Costas, Tark, Larry and Conrad

In the mid-eighties, Bob Costas had a five-minute sports report, sponsored by State Farm, that ran on many radio stations, coast to coast.  The programs were recorded and sent to each station from a production company in St. Louis.  The producer, somehow, got my name and offered me an assignment to record interviews with sports celebrities who were always appearing in the casino sports books.  My job was to prepare and ask the questions, recorded on a cassette and send it to them.  They then would edit my voice out and  Bob would record the same questions for the final production.  I enjoyed meeting the ‘stars’ and getting well-paid.  There were three interviews that I will never forget.  These celebrities were totally above doing interviews, but when I told them who they were for, they agreed.  The Running Rebels of UNLV were National Champs and their coach was bigtime. I interviewed Jerry Tarkanian in his palatial office atop the Thomas&Mack Colesium on the college campus.  The interview took a long time simply due to the fact that ‘Tark’ was on the phone with everyone from Federal Officials to Press Agents.  The next one was a HOOT.  Conrad Dobler was billed as the “dirtiest player”  in the NFL.  He was proud of the title and admitted to biting and spitting on opponents, as well as tripping and punching.  The one who impressed me the most was Larry Bowa.  He was managing the Las Vegas Stars, minor league baseball team, and was noted for a short temper and cold shoulder to the press.  I believe he and Billy Martin were at the top of the list of managers who were tossed out by umpires, numbers of times.  I was offered ‘double’ the usual talent fee if Larry would give the the time-of-day.  Since KORK was the flagship of the Stars and since they would call on me to sing the National Anthem whenever someone cancelled, he had to give in.  We had a great time. He was full of stories and had quite a sense of humor- just no love for the press.  I never got to meet Costas, but if his ego is a big as reported, I bet he would be a tough interview, himself. Fame has a Freakish effect on folks, donchaknow.  I wish all those who are, happiness and fulfilment.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN

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