NBC announced their roster for its Super Bowl coverage beginning Sunday February 4th at noon. Bob Costas, still employed by NBC, has not worked an NFL broadcast this season, but with Mike Tirico’s unavailability due to Olympic responsibilities, some thought Costas would be needed at the Super Bowl.
The game broadcast will be in the hands of 32 year NFL play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and analyst Cris Collinsworth, joined by sideline reporter Michele Tafoya. Super Bowl LII’s pre-game show will be hosted by Dan Patrick and co-host Liam McHugh. Patrick and McHugh will work alongside a cast of analysts and reporters including Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Mike Florio, Paul Burmeister, Kathryn Tappen and Randy Moss. Recently announced surprise guest, Dale Earnhardt Jr., will make his NBC debut, contributing to the network’s Super Bowl LII pre-game show.
It’s easy for NBC to say Costas isn’t involved because he hasn’t worked on their NFL broadcast the entire season, but it’s also hard to believe Costas isn’t involved due to his comments on the NFL during a November roundtable discussion. During the event involving high-profile journalists at the University of Maryland, Costas stated “the reality is that this game destroys people’s brains.”
NBC certainly could have found use for Costas during a six hour pre-game show for the Super Bowl. When a network has access to a personality as popular and recognizable as Bob Costas, they usually make sure to put him in front of an audience that will be large and broad, such as the Super Bowl.
The decision could have been NBC’s, the NFL’s, or even a mutual decision with Bob Costas himself. Had Costas joined NBC on Sunday February 4th in celebration of the National Football League, everyone involved would have appeared hypocritical.
Both NBC and Bob Costas made the following comments regarding the hall-of-fame broadcaster’s absence from the Super Bowl.
“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,” NBC said in a statement.
“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 said.