Taking potshots at Bonnie Bob Costas, America's premier sports broadcaster, is a national pastime almost as popular as the spectacles he fronts. And why not? In these cheesy and uncertain times, he seems too comfortable, too confident and, at 60, too cute. He does his job better than you will ever do yours, dude. If you get one.
But the current dust-up, over what was construed as a pro-gun-control editorial during the sacrosanct halftime of a football game, goes beyond the usual imaginative attacks on Costas's conservatism, liberalism, dutifulness to his SportsWorld masters, or subversive asides.
In connecting the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide to handguns, Costas dared to set the door ajar—though not quite open—to the far larger issue of the violence we have loosed on ourselves and our psyches by idolizing the NFL's warrior avatars. Costas, who is even smarter than you think, is aware of what he's doing.
Since 1993, Costas and I have been in an uneasy relationship of mutual regard and disagreement, each waiting for the other to fulfill unreasonable expectations. He wants me to be more open to the joy of sports. I want him to take advantage of his pulpit and be more of a journalist.