Emmy Award-winning announcer Bob Costas will once again be announcing for the Super Bowl this year, including with six full hours of pre-game coverage.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Costas Has Won 19 Emmy Awards
Costas has been nominated for Emmy Awards 27 times and won 19, bringing home statuettes 17 times for sports broadcasting plus one for news and a single Primetime Emmy.
Costas is the only person in television history to have won Emmy Awards for sports, news and entertainment.
In addition to his Emmys Costas has been honored eight times as Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, becoming the youngest person to be so honored in 1985 at the age of 33.
He’s also won a Cable Ace Award, two TV Guide Awards and three Television Critics Association Awards.
2. He’s Also A News Host
Though he’s perhaps best known as a sports announcer, Costas has also hosted news and entertainment talk shows, including Later, With Bob Costas from 1988 to 1994. The show was third in line on NBC’s nighttime lineup, following Johnny Carson and David Letterman.
Among the show’s guests were Linda Ellerbee, Gary Coleman and Billy Crystal. The show was nominated for Emmy Awards twice while Costas was host, and won once, for best informational series in 1993.
In 2005, Costas was a regular substitute anchor for Larry King, named named by CNN president Jonathan Klein to the position for one year.
3. Costas Loves Baseball
Though he got his start as an announcer for the Syracuse Blazers, a minor-league hockey team, while attending Syracuse University, Costas’ love of Major League Baseball is well documented.
Costas is the author of Fair Ball: A Fan’s Case for Baseball and, for a 40th birthday present from then Oakland As manager Tony Larussa, was allowed to manage the team during a preseason game.
According to anti-cancer advocacy organization Ed Randall’s Fans for the Cure, of which Costas is a member of the board, Costas delivered the eulogy at the funeral of baseball great Micky Mantle. He called Mantle “a fragile hero to whom we had an emotional attachment so strong and lasting that it defied logic.”
4. Costas Has Critiqued Major League Sports
Costas famously told Slate during a podcast in 2013 that he would not allow his children to play football, despite being a longtime football and Super Bowl announcer:
“I’d tell them no. I’d tell them no. I know that goes viral tomorrow. I might say — and you know what I know many many thoughtful people who have been involved in football their entire life, coaches players who belie the stereotype of what we’ve got or think we’ve got coming out of the Dolphins locker room, very thoughtful people where football has shaped their lives in a positive way, so I’m not going to paint everyone with a broad brush.”
Costas’ dislike for Major League Baseball’s decision to institute a wild card is well documented. According to Ed Randall’s Fans for the Cure, Costas believes that it “diminishes the significance of winning a divisional championship.”
He prefers a system in which winning the wild card puts a team at some sort of disadvantage, as opposed to on an equal level with teams by which they were outplayed over a 162 game season. Or, as explained in his book Fair Ball, have only the three division winners in each league go to the post season, with the team with the best record receiving a bye into the League Championship Series.
In defending the wild card in 2011, Commissioner Bug Selig pointed to Costas as an example of a fan who had come around to the idea, though The New York Times refuted that claim after an interview with Costas.
In an interview with Times reporter Harry Araton, Costas said he “advocates going forward for the same reason you wouldn’t stand pat in the middle of a busy intersection with traffic oncoming.”
5. Costas Is Also a Philanthropist
Costas is an advisory board member of the Baseball Assistance Team, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping former Major League, Minor League, and Negro League players through financial and medical difficulties.
He is also an honorary board member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and a supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project, repeatedly hosting their annual fundraising events.