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Costas on August 11, 2008
|Born||Robert Quinlan Costas|
March 22, 1952
New York, New York, United States
Carole Krumenacher (m. 1983; div. 2001)
|Children||Keith and Taylor|
|Parents||Jayne and John Costas|
Costas on August 11, 2008
|Born||Robert Quinlan Costas|
March 22, 1952
New York, New York, United States
Carole Krumenacher (m. 1983; div. 2001)
|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 NBC Sports television since the early 1980s. He has been prime-time host of nine Olympic games. He also does play-by-play for MLB Network and hosts an interview show called Studio 42 with Bob Costas.
Bob Costas was born in the borough of Queens in New York City, the son of Jayne (Quinlan), of Irish descent, and John George Costas, an electrical engineer of Greek descent. His father's family roots are from the island of Chios in the Aegean Sea. In the documentary television series Baseball (1994), directed by Ken Burns, Costas indicated that he had a very poor relationship with his father, but did not go into specifics. He grew up in Commack, New York, graduating from Commack High School South.
Following high school, Costas majored in communications and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University, before dropping out of school. Later, he received an honorary degree from its S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Costas' sportscasting career began while attending Syracuse University, serving as an announcer for the Syracuse Blazers minor-league hockey team playing in the Eastern Hockey League and North American Hockey League.
He started his professional career at KMOX radio in St. Louis, Missouri, calling play-by-play for the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association in 1974. He also called Missouri Tigers basketball and co-hosted KMOX's Open Line call-in program.
He 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. 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 NBA season. He was also employed by CBS Sports as a regional CBS NFL and CBS NBA announcer from 1976 to 1979, after which he moved to NBC.
When Costas was first hired by NBC, Don Ohlmeyer, who at the time ran the network's sports division, told the then 28-year-old Costas that he looked like a 14-year-old (a story that Costas would recite during an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien when O'Brien commented about Costas' apparent inability to "age" normally). Ohlmeyer presumably based his reaction on Costas' modest stature (Costas is 5' 7" in height) and boyish, babyfaced appearance.
Costas has been an in-studio host for NBC's National Football League coverage and a play-by-play man for National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball coverage. Costas has teamed with Isiah Thomas and Doug Collins for NBA telecasts (from 1997–2000). For baseball telecasts, he teamed with Sal Bando (1982), Tony Kubek (from 1983–1989), and Joe Morgan and Bob Uecker (from 1994–2000). Before becoming the studio host for The NFL on NBC in 1984, Costas did play-by-play of NFL games with analyst Bob Trumpy.
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, Turin in 2006, Beijing in 2008, Vancouver in 2010, London in 2012, and Sochi in 2014. 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 China's teams' 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 The New York Times, featuring an image of the head of a statue of Apollo and reading: "Costas Poisoned Olympic Spirit, Public Protests NBC". 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.
Along with that of co-host Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer, Costas' commentary of the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies came under fierce criticism, with Costas being described as making "a series of jingoistic remarks, including a joke about Idi Amin when Uganda's team appeared" and the combined commentary as being "ignorant" and "banal".
Costas later appeared on Conan O'Brien's talk show and criticized his employer for its decision to air a preview of the upcoming series Animal Practice over a performance by The Who during the London closing ceremonies. "So here is the balance NBC has to consider: The Who, 'Animal Practice.' Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend -- monkey in a lab coat. I'm sure you'd be the first to attest, Conan, that when it comes to the tough calls, NBC usually gets 'em right," Costas said, alluding at the end to O'Brien's involvement in the 2010 Tonight Show conflict.
An eye infection Costas had at the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics forced him, on February 11, 2014, to cede his Olympic hosting duties to Matt Lauer (two nights) and Meredith Vieira (one night), the first time someone other than Costas hosted a primetime Olympics broadcast since CBS's broadcast of the 1998 Games (in which Jim Nantz was the primetime host)  and the first time Costas has not done so at all since the 1988 Summer Olympics (Bryant Gumbel was the primetime host for NBC's 1988 Summer Olympics coverage, while Costas hosted the late night portions). 
One of his 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, trailing 9–8, 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 farther into the left field bleachers, to tie the game again. The Cubs went on to win in the 11th inning. When Sandberg hit that second home run, Costas said, "Do you believe it?!" The Cardinals' 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 before the start of the game that the Dodgers quite possibly were about to put up the weakest-hitting lineup in World Series history. That comment ironically fired up the competitive spirit of the Dodgers. 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 shows 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 did not 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), when NBC regained Major League Baseball rights after a four year hiatus (when the broadcast network television contract moved over to CBS, exclusively). It was not 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.
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. Costas returned to call some games of the 2002 NBA Playoffs after Albert was injured in a car accident two days before the playoffs began.
