Bob Costas, NBC’s primetime and latenight Olympics anchor, is out a second day — felled by swollen, weepy eyes.
“I don’t know if I’m the first person to break it to you, but you’re coming out of the bullpen again tonight, Matt,” Costas phoned in to Matt Lauer this morning during the What’s Trending portion of Today show in Sochi.
Costas and his pink-ish, teary eyes had been trending for a while — Costas having shown up last Thursday to anchor early Games coverage sporting a badly swollen left eye, glasses, and an apology to viewers.
Tuesday was a big/bad day for NBC, with both Costas and Shaun White suffering the end of their streaks. White, who NBC had hoped would be its Big Story of the Sochi Games, lost out on his bid for a third consecutive gold in the halfpipe, going home with no medals from Sochi; Costas ended his uninterrupted run as anchor of NBC’s Olympics broadcasts since the late 80′s.
Lauer made his debut as fill-in anchor last night, telling viewers Costas’ eyes were so infected he looked like the loser in a prize fight.
“How are you doing? So many people are rooting for you and worrying about you a little bit,” Savannah Guthrie asked Costas this morning — after noting Lauer’s “great reviews” for replacing him.
“I don’t feel that bad,” Costas insisted. “The irony of it is, we’ve all felt bad — worse than I feel right now — and gone to work. We’re lucky to have the jobs we have. I’ve done a lot of ballgames and events feeling much less than my best. But in this case, it’s involuntary. It’s an eye infection, and my eyes are so blurry and watery, and have become so light sensitive, that even in dim light they’re constantly tearing up. And so, I can’t possibly be in the studio. It’s not a case of just saying ‘Oh, what the heck — I’ll go in, not feeling well’.”
“In return, I promise to step in on the next 10 [Today show segments] Steals and Deals, and Ambush Makeovers,” Costas snarked.
“Deal,” Lauer said. “Let me say it again: ‘We’ll see you tomorrow’. Love you.”