Does Bob Costas Hate the Mets Celebration…or his Producer?

costas mets celebration rant

A different opinion on the Bob Costas Mets rant, maybe it was less about the Mets and more about another relationship.

The refrain being bandied about the sports blogosphere after Bob Costas’ less than enthusiastic highlight read of the Mets walk-off victory Sunday, is that Costas is anti-celebration and possibly enjoys sitting on his front porch yelling at kids to stay off his lawn.

People are saying that he’s lost relevance, can’t relate to today’s audience and that his condescending “holier-than-thou” act has grown tired.

But there is a different take that needs to be explored, the real-life behind the scenes relationship between producer and talent that when not perfectly meshing can spill out onto the air.

To rehash: during a sports break at the U.S. Open Sunday, Costas got a little snarky when delivering the read for the Mets dramatic comeback victory:

“2 on when¬†Kirk Nieuwenhuis, just called up from triple A, takes Carlos Marmol deep,¬†Nieuwenhuis with a 3-run walk-off home run, the Mets with four runs in the bottom of the 9th to win it 4-3, and a team 14-games under .500 celebrates as if it just won the 7th game of the World Series another indication of the on-going decline of Western civilization”

On the surface it appears that Costas is annoyed at the Mets over-exuberance, just like so many of us have lamented the new trend of storming the court after seemingly every college basketball upset, but what is being glossed over here is the relationship with his producer.

There is a meeting that takes place between producer and talent before every sports show, whether it’s 2 minutes or sixty, and in that meeting there is discussion of exactly what will be covered, there are no surprises. The producer starts, explaining their vision for the segment and then the talent voices their opinion. Sometimes there is simple agreement and the meeting takes 2-minutes, othertimes there is disagreement that wages on for hours.

I can envision a scenario where the producer included the Mets walk-off in the segment; it’s great video, it’s a New York team, but a journalist like Costas looked at that choice and said “we’ve got the Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals and better games in MLB…why in the word are we wasting time on a team 14-games under .500”.

The arguments ensued and at some point, the producer won the battle. The relatively untouchable Costas changed the battlefield and put his opinion of the choice on air, mocking the Mets and how unimportant they are.

I don’t believe Costas wanted the game included just so he could bash the celebration, and I don’t believe the producer thought Costas would take his frustration out on air.

Know When to Fold ’em

There is a delicate balance being a sports producer, sometimes the best choice is to concede the fight and live another day, other times you fight hard for your view.

chris rose intentional talk

The relationship between producer and talent isn’t always simple, we often get into arguements even with great guys like Chris Rose

I remember a battle I had once with super sportscaster Chris Rose (the guy is everywhere, I don’t know how else to classify him), which looking back was completely ridiculous.

He wanted to lead our show with the Cleveland Browns first game back in Cleveland, and I wanted to lead with the Falcons game where running back Jamal Anderson was returning from a torn ACL injury.

Chris Rose is one of the nicest, most genuine journalists I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with, and after 30 minutes of arguing with him, one of my mentors came over and whispered in my ear “is this really the hill you want to die on?”

Point taken, we led with the Browns game.

My conclusion from the Costas diatribe: he was angry that his producer didn’t back down and voiced it on air. The producer meanwhile has some real strength of conviction (or stubbornness) because I probably would have folded like a cheap lawn chair on that one.

What do you think of Bob Costas – still an all-time great or have you grown tired of his act?

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

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