Now, with the conjunctivitis having spread to both eyes, NBC Sports has pulled the veteran broadcaster from prime-time Winter Olympics coverage. "Today Show" host Matt Lauer will fill in on Tuesday evening, marking the first time since 1988 that someone other than Costas has anchored the coverage.
“Reluctantly, I was trying to throw a complete game here, but I think we're going to have to go to the bullpen, and I don't know if you're aware of this or not, but you're Mariano Rivera, at least tonight,” Costas told Lauer over the phone Tuesday morning on "Today." “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.”
"I just feel bad for him," Lauer added. "He looks forward to these Games for so long and he's the best that's ever done it. If he could be in that seat, he'd be in that seat."
NBC had taken to using ever-wider shots to reduce the visual impact of Costas' infected eyes. Costas actually joked about his pinkeye on Monday, as he downed a shot of vodka with fellow on-air personality Mary Carillo.
“I'm looking at it this way … my eyes can't get any redder no matter what I do,” Costas said.
On the opening-night of NBC's coverage last week, Costas addressed his then-lone red eye.
"Bear with me for a moment as I spare my friends in the press office countless inquiries. ... 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."
Los Angeles Times and Zap2it contributed