Every week, legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas sits in front of a camera during halftime of the Sunday night NFL game and basically talks about whatever it is that's on his mind. It's generally a topic that's popular or being discussed in the NFL world, and it usually airs without much fanfare.
This Sunday night, though, it was different, as Costas sent a simple message: You whippersnappers need to stop with your hip-hopping celebrations and start showing a bit of respect!
The 59-year-old Costas spoke to a generation that detests showboating and over-the-top celebrations from players when they make big plays in football, and really, it's a fine point. Nobody likes DeSean Jackson's taunts or Michael Boley throwing a football at a young man's face (both were shown in the highlights accompanying Costas' soliloquoy). It was just the delivery of the message that made him sound like Clint Eastwood's character, Walt Kowalski, in Gran Torino. (Eastwood, you'll note, is 81 years old.)
"For those of you too busy keeping up with the Kardashians to notice, we live in a culture that in many ways grows more stupid and graceless by the moment," Costas said with a smug smile to open his monologue. Slam, Costas! Nice Kardashian reference. You're so hip!
"So our suggestion here," Costas later added (though I'm not sure who's included in the "our" in this mindless rambling from Costas and Costas alone), "is a more modest one: Hey, knuckleheads, is it too much to ask that you confine your buffoonery to situations that don't directly damage your team?"
Oh, man. Those celebrators are going to feel sorrrrr-eeeee once they see that Bob Costas called them knuckleheads on national TV. That oughtta teach 'em to knock off the buffoonery!
Costas then lambasted Bills receiver Stevie Johnson, who mocked Plaxico Burress by pretending to shoot himself in the leg after scoring a touchdown. Costas was super ticked off because Johnson was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, thereby costing his team 15 yards. Despite the fact that Johnson wasn't penalized until he fell to the ground 5 seconds after his self-inflicted gunshot wound, and despite the fact that the Bills were stupid enough to try an onside kick (!) from their own 20, Costas made the leap to say that Johnson's "buffoonery" was a key reason the Bills ended up losing … more than two full quarters after Johnson's penalty.
"Which raises this question: Where are the coaches in all this?" Costas rhetorically asked.
Well, Bob, since you asked, Chan Gailey was right on the sideline, dialing up the onside kick from his own 20-yard line. Even if it wasn't called from the sideline (debatable), the kicker — not Johnson — is the one responsible for the Jets' short field. The Jets then scored an easy touchdown, while Johnson went on to actually lose the game later on by dropping a pass that could have won the game.
Costas further jabbed Johnson, saying "shockingly, he didn't follow [the dropped pass] with a rehearsed 'my bad' dance of apology. Maybe he just forgot."
So cutting, Mr. Costas, except a contrite Johnson did offer an apology after the game, saying it was "a stupid decision by myself." I'm surprised Costas didn't go after him for needlessly saying "myself" instead of "me." Youngsters these days with their lousy grammar!
It's important to remember that this is the same Costas who hosted the worst discussion of Internet sports writing known to man on his old show, Costas Now. The "discussion" involved Buzz Bissinger losing his freaking mind and swearing nonstop about how horrific and terrible blogs are and how they threaten the very world we live in. Costas tacitly agreed with much of Bissinger's rant, once saying that people who leave comments on the Internet can be "pathetic, get-a-life losers" and equating those losers with the losers like me who actually wrote the blog. He didn't know the difference between people who write stories and people who leave comments that say things like "Sanchez suxxxx lol." Literally.
"I knew that his understanding of the web was rudimentary, but I had no idea just how clueless he really was," wrote Will Leitch, who had the misfortune of being on that panel with Bissinger. "It was as if he had never looked at a computer until the 'get-a-life losers' kerfuffle."
After Costas expressed great disapproval of a vulgar comment underneath a story on Deadspin, Leitch later had to explain to Costas that "I wrote the post, and afterwards, readers were allowed to comment."
Not knowing that simple reality of the world didn't stop Costas from judging millions of people worldwide, all of whom obviously live in their mothers' basements.
Interestingly, in Costas' attack on celebrations, he said he was cool with Homer Jones inventing the spike but totally not cool with Terrell Owens flexing his muscles and smiling wide. So if you're trying to map out a plan, you can spike the ball if you're standing on Bob Costas' lawn, but you cannot under any circumstances dance on Bob Costas' lawn. You do that, the shotgun is coming out.
The anti-Internet rant from 2008 must be remembered in 2011. Costas very well might have made a deal with the devil to forever look like he's no older than 40. The price he paid for that might have been that he'll always be 85 years old on the inside.