America's Host

This week Bob Costas begins his own Olympic marathon, as NBC's anchor for the Games

As a child growing up in Commack, N.Y., Bob Costas fell in love with the powerful notion of projection. Twisting the radio dial in his father's parked car, the young baseball fan was able to visit mysterious places, pulling in out-of-town stations broadcasting games through the crackling static. "There was a romance to the airwaves," Costas says, "a notion that moving the dial just slightly enabled you to eavesdrop on what people heard in Baltimore -- or, a little farther over, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and, on a really clear night, St. Louis."

This month Costas himself will be doing the projecting --...

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