Are you ready for the Bob Costas memoirs? Well, the renowned sports broadcaster is finally ready to write them. Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reported on Sunday that Costas has agreed to write his autobiography for HarperCollins.
“As you look at it, and you’re much closer to the end of the most prominent portion of my career than at the beginning, then a memoir makes sense,” Costas told Sandomir. “It just seemed to me like a good time to do it and I’d have more to say.”
As you would hope or expect, the memoir will span his entire career going back to his days calling games for the Eastern Hockey League and the St. Louis Spirits of the American Basketball Association. But obviously, Costas has much more to share from his 40 years in sports broadcasting, having covered Olympics, the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball. He has also scored memorable news-making interviews, such as his sit-down with disgraced Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
An interesting sidenote to the autobiography, especially from a sports media standpoint, is that Costas will be writing the book with Mike Lupica, the long time New York Daily News sports columnist and, more recently, the author of several sports-themed young adult novels. Lupica was reportedly part of a wave of layoffs at the Daily News, but given that he is still writing columns for the paper — 15 since reports of the layoffs, to be exact, including pieces published today, Oct. 19, and Sunday) — it appears that a renegotiation took place. That would presumably allow Lupica time to work with Costas on this book.
As Costas told Sandomir, Lupica has a distinct, authoritative view that would ideally come across in the writing, but the trick will be for the voice to sound more like the subject’s than the co-author’s. But both parties surely know what the situation is. This is Costas’ autobiography, not a Lupica biography of Costas.
Costas had signed an agreement with a publisher to write a memoir back in 1997, but ultimately decided that it was too soon for a look back at his broadcasting career. He instead wrote a book about baseball, Fair Ball, which was published in 2000. HarperCollins had been in touch with Costas in recent years to write a book about how much the media has changed with the advent of the Internet. When the publisher’s executive editor David Hirshey heard that Costas was working on a project with Lupica, he pursued the project. Given everyone involved, you would think the Internet’s effect on media would be a component of this upcoming book.
The timing of Costas finally deciding it was time to write his memoir would seem to be influenced by the recent release of Al Michaels’ career-spanning autobiography, You Can’t Make This Up, which was a New York Times best-seller and just published in paperback. Obviously, the success of Michaels’ book proved there is an appetite among fans of sports and sports broadcasting for such material, and Costas could arguably write an account that’s just as, if not more, compelling. But Costas insists that Michaels did not influence his decision to write his autobiography now.