So you think you know a lot about sports? Well, maybe you do. But, like it or not, you’re no Bob Costas. If you approached Bob Costas on the street and challenged him to a sports-trivia contest, you’d be a fool. First, one should never approach celebrities on the street, because they are very busy people. This is even more so the case with Bob Costas, as he is both a sports commentator for NBC and the host of his own monthly HBO show, Costas Now. However, since you approached him anyway, you would go ahead and say, “Bob Costas, I would like to challenge you to a sports-trivia contest.” (By the way, you should have addressed him as “Mr. Costas,” as, after 25 years in the sports-broadcasting business, he deserves as much respect.) Bob Costas would look at you with a bewildered half smile, wondering why you’d even bother. However, Bob Costas is a gentleman, and he would humor you. He would realize that you probably don’t know that he does not use a wireless earpiece during his broadcasts, which are normally used by sportscasters so that researchers may feed them statistics on air. Bob Costas does not need one of these earpieces, for he knows all. And, furthermore, an earpiece would be cheating. And what’s the worst offense in sports? Cheating. An earpiece to a sports broadcaster is like steroids to a baseball player.
You would ask Bob Costas a question about football and he’d stifle a laugh. Perhaps you have forgotten that Bob Costas has won two Emmy Awards for his outstanding work on cable’s longest-running series, Inside the NFL, which he co-hosts with NFL greats Cris Carter and Cris Collinsworth, not to mention Dan Marino. He would immediately, yet ever so politely, answer your question and begin to walk away, but you would still not recognize his greatness. (Oh, why can you not recognize it?) You’d move on to a baseball question. Bob Costas would find it hard to believe that you had not read his best-selling book Fair Ball: A Fan’s Case for Baseball, but he’d recognize that not everyone is as prolific a reader/author as he. After all, how may people have won two Sports Emmys for writing? Therefore, he’d decide to patiently answer your question, being sure to keep all traces of condescension out of his reply, as he does not want the reputation of a know-it-all, though, if anyone deserves that reputation, in the most literal sense, it would be Bob Costas.
After he answered your first two questions with graceful ease, maybe you’d acknowledge that Bob Costas can best you in all major-sporting-event trivia, but you would try to stump him on a less popular sport, perhaps boxing. This time, Bob Costas really would let out a laugh, but he’d pretend to be sneezing, as, again, he would not want to embarrass you. In fact, he’d admire your tenacity, much like that of the 1954 Milan Indians, whose underdog story of winning the Indiana state high-school basketball championship was the inspiration for the movie Hoosiers starring Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper. However, maybe you should be embarrassed, as you have clearly forgotten that Bob Costas has hosted several pay-per-view boxing specials and has plans to cover major boxing showdowns in all weight divisions. Again, having swiftly answered your paltry question, he would begin to walk on, as he is now probably late for his meeting at the Rainbow Room with Dick Ebersol, the president of NBC Sports, where they will discuss the logistics of Bob Costas’s coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.
You’d run after him, and begin to shout a question about the top 10 greatest sports-broadcasting moments of all time, when Bob Costas would abruptly wheel around and hand you the copy of his résumé he keeps in the pocket of his J. Press navy-blue blazer. As you looked down at it, he would take this opportunity to walk swiftly through the revolving doors into Rockefeller Center. You would read of his accomplishments: his 14 Sports Emmy Awards received for his work as a broadcaster, the four straight years he has won the Sports Emmys for Outstanding Studio Host (2001-5), and his two Sports Emmys for Outstanding Studio Show—Weekly (2003, 2005), and you would be rendered dumbstruck, so ashamed would you be that you dared to ever challenge Bob Costas.