My Bob Costas would likely be Jim Burke.
Let me explain…
This week I read Joe Posnanski’s excellent post The Poscast With Bob Costas.
I love sports, always have. However, I have not watched sports much lately, particularly baseball. Along with Vin Scully, I think Bob Costas is one of the best non-athlete sports guys: humble, deep knowledge of his field (rather, fields…), and personable; traits I try and hope to exemplify.
Joe is a writer for Sports Illustrated and recounts the story of first meeting Bob Costas, one of his idols. This passage struck a cord with me. Joe had just received a phone call from Bob Costas:
I cannot begin to explain what that call meant to me. My crazy life has been overcrowded with lucky breaks — breaks I did not fully (or, in some cases, even partially) appreciate at the time. Everything broke right. I worked for great editors at precisely the right time in my career. I ran into great stories, often by accident. I met amazing people who offered a kind word or perfectly timed advice or a brilliant lesson. I have made great friends in this business, and we have challenged each other and pushed each other and inspired each other and mocked each other just when we needed it most.
I can echo every word above….
Joe brings home the professional AND personal:
And that call from Bob Costas on that afternoon … well, I can only explain it this way. I try to teach my daughters a lot of things. Right now I’m trying to teach my oldest her 8 multiplication table (“Figure 8 … it would be great … if I could skate … “), and I’m trying to teach my youngest that chocolate chips do not make a viable meal, but the biggest thing I want to teach them both is that it is possible. Whatever it is. The world, I believe, is best enjoyed and most affected by those people who believe in possibility, who strive for it, who shake off the doubters and their own self doubt, who laugh with the critics and keep moving forward, who follow their own curiosities until they are filled, who see themselves accomplishing the best they can imagine.
Again, I can echo every word above….
So, who is my Bob Costas?
It is possible I could have a conversation with Jim Burke. (He has sent me two messages on the English Companion Ning, though!)
Who is your Bob Costas?