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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where does Bob Costas Fit on MLS, NBC Broadcasts?

He may not have any role.  He may not be asked to participate.

There is, though, a possibility that Bob Costas will have something to say for MLS broadcasts on NBC.

He'd probably look forward to the challenge.  Soccer is the most popular sport left for him in which he hasn't dominated in some capacity as a broadcaster.

Costas' relevance on the sports landscape in the U.S. is as big as it gets.  He has done as much as any broadcaster can boast of, including play by play announcing for the World Series and NBA Finals, as well as hosting both Summer and Winter Olympics and Sunday Night Football.

He has earned a lot of respect from colleagues and fans.  He has produced great interview shows over the years to include sports stars and pop culture figures.

Most recently, he was credited for the delicate handling of a phone interview with the Penn State sex predator, Jerry Sandusky.  Costas made notable headlines with Sandusky by asking direct questions, such as, "Are you sexually attracted to young boys?"

If NBC uses Costas for its MLS broadcasts, it could create more buzz among U.S. sports fans. Costas, single-handedly, could raise awareness and help garner bigger audiences for MLS broadcasts.  He has that much pull.

Will they turn to him to give the broadcasts more intensity?  That's what Costas does.  It's his bread n' butter.  He provides insight with narrative from a sports fan's perspective.

He has a knack for bringing background, characters and statistics together to create nostalgia and make sports fans feel they are at the right place at the right time.

It still is uncertain if NBC will use him.

The play by play announcer has been named.  It is Arlo White, the voice of the Seattle Sounders.

But, Costas could still set the scene, hosting, right?

How does Bob Costas feel about Soccer?  This needs to be answered.  Does he have enough knowledge and appreciation for Soccer to give MLS the theater he is so adept at staging?

Even if he is a novice on Soccer, he can learn enough in a short time to be able to come in and give these broadcasts the extra luster they need.  He is that good.

It would seem to be the perfect fit for him at this stage of his career.  MLS is the antithesis of all that is wrong with professional sports in America.  Costas complains about these kinds of things often.

MLS is proving Soccer can be fun to watch in America.  Fans are sticking by the game.  It is at a point in its history where the game is still a game and it has not been desecrated with gratuitous idolatry.

Right now, Soccer is entertaining for being itself.  The players are not that much overpaid and fans can see live games without losing half a paycheck.

Adding Costas to the broadcast lineup could make for wholesale changes to MLS.  It may not be too long after before it becomes bloated and overhyped as much as the other pro sports.

That's what Costas does for a sport.  It's his nature.  It's the blessing and the curse.  He helps sports pinnacle to the point of excess.

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