I worked with Bob Costas briefly on the movie, BASEketball from David Zucker, that starred Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park. The times I got to talk to Costas -- on the set and at his home over the phone -- were a joy. He's a very smart, thoughtful, funny guy who's also very devoutly religious, but never wears it on his sleeve, but keeps it largely to himself. He talked about it a bit on the set, in private, yet never once made an issue of it. There was some concern how he'd react to some of the outlandish things the filmmakers wanted him to do, some of them a bit crude, but he never flinched. He was fine with it. It was all for the joke. In fact, he only had one small request for something to be cut, and that had absolutely nothing to do with his faith or personal beliefs about anything, but was only because of how it related to a family member of his that he felt uncomfortable doing. (The filmmakers happily made the cut for him.) He was a pleasure of a guy to talk with, open and friendly and very smart.
He also endeared himself to me when I had to call his office at his home in St. Louis to get some background material on him before the movie filming began. I expected to talk to his secretary, but it turned out she was off that day, and Costas didn't get a temporary fill-in and answered the call himself. We had a very enjoyable talk, and then I asked about him faxing me the information I needed. He said he'd be happy to get it to me, but wanted to know if I could wait a day. Sure, not a problem at all. It turned out that because his secretary was out, he, Bob Costas -- two-time Emmy Award winner, eight-time National Sportscaster of the year, member of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame, 12-time host of the Olympics -- acknowledged that he was a technical Luddite and didn't know how to use his fax machine.
All of which brings us to his appearance yesterday on CNN, when he was asked to comment about the controversy surrounding Trump's slamming of NFL players as being a "son of a bitch" and calling for them to be fired, for protesting the killing of Blacks.
Costas, being Costas, is profoundly eloquent in his response -- and would be if it had been in a prepared address. That it is an extemporaneous response to a question is remarkable.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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