NBC's Bob Costas: Decision To Skip Super Bowl "Mutually Agreeable"
Bob Costas cited his own dampening enthusiasm for football as the main reason he will not be an on-air host for NBC’s pregame show at next month’s Super Bowl. “The decision was mutually agreeable, and not only do I not have a problem with it, I am actually happy about it,” he told THE DAILY via email. “I have long had ambivalent feelings about football, so at this point, it’s better to leave the hosting to those who are more enthusiastic about it.”
News that Costas would not be in Minneapolis came as a surprise yesterday, especially since NBC last year specifically said that the veteran broadcaster would work the Super Bowl as part of a pared down on-air schedule. But Costas dismissed the idea that his November comments at a Univ. of Maryland seminar, when he offered a bleak assessment of football’s future, served as a catalyst to keep him off the telecast.
Costas: “I have been making the same points for several years, often on NBC. In halftime commentaries, interviews with Roger Goodell and other prominent NFL figures, appearances on CNN and elsewhere, I have addressed the issue of football and its undeniable connection to brain trauma many times. Why? Because the evidence is overwhelming and the effects are often devastating. It’s the elephant in the stadium at every game whether others choose to acknowledge it or not. And it’s not going away. So the idea that I am only now finding my voice on this, or that NBC was taken aback by what I said at Maryland is just wrong. It’s all simple and straightforward.”
Dan Patrick and Liam McHugh will host the Super Bowl LII pregame show from Minneapolis with a roster of talent that includes Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Mike Florio and Dale Earnhardt Jr. “The broadcast is in good hands, and they don’t have an appropriate role for me, or compelling reason to use me,” Costas said. “All involved are fine with that.”