By Ken Reed
For anyone in their 30’s or 40’s, Bob Costas has been the one and only host of the Olympic Games’ television coverage in the United States. His 30-year run ended at this Olympics. Costas is nowhere near Pyeongchang, South Korea.
In fact, he’s at his home in Newport Beach, California, watching his NBC replacement, Mike Tirico, host the Winter Olympics. Costas says he’s not unhappy with his bosses at NBC, and is fine not playing a starring role — or any role for that matter — at the Pyeongchang Games.
“My attitude is I have had a wonderful ride and so many wonderful things to look back on and so many great things have happened and great friendships and collaborations, so when things take another turn in another direction, that’s just the way it goes,” Costas, 65, said.
Costas is probably being a little diplomatic when discussing his diminished role at NBC. It’s quite possible his strong opinions have contributed to his reduced presence on major NBC sports broadcasts.
Late in his career, Costas has increasingly spoken out on contemporary sports issues. His most recent rant has been against football. More specifically, he’s spoken strongly about the dangers football presents to the human brain.
While speaking at the University of Maryland, Costas said football “destroys people’s brains.”
“To not acknowledge that and to just be some houseman for the NFL was something I could not do,” said Costas.
His honesty likely cost him his role at this year’s Super Bowl. Costas was scheduled to host the Super Bowl with Dan Patrick. However, in a late decision, NBC honchos replaced him with Liam McHugh.
Costas is comfortable with his reduced broadcasting role with NBC. And, at this point in his career, he also seems quite comfortable delivering strong opinions on hot sports topics.
“The cracks in the foundation are there,” says Costas about America’s football structure — from the youth level to the pros.
“The day-to-day issues, as serious as they may be, they may come and go. But you cannot change the nature of the game. I certainly would not let, if I had an athletically gifted 12- or 13-year-old son, I would not let him play football.”
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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