With Bob Costas' persistent, and highly visible, eye infection not improving, NBC is going to the bullpen to bring the Today Show's Matt Lauer in for prime-time Olympic hosting duty on Tuesday night. Ol' Red-Eyes made the announcement on Tuesday morning's Today Show.
“We’re going to the bullpen and you’re Mariano Rivera,” Costas to Matt Lauer, who will host primetime & late night tonight as Costas rests
— NBCSportsPR (@NBCSportsPR) February 11, 2014
Costas' eye infection has grown progressively worse as the Games have gone on, spreading from his left eye to his right and, really, making pretty much everyone cringe every time Costas came on the screen:
NBC had taken to using ever-wider shots to reduce the visual impact of Costas' infected eyes, but a camera shot from space could have captured the redness at this point.
Credit Costas for having a sense of humor about the whole affair; he acknowledged it openly from the start of the first broadcast. Pinkeye is not a serious medical condition, but it is an annoying and visually disturbing one, and can take up to two weeks to recover. Considering that Costas' eyes appear to be going downhill faster than Sage Kotsenburg, we may be in for more than a single night of Lauer as replacement.
In the meantime, Costas appears to have found at least one way to dull the pain: vodka shots. He knocked back one with Mary Carillo on Monday night, reasoning, "I’m not really a vodka guy, but look at it this way: my eyes can’t get any redder, no matter what I do.”
Perhaps he ought to go with sunglasses next.
More Winter Olympics coverage from Yahoo Sports: