Howard Cosell was the most iconic sportscaster of my early years. His work on Monday Night Football alongside “Dandy” Don Meredith and Frank Gifford was must-see TV. His interviews with Muhammad Ali were the stuff of legend.
Now his sportscaster grandson is making headlines in a remarkable way.
Colin Cosell is the public address announcer for the New York Mets. He’s used to announcing, “the first baseman, No. 20, Pete Alonso!” to the thump of Led Zeppelin’s “The Ocean.” Since baseball games are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, he’s been turning his unique skills in a unique direction.
Working from home, Cosell will record an audio clip for anyone who asks, making them “as personalized and customized as possible.” He has recorded nearly six hundred introductions since he began a month ago. They’re about thirty seconds long and all are done for free.
Fans reach Cosell through Twitter at #CallMeUpColin and provide their information as well as a musical choice—Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, and a tune from “The Little Mermaid” are among the favorites, along with the “Meet the Mets” theme song.
Recently, Cosell noticed calls that were coming from a certain group. “I was starting to hear from a lot of medical workers and first responders. That’s when it began to hit home,” he said. “They said these thirty seconds take them away from the maelstrom of being a hospital worker during a pandemic.”
Many use his call-up recordings for their phone ringtones or outgoing messages. “Thanks for adding a little joy while in quarantine,” a person posted on Twitter in response. “Colin, you’re a saint for doing this,” another person said.
“A few stories have brought tears to my eyes,” Cosell noted. “I heard from someone working in an ER who said it was pretty tough in there, and that he broke away and listened for a few seconds and it helped calm him down.”
It takes him about ten minutes to do the tapings at his Long Island home, which he then delivers by email. Healthcare workers and those involved in the coronavirus fight get first priority, followed by kids.
“It’s been a great way to keep in touch with the fans,” Cosell said. “This has been a way of doing that at a scary, disconcerting, uncertain time for everyone.”
Find a way to sow ‘bountifully’ today
I certainly do not have Colin Cosell’s voice, much less that of his famed grandfather. I wouldn’t know how to begin recording walk-up baseball introductions complete with sound clips. But I can write about Colin Cosell’s generosity in biblical perspective.
I can point to our Father’s assurance: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16). I can note Jesus’ statement, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And I can cite our Lord’s promise, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6).
Will you sow sparingly or bountifully today?