Posted by: Tyler Green | 05/02/2010

Visit from Bob Costas

Bob Costas

Just two days before his appearance on the internationally televised Kentucky Derby, Bob Costas took the time to give a talk at Memorial Hall, a mere 70 miles from his Saturday broadcast destination.  I accidentally found out about his appearance through an ad in the campus newspaper I rarely open, but I knew immediately that would attend the lecture by the well-known NBC Sports Broadcaster most widely identified with his coverage of the Winter and Summer Olympics.  I had just walked in and taken a seat when Costas walked down the aisle toward the back door and said, “I’m leaving.  It was great talking to all of you.”  It was obvious that man was a broadcaster as his presence was felt through this short, sarcastic, un-mic-ed line.

The event was dubbed as the inaugural Gidel/Lombardo Sports Communications Series lecture and this title makes me eager to look for the event next year to see if the series continues past the pilot.  Considering Memorial Hall was only 40% full for one of the most well-known names they could have brought in to speak, this is definitely debatable.  After some introductions from two “wonderful Journalism seniors” who very eloquently read the back of the program, it was Costas’ turn to talk.  He spoke for a few minutes about the need to not hate on the new forms of media, but to strive for its proper use to report news with class.  The floor was then opened up for questions and people polled the broadcaster on a variety of current sports topics, all of which Costas displayed an extremely wide knowledge base about.

I would have enjoyed the chance to hear of more interesting experiences from Costas’ travels all over the sports world, but it was still interesting to listen to his always complete and respectful opinion about every topic that was brought up.  The man has a nice sense of humor along with a quick mind and everyone left the chapel extremely impressed.  In the parking lot afterward, I barely missed a chance for a photo with Costas and I lament my lack of aggressiveness.  That aside, the university provided me with another experience that I will long remember and I enjoyed listening to such an accomplished professional.

I must have chosen the correct angle to photograph from because multiple photographers filed in and out of the row in front of me with their SLRs and hot-shoe flashes during the course of the talk.  The crowd was split 50/50.  Half had on suits  and acted composed and half had on their UK t-shirts with the, “I’ve seen this guy on TV!” look on their face.  Its pretty easy to guess which half I fit in to.  While I will wear some nicer attire, my face will probably carry about the same expression to the last event of the semester tomorrow: dinner with President Todd and wife Patsy for finishing in the year’s Top 10 for TallyCats, the school’s campus involvement program.

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