Scholastic Roundup: Bob Costas says it all in just 2 sentences

July 8, 2022 Andy Furman
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Two sentences — that’s all it took — two sentences to show what kind of man he is.

Arthur Solomon, a former journalist – and sportswriter for the Brooklyn Eagle – was a senior/VP counselor at Burson-Marsteller, and was responsible for restructuring, managing and playing key roles in some of the most significant national and international sports and non-sports programs.

He also traveled internationally as a media advisor to high-ranking government officials. He is now a frequent contributor to public relations publications, consults on public relations projects and is on the Seoul Peace Prize nominating committee.

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He started his sports journey at Winthrop Junior High School – writing for the Winthrop Owl.

The biggest surprise recently came after writing a piece for Sports Broadcast Journal.

He wrote that Bob Costas was the Ed Murrow of his day. “Costas is set apart from other TV sports commentators because he is not afraid to speak his mind.

During an interview on CNN’s January 23rd Reliable Sources program, Costas said, in part, “But the IOC deserves all of the disdain and disgust that comes their way for going back to China yet again. They were in Beijing in 2008. They will go to Sochi in 2014. They’re shameless about this stuff.”

Solomon added: Costas also acknowledged what everyone involved in sports know but attempts to hide: Any network that broadcasts big sports events is simultaneously in a quasi-journalistic position at best. Apparently, Costas read Solomon’s praise – he followed it up with a thank-you phone call.

And as for the two sentences we mentioned earlier – Costas read the piece when mentioned in Scholastic Roundup and followed with an e-mail: “Thanks for passing the missive along. The esteemed Mr. Solomon may be too kind in his assessment, but I’ll take it!”

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As for Costas, he’s best known for his long tenure with NBC Sports, from 1980 through 2019. He has received 28 Emmy Awards for his work and was the prime-time host of 12 Olympic Games from 1988 until 2016. He is currently employed by Turner Sports, where he does play-by-play and studio work for the MLB on TBS. He is also employed by MLB Network where he does play-by-play and once hosted an interview show called Studio 42 with Bob Costas.

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When Spencer Ross speaks – everyone listens. Even now.

The once voice of New York City sports – he called play-by-play for every New York team and also did Racing from Roosevelt on WOR-TV Ch. 9.

Ross is a New Utrecht High School grad who earned a basketball scholarship to Florida State.

Last week, he sounded-off on the baseball fans of today – and yes, we got the response here from Peter Bavasi, the son of Emil J. “Buzzie” Bavasi, who spent almost 35 years in senior management positions in the Major Leagues. Peter Bavasi held high-profile jobs with three MLB organizations – the San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians.

“I agree entirely with Spencer Ross,” the 80-year-old Bavasi wrote. “Baseball has taken away the heart and the soul and the eyes and the ears of the fans out of the game we grew up with. Propellor heads are now running baseball. We old-time baseball operators had our day in the sun. Now the youngins’ should get their chance, whether we old coots like it or not.”

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As for Bavasi’s favorite Dodger. “No, it wasn’t Duke or Gil or Jackie or Pee Wee or Campy or Newk, though they were very kind to me as an aspiring Dodger tadpole,” he wrote. “My favorite player, then and now, was Bill Antonello, who played on the Brooklyn club in 1953 and had 43 at-bats and hit .163.”

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We missed this – but didn’t forget about the passing of longtime NFL official Wayne Mackie who died unexpectedly in Florida, at the too-young age of 62. That was weeks ago.

The Brooklyn native entered the NFL as head linesman in 2007 and quickly graded-out among the best of his peers. Mackie’s consistency over a 10-year on-field career was rewarded with eight assignments for playoff games, including two conference championships and the ultimate honor as head linesman for Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif.

In 2017, Mackie moved into the NFL office as vice-president of officiating evaluation and development, a position in which he “continued to impart his expertise on the next generation of NFL officials through training and development,” according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Mackie grew up in the New York City Housing Authority Linden Houses in East New York and Starrett City.

When he blew out his knee playing football for Brooklyn Tech in 1976, Mackie thought the sport was over for him. He was playing semi-pro basketball when a referee suggested he try officiating. He began with basketball, but because the city’s high schools played weekday games at 4 p.m., the games conflicted with his full-time job. So, he switched to football, starting in the PSAL junior varsity ranks in 1992.

Four years later, Mackie was officiating games in the MEAC and by 2002 he’d worked his way through the college ranks to Big East games and several bowl games.

From 2001-07, Mackie also worked in the Arena2 and Arena Football Leagues, the Indoor Professional Football League and NFL Europe.

The first NFL regular-season game Mackie worked was the Cardinals at San Francisco on Monday Night Football.

Andy Furman is a Fox Sports Radio national talk show host. Previously, he was a scholastic sports columnist for the Brooklyn Eagle. He may be reached at: [email protected] Twitter: @AndyFurmanFSR

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