"I think I can get the idea across that hey, if you were in Buffalo or Chicago or Boston, and now this time around in Pittsburgh, this is an event that you'd really want to be at, this is what it feels like to be here, here is the overview, and then we've got (Mike) Emrick and (Mike) Milbury and everybody else to take care of the nuts and bolts. I look forward to it as an event." -- Bob Costas
Bob Costas views himself as NBC's maestro for New Year's Day. He doesn't have to tune the instruments or even play them, but he'll be at the front of the orchestra, using his own instrument -- his famous voice -- to bring the viewers at home through their own television screens and into the pageantry of the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
He's done it to standing ovations and calls for an encore for three years now, and with the rivalry of
and the Capitals as his backdrop, Costas expects to hit all the high notes again while leaving it to experts like Mike Emrick,
"My role in this is a lot like my role in the Kentucky Derby," Costas said during a breakfast with reporters inside the NHL's New York offices Tuesday. "I think NBC, they excel at understanding that you can do an event that serves the interest of the hard core, knowledgeable fan, but also broadens it out to the casual viewer. There are people who watch the Winter Classic who might only watch Olympic hockey and the Stanley Cup Final. So we do a very good job in drawing them in and saying, 'Look, this is an event.'