Sportress of Blogitude

Bob Costas explains why he won’t be part of NBC’s Super Bowl coverage

Bob Costas again this week attempted to clarify the reasons why he will not be part of NBC’s coverage of the Super Bowl.

It has been announced Costas would not be in Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII. The announcement prompted speculation that Costas’ absence was due in large part to his criticism of the NFL, in particular related to his controversial comments last year that football “destroys people’s brains.”

NBC has rebuffed the suspicion the network pulled Costas for that reason. In a statement, Costas himself attempted to clear the air.

“Dan and Liam have served as hosts for our NFL pregame/studio shows on Sunday nights and Thursday nights, respectively, throughout the season and will continue on Super Bowl Sunday,” Costas said. “Dan and Liam have done the job hosting NBC’s NFL coverage all season. It wouldn’t be right for me to parachute in and do the Super Bowl.”

Costas has since issued an email to Sports Business Daily, in which he attempted to provide further clarification.

“The decision was mutually agreeable, and not only do I not have a problem with it, I am actually happy about it,” Costas wrote. “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.”

Costas went on to dismiss outright that his comments from last year were the inspiration behind the decision.

“I have been making the same points for several years, often on NBC,” Costas said. “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.”