By Annie Ross
Bob Costas isn’t a Philly guy, like fellow Orangemen of Syracuse grad Dick Stockton, but NBC’s showcase sports commentator has vivid memories or Philly, which he shared recently with WIP’s Mark Farzetta.
From the Olympics, to the U.S. Open, to the Kentucky Derby, to all four major American sports, to motion pictures, legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas has done it all.
“Well, I guess, I’m a baseball guy and the times that I’ve been involved with the Phillies or just watched the Phillies in the great years of the 1970’s, then winning a World Series in 1980, and then winning it again in 2008, that comes to mind,” Costas told Farzetta.
“The Mike Schmidt years come to mind. Dr. J and those terrific Philadelphia 76ers teams. Caldwell Jones, who was part of that team, was also a member of the Spirits of St. Louis team that I did in the ABA and he passed away only about a month ago, and I was very sorry to hear about that.
“But those teams were both great teams and they were colorful teams as well. And I did games with Doug Collins in the NBA in the late 1990’s, then of course Doug had played with the Sixers and then became the coach of the Sixers for awhile, so I associate Doug with Philadelphia in that way as well.”
“I’ve never done much of the NHL, but the Broad Street Bullies of the 1970s—the Flyers’ championship teams—were among the most memorable of NHL teams,” Costas continued. “There was a U.S. Open at Merion [Golf Club] a couple of years ago, that I won’t soon forget.”
What about the Eagles?
“Here’s the Eagles memory that I have and it may surprise you,” Costas said. “The first NFL championship game that I remember almost every play of is the Eagles against the Packers in 1960. If I’m not mistaken Christmas day fell on a Sunday and they moved the game to a Monday, so the NFL Championship game was played in the afternoon, shows you how quaint things were in terms of television coverage is wasn’t the extravaganza that it is now, It was played on a Monday afternoon December 26th and of course it was Christmas vacation and school was out and I watched Norm Van Brocklin and Chuck Bednarik and the Eagles beat Vince Lombardi’s Packers and that’s the only post-season game Vince Lombardi’s Packers ever lost and as I remember they were driving for a touchdown and Bednarik tackled Jim Taylor and just held him on the ground until time ran out and the Eagles won the title.”
Costas, who has been on the air for NBC Sports since the early 1980s, talked about the Eagles current quarterback Nick Foles.
“I wouldn’t say he was boring but he’s definitely mild-mannered and definitely extremely humble very-very soft spoken,” Costas explained. “If what people are looking for is somebody who is going to be constantly in the headlines or constantly providing provocative quotes, they got the wrong guy.”