Keith Costas, whose first name comes from Bob's first wife's brother, the middle name Kirby. Bob also has a daughter named Taylor, who was born three years later (1989).
  • Bob's father, John Costas, was a Greek electrical engineer, baseball fan, and gambler.
  • While calling the 1989 American League Championship Series between Oakland and Toronto for NBC, Costas unexpectedly came under fire by many Blue Jay fans. After the A's won the first two games, Costas said the Blue Jays had better win Game 3 (which they did, as it turned out) or "Elvis has a better chance of coming back than the Blue Jays." The Blue Jay fans decided to retaliate by displaying signs reading "Nuke Bob Costas" around the SkyDome.
  • Costas moved from being NBC's studio anchor for NBA telecasts to the lead play-by-play man after Marv Albert's unexpected dismissal due to personal issues. Costas made his debut on Christmas Day of 1997 for a game against the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat. Perhaps as a way to return the favor to Costas (for agreeing to step in for Marv Albert), NBC allowed Costas to front a weekly sports interview series (which would ultimately become On the Record with Bob Costas) for HBO.
  • The first time Costas visited baseball legend Stan Musial's St. Louis eatery, he left a $3.31 tip in homage to the Musial's lifetime batting average (.331).
  • 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 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 is a regular critic of the raunchier side of pro wrestling. He condemed Karl Malone during a live NBA broadcast for participating periodically in WCW matches. Ironically, Costas participated in Baseketball, an equally raunchy movie that same year.
  • The doomed football league the XFL (which ironically, was half owned by Costas' employer, NBC) featured a pre-game show in some league cities hosted by shock radio jocks Opie & Anthony. During an interview with XFL founder Vince McMahon on his HBO program On the Record with Bob Costas, Costas called the pregame show an "abomination", which Opie & Anthony later mocked on their nationally syndicated radio show. When Costas' interview with McMahon turned ugly, Opie & Anthony played clips of McMahon verbally blasting Costas.
  • When Costas was first hired by NBC, Don Ohlmeyer, who at the time, ran NBC Sports sarcastically told the then 28 year old Costas that he looked like a 14 year old. Ohlmeyer presumably based his reaction on Costas' diminutive size and boyish, babyfaced appearance.

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