Veteran US sportscaster Bob Costas has responded to claims from Vince McMahon that he wanted to beat Costas up after their famous interview as “idiotic.”
In March 2001 Vince McMahon was interviewed by Bob Costas for his HBO show ‘On The Record.’ During the interview, Costas pulled no punches, questioning McMahon over the declining popularity of the XFL and the risqué content of the Attitude Era.
As the conversation went on, McMahon become visibly more uncomfortable with the line of questioning and by the end of the interview was becoming increasingly hostile.
In Jim Miller’s new book ‘Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit Of New Frontiers,’ the two men recalled the now infamous interview. Vince McMahon said that Costas had little desire to listen to what he had to say, describing him as “freaking pompous.” He went on to admit that he was “p*ssed off” and that if Costas would have been bigger, he’d have deserved to have the “sh*t beaten out of him:”
“Once we were doing the interview, he kept interrupting me and interrupting me, and bringing up topics that had nothing to do with what we were supposed to be talking about. He kept trying to do the ‘I gotcha’ kind of thing. It was clear he didn’t want to hear any of my answers.”
“The other problem was that Bob is so freaking pompous. The entire time he acted like he was above me and was just using me to show how great he was. I was sitting there really pissed off and started thinking, I wish he wasn’t 5-feet high and 140 pounds. If he was 6-5 and 295, he would deserve to get the sh*t beat out of him. I could have really given them some great television.”
Now Bob Costas has addressed McMahon’s comments in the book in an appearance on STWeekly, and alludes to the reason that there was such a size discrepancy between the two men:
“Here’s my answer to this. Let’s test Vince’s premise. He probably outweighed my two to one. I weighed around 150. He might’ve weighed, especially then, certainly 275 minimum, maybe 300 pounds. Who knows what might have enhanced that physical standing.”
“In any case, his premise is, ‘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 5’10” to six feet tall and weigh between 175 and 185. 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 about this premise. ‘I don’t like your line of questioning, but as long as it’s a fair fight, I should be allowed to kick the sh*t out of you.’ Brilliant. Do you really have to respond to something that stupid? On its base, it’s idiotic.”
Bob Costas continued, giving his thoughts on what made Vince McMahon so angry as the interview went on:
“What really ticked him off was this…it’s obvious he was getting angry. It was great TV and people are still talking about it. I didn’t expect it to go this way, but when it did and he went off, it didn’t throw me off. He’s not dumb. If you look at a transcript of this, it might’ve been a draw. On tone, he’s losing his shit and I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s proceed.’ If this was supposed to throw me off, it didn’t work.”