You may have notice NBC’s Bob Costas has looked particularly red-eyed during his anchoring of the network’s Winter Olympic coverage. CNN reports there’s a reason for that: The veteran sportscaster has been struggling with a nasty eye infection, prompting a number of comments from concerned viewers.
Costas gamely headed up the coverage from Sochi for five days, but said Tuesday he would step aside, at least for a night, breaking a 14-year Olympic anchoring streak.
"Today" show host Matt Lauer will fill in during NBC's prime time coverage of the games during his absence.
"I was trying to throw a complete game here, but I think we're going to have to go to the bullpen," Costas told "Today" show viewers by phone. "You're Mariano Rivera, at least tonight," he told Lauer.
Lauer co-hosted coverage of the opening ceremonies in Sochi, and he is hosting the morning "Today" show from there for the duration of the games.
"Tonight will … mark 1st time since 1988 that someone other than Bob Costas has hosted Olympic primetime show on NBC. Ripken-like streak," tweeted NBC Sports PR early Tuesday.
Costas left eye first showed signs of an infection last Thursday. "According to the NBC doctors here, it's some kind of minor infection which should resolve itself by the weekend," he said at the time. But by Monday, it had worsened markedly and spread to his right eye.
"My eyes can't get any redder, no matter what I do," he commented to correspondent Mary Carillo during Monday night's broadcast.
But on Tuesday's "Today" show, he told Lauer that his eyes were "even worse than when you saw me this morning Sochi time."