Olympic broadcasting mainstay Bob Costas will sit out another night of anchoring at the Sochi Olympic games, the better to allow his eyes to recover from a much-talked-about eye infection. In a fresh interview on the topic with Ryan Seacrest, Costas noted that his malady is very focused. “I feel fine, which seems weird. If you could remove my eyes, which I admit is a rather large factor, I feel fine. I’m not really sick,” said the anchor, whose central spot in the NBC presentation has been occupied by the network’s Matt Lauer. “They’ve received literally thousands of e-mails and calls from people — some of them are just regular viewers who say, ‘Well, you know, my 3-year-old had pink eye,’ but others are leading doctors and eye specialists and they’re all offering their suggestions and people are texting me, ‘You know, I have an excellent eye doctor in Miami.’… I’ll be there in two days, no problem. Everybody’s trying to help, and they’re killing me with kindness.”
Borrowing from the familiar world of sports triteness, Costas said in the interview that he’s “day to day” with hopes of getting back on the set by the weekend. As a stand-in, Lauer is just fine — competent, at ease and in command of the material. Which is to say, not good enough. Costas’s Olympic-anchoring streak goes back to 2000, and NBC boasted that he’s “U.S. television’s first 10-time Olympic primetime host.” He’s as indispensable to the broadcast as that brass-heavy theme song that blares as the camera pans the mountaintops.