Bob Costas' Eye Infection Apt Storyline for Early Stages of Crazy 2014 Olympics

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2014

Nov 10, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; NBC Sports reporter Bob Costas prior to a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

So we've had ramshackle hotels, stray dogs, non-potable drinking water, poor track conditions for the athletes, possible surveillance of said ramshackle hotel bathrooms and it's only the first week of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. 

Why wouldn't one of NBC's lead presenters come down with an eye infection?

With the Olympics still a day away from really kicking off, there's been a lot of down time for fans and journalists to dissect every single talking point with a fine-tooth comb. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on your opinion of the man, one of those things has been Bob Costas' eye infection.

The broadcaster shocked some watching at home when he showed up on the Today Show with his left eye visibly affected by something, per Deadspin's Tom Ley.

Thus the speculation began.

Was it pink eye? Did Costas try and clean his contacts in some of that non-potable Sochi water? Is he secretly an American spy who was poisoned by Russia's Federal Security Service?

Unfortunately, this isn't a Tom Clancy novel, and Costas is merely suffering an eye infection, as he revealed on NBC, per For the Win's Chris Chase:

Bear with me for a moment as I spare my friends in the press office countless inquiries. I have no choice to go all Peabody and Sherman on you for the next couple of nights since I woke up this morning with my left eye swollen shut and just about as red as the old Soviet flag. According to the NBC doctors here, it’s some kind of minor infection which should resolve itself by the weekend. If only all my issues would resolve themselves that quickly, but that’s another story.

The relatively minor nature of the problem hasn't stopped the eye from blowing up social media.

Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch compared all of the ridiculous tweets to an acid trip:

Author Dave Itzkoff looked into the future to show what Costas' eye might look like after a few days. Maybe he shouldn't go to Mars anytime soon:

Mark Harris of Grantland and Entertainment Weekly asked the inevitable question:

You have to salute Costas for continuing to go and rolling with the punches. Sure, it's not some debilitating injury, but when you're an on-camera presence, especially for something as huge as the Olympics, you don't want to have single flaw on your face.

The moment something's wrong, people are going to pounce. You're going to be the subject of jokes and the primary focus of memes and other Internet-related jabs.

Costas, though, has made light of the subject. He's turned a weakness into a strength, as they say.

Of course, by the time the Olympics are over, nobody will remember Costas' eye infection. It's one of those stories that's popular for a week or two, and then it gets lost in the ether.

But it's just one more thing to add to what has been a laundry list of crazy things to happen in Sochi so far.