Veteran sportscaster Bob Costas has addressed controversial comments made by WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon in Jim Miller’s new “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers” book.
As noted before, McMahon and Costas provided comments on their March 2001 HBO “On The Record” interview in the new “Tinderbox” book from Miller. The interview was done when the XFL football league was on its way out, and McMahon seemed annoyed by Costas’ questions at various times. In the new book, Costas called the interview “good television” while McMahon talked about how things would’ve turned physical if Costas was a little bigger in size, as he thought Costas deserved to “get the s--t beat out of him.” You can click here for the full book comments from McMahon and Costas.
In an update, Costas spoke with Brad Straubinger of ST Weekly this past Tuesday, and was asked about what McMahon had to say, specifically if he saw where McMahon said he would’ve beaten Costas up if he were bigger in size.
Costas noted that McMahon has made these remarks before. He commented on how McMahon’s entire premise was idiotic, and took a shot at the WWE Chairman by making a reference to potential steroid use.
“He’s said that before,” Costas responded. “And now it’s just back in circulation because the book has come out, and various excerpts are getting attention. It’s an oral history, so a zillion people are interviewed… and little excerpts of their observations… and that was a moment in HBO history where McMahon and I went toe-to-toe, if not nose-to-nose. Here’s my answer to this…. let’s test Vince’s premise. He probably outweighed me two-to-one. I weigh around 150. He might’ve weighed, especially then, certainly 275 at a minimum, maybe 300 pounds, and who knows what might have enhanced that physical standing.
“But in any case, his premise was, or is, ‘Well, if Bob and I were closer in size, his line of questioning was ticking me off and we would’ve come to blows and I would have beat the crap out of him.’ Let’s test this premise. Let’s suppose somebody is on ‘Meet The Press’ and they don’t like Chuck Todd’s line of questioning. They are a congressman or senator, and like Chuck, they are roughly 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, and they weigh between 175 and 185. So, they are in the same weight class. It would be entirely appropriate for the senator from whatever state to just go to blows. Think about that, think what this premise is – ‘I don’t like your line of questioning, but as long as it’s a fair fight, I should be allowed to kick the s--t out of you.’ Brilliant. Do you really have to respond to something that stupid? On its face, it’s idiotic.”
Straubinger added, “He’s a circus promoter, is what he is, though. It’s why it’s so hilarious.”
Costas continued, “By the way, what really ticked him off was this… it’s obvious he was getting very, very, angry. It was great TV, and people still talk about it, and it was 20 years ago. I didn’t expect it to go that way, but when it did and when he went off, it didn’t throw me off. I think I’ve said this many, many times – he’s not dumb. If you looked at a transcript of this, it might’ve been a draw. But on tone, he’s losing his s--t and I’m just like, ‘Okay, let’s proceed.’ So, if this was supposed to throw me off, it didn’t work.”
Costas noted in the book how McMahon called him the next day to propose an interview rematch. He also recalled Vince slamming doors on the set of the interview. You can click here for our original article, which also includes book comments from WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan. The “Tinderbox” book can be purchased at a sale price via this link.
Below is the 2001 Costas – McMahon video:
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