While this, in essence, ended his active role on the NBA on NBC program (by this point, Hannah Storm and briefly Ahmad Rashād had replaced Costas on studio anchoring duties), Costas would return to do play-by-play for selected playoff games. Costas also co-anchored (with Hannah Storm) NBC's NBA Finals coverage in 2002, which was their last to-date.
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 City's Daily News sports media columnist Bob Raissman. 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".
Costas hosted NBC's coverage of the 2008, 2009, and the 2010 NHL Winter Classic. He was scheduled to host coverage of the 2011 event as well but, due to the game's postponement, Costas only hosted pre-game coverage before leaving to go to Seattle for his duties with NBC's NFL coverage the next night. He hosted the event in 2012 as well as a post-game edition of NHL Live on NBC Sports Network.
Costas also hosted the syndicated radio program Costas Coast to Coast from 1986–1996, which was later revived as Costas on the Radio. Costas on the Radio, which ended its three-year run on May 31, 2009, aired on 200 stations nationwide each weekend and syndicated by the Clear Channel owned Premiere Radio Networks. Like Later, Costas' radio shows have focused on a wide variety of topics and have not been limited to sports discussion.
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 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Late Night with 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 studios 3B or 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. More popular guests were given two or three part interviews that ran consecutive nights. In August 1991, Mel Brooks became the only guest for four consecutive nights in the series' history.
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.
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.
Since October 2011, Costas is a correspondent for Rock Center with Brian Williams. He gained acclaim for his November 2011 live interview of former Pennsylvania State University assistant coach Jerry Sandusky concerning charges of sexual abuse of minors, in which Sandusky called in by telephone to deny the charges.
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 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.
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.
Costas provided significant contributions to the Ken Burns, PBS mini series Baseball as well as its follow-up The 10th Inning. He also appears in another PBS film, A Time for Champions, produced by St. Louis' Nine Network of Public Media.
Costas is a devoted baseball fan. He's been suggested as a potential commissioner and wrote 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 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 also delivered the eulogy for Musial after his death in early 2013.
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.
Costas serves as a member of the advisory board of the Baseball Assistance Team, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping former Major League, Minor League, and Negro League players through financial and medical difficulties.
On May 26, 2007, Costas declared that the presidency of George W. Bush had "tragically failed".
Some people may wonder about the [political] feelings that I've expressed, and I won't get into all the particulars. 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 500 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. This administration can be rightly criticized by a fair-minded person smack in the middle of the political spectrum on a hundred different counts, and by now they're all self-evident."
During a segment on the Sunday Night Football halftime show on December 2, 2012, Costas paraphrased a report by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock in regards to Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide the day prior, stating that the United States' gun culture was causing more domestic disputes to result in death, and that Belcher and his girlfriend would not have died had he not possessed a gun.
Critics interpreted his remarks as support for gun control, resulting in mostly negative reactions. Many (including former Republican Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Herman Cain) felt that Costas should not have used a program typically viewed as entertainment to publicize political views on sensitive topics, Lou Dobbs criticized his remarks for supporting the abolishment of the Second Amendment by quoting a sports writer, while Andrew Levy remarked that he had been given a civics lecture by someone who had "gotten rich thanks in part to a sport that destroys men’s bodies and brains." However, liberal reporter Erik Wemple of The Washington Post praised Costas for speaking out for gun control on the broadcast, feeling that the incident's connection to the NFL provided him with an obligation to acknowledge the incident during the halftime show, stating that "the things that [NFL players] do affect the public beyond whether their teams cover the point spread. And few cases better exemplify that dynamic as powerfully as the Belcher incident."
During the following week, Costas defended his remarks in an appearance on MSNBC's program The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, where he stated that the remarks were related to the country's gun culture, and not about gun control as critics had inferred. While he did not call for an outright ban on guns, Costas did suggest that more regulation be placed on America's gun culture:
"Now, do I believe that we need more comprehensive and more sensible gun control legislation? Yes I do. That doesn't mean repeal the Second Amendment. That doesn't mean a prohibition on someone having a gun to protect their home and their family. It means sensible and more comprehensive gun control legislation. But even if you had that, you would still have the problem of what Jason Whitlock wrote about, and what I agree with. And that is a gun culture in this country."
During his coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Costas was criticized by some members of the media, including Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck for praising Vladimir Putin’s role in defusing tensions between various western countries, Syria, and Iran. Beck, along with U.S. Senators John McCain and Marco Rubio, also criticized Costas’ characterization of Soviet communism as a "pivotal experiment" as opposed to saying that the Soviet Union’s history was largely one of oppression. Several media commentators to include Bill O’Reilly and Bernard Goldberg defended Costas’ remarks as factually correct and pointed out that Costas had also voiced considerable criticism of both Russia and Putin while broadcasting from Sochi. During an interview on Fox News Goldberg said "... the idea that Costas somehow portrayed Vladimir Putin as a benign figure is ridiculous." Costas defended himself on O'Reilly's broadcast on March 3 reiterating he criticized Putin immediately proceeding the statements that were questioned. Costas also indicated that Senator McCain issued an apology to him after he heard the full segment in context.
Costas was married from 1983 to 2001 to Carole "Randy" 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". On March 12, 2004, Costas married his second wife, Jill Sutton. Costas resides in St. Louis, Missouri.
Costas's children have also won Sports Emmys; Keith has won two as an associate producer on MLB Network's MLB Tonight and Taylor as an associate producer on NBC's coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Costas has won eight National Sportcaster of the Year awards from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He was inducted into that organization's Hall of Fame in 2012. He has also won four Sportscaster of the Year awards from the American Sportscasters Association and nearly twenty Sports Emmy Awards for outstanding sports announcing.
He was selected as the Dick Schaap Award for Outstanding Journalism recipient in 2004.
In 2006 he was also awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Loyola College in Maryland.
In 2012 he was awarded the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.
He is also an honorary board member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
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.
In 1993 Costas hosted the "pregame" show for the final episode of Cheers. 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 talk show cartoon Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
Costas has been impersonated several times by Darrell Hammond on Saturday Night Live. Costas was "supposed" to appear in the fourth season premiere of Celebrity Deathmatch (ironically 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. Tesh had been widely criticized for his gymnastics coverage during the 1996 Olympics, but by no one more than Costas.
In 1994 Costas appeared as the play-by-play announcer for the World Series (working alongside Tim McCarver) in the movie The Scout. In 1998 he appeared as himself along with his rival/counterpart Al Michaels (who now works for NBC) from ABC in the movie BASEketball. In 2006, Costas voiced the animated character Bob Cutlass, a race announcer, in the movie Cars. He also appeared as himself in the 2001 movie Pootie Tang, where he remarks that he saw "the longest damn clip ever".
Costas has been alluded to in popular music. The songs "Mafioso" by Mac Dre, "We Major" by Domo Genesis, "The Last Huzzah" by Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire all refer to Costas. He was also mentioned in a Ludacris song after Costas mentioned the rapper on the late night talk show Last Call with Carson Daly.
On February 11, 2010, Stephen Colbert jokingly expressed his desire to stab Costas at the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Costas later made a cameo appearance on the February 25, 2010 edition of Colbert's show.
On January 30, 2009, Costas guest-starred as himself on the television series Monk in an episode titled "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs"'. He mentions to Captain Stottlemeyer about how Adrian Monk once helped him out of a problem several years ago with regards to a demented cat salesman. He apparently sold Costas a cat that allegedly tried to kill him with a squeeze toy (in fact, when he signs off, he says "The cat was definitely trying to kill me").
Costas guest-voiced as himself in 2010 Simpsons episode, "Boy Meets Curl", when Homer and Marge make the U.S. Olympic curling team. Costas also guest-voiced as himself on the Family Guy episode "Patriot Games".
Costas' voice appeared in the 2011 documentary film Legendary: When Baseball Came to the Bluegrass, which detailed the humble beginnings of the Lexington Legends, a minor league baseball team located in Lexington, Kentucky.
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Into left-center field and deep, THIS IS A TIE BALLGAME!
He hits it to deep left field, LOOK OUT! DO YOU BELIEVE IT! IT'S GONE!!—Calling Sandberg's second game-tying home run against Sutter in the 10th inning. The Cubs went on to win 12-11 in the 11th inning. June 23, 1984.
Grissom on the run... The team of the '90s has its World Championship!
Costas: But look who gets it next! Enberg: The Greatest! Oh my!
Tony Fernández, who has worn hero's laurels throughout the postseason, including earlier in this seventh game of the World Series—now, cruel as it may seem, perhaps being fitted for goat horns.
McKey...gets it in to Miller for the win...IT'S THERE! Four tenths of a second! Yeah, you can dance, Reggie! One of the greatest clutch playoff performers of his generation has apparently done it again!—Calling Reggie Miller's game-winner in Game 4 of the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals.
Seventeen seconds from game seven or from championship number six. Jordan...open...CHICAGO WITH THE LEAD!
Back from the brink of elimination to the brink of the NBA Finals!—moments after the Kobe–Shaq alley-oop, which capped off a 15-point comeback.
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|Studio host, NFL on NBC|
|Studio host, NBA Showtime|
|American television prime time anchor, Summer Olympic Games|
|World Series network television play-by-play announcer (with Al Michaels in 1995 and concurrent with Joe Buck in odd numbered years)|
|Play-by-Play announcer, NBA Finals|
|American television prime time anchor, Winter Olympic Games|