Bob Costas: 5 Things to Know About the Face of the Olympics

9:00 AM PST 07/18/2012 by THR Staff
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for The Mint Jubilee
Bob Costas

From using an antiquated flip phone to carrying around a 1958 Mickey Mantle baseball card, here are some things you may have not known about the broadcaster.

NBC's Bob Costas is synonymous with the Olympic Games.

In The Hollywood Reporter's cover story, Costas opened up about his Jerry Sandusky interview, his father's gambling and the act of defiance he has planned. But, here are five things you may not have known about the television broadcaster:

1. He still uses a flip phone. Costas isn't a technology maven, much to his children's bemusement. In a time when reporters and television personalities have jumped on the social media bandwagon, with the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Costas' voiced his opinion on the culture of oversharing: "It's inanity." Luckily for him, Costas' NBC bosses haven't yet asked him to join the Twittersphere. "No, they know better," he says. Though a proud iPad owner, he still prefers to read the newspaper (after a cardio workout on the elliptical), including The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post and the Wall Street Journal. And yes, he's a texter -- but he doesn't do it on a Blackberry or an iPhone; instead, using an antiquated flip phone.

PHOTOS: Bob Costas and the Olympians: THR Snaps Team U.S.A.

2. His father was a gambler. Costas' father, John, "bet on ball-games," he remembers. At Costas' father's funeral (the elder Costas died in 1970 at 42), a gambling buddy pressed a bulging envelope into the hands of the bewildered, grieving then-teenager. “He says: ‘Give this to your mom. Your father was up when he died.’ It was $6,000 in $100 bills,” Costas remembers, “which was more or less my father’s estate.”

3. He carries a Mickey Mantle card. Costas, who interviewed the New York baseball player numerous times, keeps the 1958 Mantle card in a clear plastic protective case and never leaves home without it. “If I wake up in the morning and go out to get a cup of coffee in jeans and a T-shirt, I’ll put the card in my pocket because inevitably someone will stop me,” Costas explains. “I don’t want that guy, in his only encounter with me, to go home and tell his buddies, ‘He’s a fraud! I asked him to see the Mantle card, and he doesn’t have it.’ ”

4. His family remains in the sports broadcasting business. Costas' 26-year-old so Keith, who would be on the road with his father when he was younger, is now an MLB Network researcher. Costas' 22-year-old daughter Taylor will be working at the Olympics in London with producer Molly Solomon.

5. He is a big Broadway and film buff. Costas recently saw Newsies with his daughter and while he's partial to John Wayles and Woody Allen ("I thought To Rome With Love was better than the reviews said it was"), he's also willing to see a Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy.

To read the full THR cover story, go here >>

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