On Sunday Night Football, Bob Costas, perennial sports journalist, the face of the NBC Olympic coverage, and a voice who has spoken to generations of fans with mealy threads entwining the dramas of athletic contests with the obvious parallels of the human condition, chose to intone on gun control. In the wake of the tragic murder-suicide of Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins - Costas - whose commentary often puts bookends to momentous sporting news crossed a definite line: broaching into polemics and ideology. Sports, in American culture, often perceived as a unifying activity of observation and rooting - with fans of various teams setting aside widely ranging political, and religious beliefs, and picking up the banner, face paint, or jersey of a team and standing as one.,/p>
Divisive pontification is left at the stadium door. Costas knows that. Using a tragic event as a bully pulpit to push an agenda is not a new phenomenon. Politicians have been doing it since the start. But a beloved sportscaster, whose job it is to unify, say some pithy commentary about the analogous nature of an athletic event and the dramatic unfoldings of life? Seems a little off. It seems best to stick to the game, and keep heavy topics out.