NBC-5 WMAQ caught up with announcer Bob Costas today to speak with him about being turned down by the Bears for a story Sunday night on "Football Night in America.'' The team was asked to supply quarterback Jay Cutler, coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo and was denied.
Costas and NBC will continue with plans to do a story on the quarterback and his struggles of late for the Bears leading into the network's broadcast of the game with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Here is a transcript of the interview supplied by NBC-5. We thank them for the heads up.
Q: Did you see the Sun-Times article today and what were your thoughts on it?
Bob Costas: Well, I'd rather that I and NBC not be the center of the story and I don't think that we are. And I don't think this is particularly a big deal. If let's say Jay Cutler had been removed as the starting quarterback and Lovie Smith had refused to talk about a specific move or something comes up with the commissioner of the league won't address a certain issue, then I think you have reason for complaint. In this particular case, I certainly don't take it personally. It's obvious that they have decided that there is nothing that they can add to it. What else can they say? The team has been playing poorly. Cutler had an especially bad game last time out. There isn't that much more that can be said about that, so they've decided that anything that they say just adds to the noise and they'll just out there and play on Sunday and let that be their answer. So, I understand. I don't have any particular problem with it.
Q: Did it bother you that the Sun-Times seemed to put you out in front of the story?
BC: I certainly don't take it personally. I think the answer would've been the same if it was Monday Night Football or if the request had been made by CBS or by FOX or whomever made the request. It's just the particular point in the Bears' season. I don't know Jay Cutler that well, but I've talked with him before and interviewed him a couple of times, seems like a nice young guy. I don't have any problem with him whatsoever and I'm sure at a different juncture either this season or next season, we'll sit down and talk again when the circumstances are different.
Q: Does it make you uncomfortable to be part of the story? I know broadcasters like to describe the story, not actually be a part of it.
BC: Yeah, you'd prefer not to be, but occasionally it happens because you can't control how other people decide to view it, but I don't think it's a terribly big deal.
Q: You've seen the Bears this year, this is the fourth time you will have done their games?
BC: On a number of levels, they are obviously not clicking offensively as one would have had expected and their ground game has not been as effective as one would have expected. And their defense has been in and out, but I don't see them every day in practice and I don't see them up close every week so I would guess that the people who cover them on a regular basis would have a better handle on that than I do.
Q: Do you think there will be any tension when you, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth attend the preproduction meetings this weekend?
BC: Oh no, not at all. No problems.