Tonight, after what promises to be a balls-to-the-wall Game Seven of the Redwings-Blackhawks Round Two Stanley Cup playoff matchup, NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) will air an edition of “Costas Tonight”, some of which will be devoted to Bob Costas’ change of heart with respect to the Freeh report and Penn State. Additionally, Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com is reporting that the Paterno family is expected to announce a lawsuit against the NCAA on that same show.
Oh, the melodrama!
We have arguably one of the most respected names in sports journalism (such as it is) presumably flipping over to Penn State’s side. Who cares? I know that we all do, but will it matter to anyone else that the vaunted Bob Costas has changed his mind? In “Habemus Papam“, I noted that what Costas says or does shouldn’t really matter, and I have no reason to alter my position on that. However, I’ve softened a bit in the respect that Costas’ revelations will be a dose of chicken soup for Penn State: It might not fix the problem, but it couldn’t hoit!
Alas, the slot for this pronouncement proposed by the pre-eminent Costas is an obscure one. The NBC Sports Network is not on everyone’s TV lineup, and non-hockey fans probably won’t know where the hell it is, even if they do get the channel. Costas is slotted in nominally at 11 PM ET after the big game tonight, a Game Seven that is scheduled for 8 PM ET. A typical hockey game takes about three hours; however, this, being an all or nothing game, might take a bit longer. If it goes into overtime, it could take a lot longer, for in the playoffs, unlike the regular season, teams play full, twenty minute overtimes until someone scores a goal. (I personally have watched a playoff game go five overtimes between Toronto and Pittsburgh. I fell asleep sometime in the third period of a 0-0 game, woke up a couple hours later, and saw that the game was still going at 1 AM). Anyhow, what I’m trying to get across here is that this isn’t exactly a situation in which huge numbers of people will be paying rapt attention. Those who have been watching the game most likely will either want to go to bed or go to the bathroom. A few will hang around blankly staring at the TV. And then, there’s us.
For their part, NBC has been intensely hyping this edition of Costas Tonight. They aired several promos for it during last night’s other Western Conference Game Seven in which the L.A. Kings outlasted the San Jose Sharks, competing for the privilege of playing either Chicago or Detroit in the Conference Final. No doubt, NBC will take advantage of play stoppages and intermissions during tonight’s game to promote the Costas interlude.
According to Rittenberg, the Paterno family, represented by attorney Wick Sollers, will announce its lawsuit against the NCAA during the show:
The announcement will come on Bob Costas’ “Costas Tonight” show on the NBC Sports Network after the Red Wings-Blackhawks hockey game. Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers, former Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh and Paterno family spokesman Dan McGinn are expected to appear on the show, an NBC spokesman told The Patriot-News. Costas also reportedly will discuss the Freeh report and question its validity on the show. Thornburgh, the former U.S. attorney general, contributed to the Paterno family’s review of the Freeh report.
The University has already distanced itself from the Paterno suit, even before it is announced, much as they had done with the Federal antitrust suit filed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett against the NCAA.
Stay tuned, mateys. This should be interesting meat for your summer menu.