Bob Costas's infected left eye was a source of concern when Olympics coverage began, but last night, people went into panic mode, and now it seems NBC is taking measures to stop this ocular reign of terror.
According to CNN's Brian Stelter, Matt Lauer will be taking Costas's place in NBC's primetime coverage tonight. This news comes a day after it seemed, as Deadspin pointed out, that Costas's infection had spread across both eyes, prompting sadness and, obviously, jokes across Twitter. There were the LOLs:
Did anyone stop to think that maybe the pink eye is finally winning its fight against Bob Costas— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) February 11, 2014
Dear NBC: Bob Costas' eyeballs are throwing up Pepto Bismol all over themselves. Call the bullpen!— Tim Goodman (@BastardMachine) February 11, 2014
And the concern:
As someone who survived orbital cellulitis, I am genuinely concerned about Bob Costas's eye.— John Green (@realjohngreen) February 11, 2014
Better sign off Twitter for the night, I have roughly 2 hours of deep prayer ahead of me for Bob Costas.— AJ Marechal (@Variety_AJM) February 11, 2014
And even the New York Times felt it necessary to comment on this state of eye affairs.
Should you be sitting so close to Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth?— NYT Olympics (@SochiNYT) February 11, 2014
But Costas himself acknowledged his problem. While doing a segment with Mary Carillo, he took a shot of vodka saying: "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."
We turned to eye doctor Jeffrey Levenson—yes, a relation of one of our own—who explained that it's very common for infections to spread. "The fact that one eye got it presumably Thursday and the other got it later is a characteristic of a viral infection," Levenson said, noting that viral infections tend to last longer than bacterial infections. "It could be that he'll have this throughout the course of the Olympics." Levenson also explained that eye infections, especially viral ones, are contagious. An entire broadcast team with red eyes would probably be NBC's worst nightmare.
But Costas probably wasn't suffering too much on the air. "It doesn’t hurt him to use the eyes it’s just unpleasant for other people to look at," Levenson said.