Bob Costas needs a night off as he battles an eye infection. Judging by the nightly commentary on Twitter, some viewers of NBC's Sochi Olympics coverage might also need time to recover.
The veteran NBC sportscaster called into the “Today” show on Tuesday morning to announce that he would be taking a sick day. He also revealed that Matt Lauer would be replacing him as the host of NBC primetime Olympics coverage for the night.
“Reluctantly, I was trying to throw a complete game here, but I think we’re going to have to go to the bullpen," Costas said after Lauer asked about his health. "And I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but you’re Mariano Rivera, at least tonight. Let’s hope it’s only tonight. I’m walking around, I might as well be playing ‘Marco Polo.’ I have no idea where I am.”
Costas seemed to be breaking the news to Lauer as well as to the viewing audience.
“So, I’m going to step in for you tonight," Lauer asked, "the master of Olympic primetime?”
Lauer's appearance will mark the first time since 1988 that someone other than Costas will host a primetime Olympic telecast for NBC, reported For The Win.
Costas had a noticeably red and swollen left eye when NBC began its primetime coverage last week. Correctly anticipating that it would be noticed, he addressed the issue not long into that first broadcast.
“Bear with me for a moment as I spare my friends in the press office countless inquiries," Costas said on Thursday. "I have no choice to go all 'Peabody and Sherman' on you for the next couple of nights since I woke up this morning with my left eye swollen shut and just about as red as the old Soviet flag. According to the NBC doctors here, it’s some kind of minor infection which should resolve itself by the weekend. If only all my issues would resolve themselves that quickly, but that’s another story.”
Unfortunately, those NBC doctors seemed to have underestimated the infection. By Monday, it appeared to have spread to Costas' right eye.
It would appear that Bob Costas' eye infection is not going away. pic.twitter.com/2kodnn1eNh
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) February 11, 2014
Costas' eye infection has inspired a handful Twitter accounts, including @BobCostasEyes, and hashtags, such as #SochiEyeProblems, during the first days of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Despite the infection and the way it has gone viral, Costas seems to have maintained a sense of humor about it.
"My eyes can't get any redder, no matter what I do," he quipped to NBC's Mary Carillo on Monday night before taking a gulp of Russian vodka.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 11, 2014