Dino Costa is an unlikely media star -- except in his own mind. So if his profile continues rising on Fox Sports Net, it'll be a case of mind over matter.
Costa has been a contentious figure in local broadcasting since his arrival at Denver's KLZ radio in 2002. He departed the next year amid accusations of sexual harassment (which he called thoroughly unfounded in a February Message.) He was a long shot to return, but he beat the odds in June 2005, thanks to the low-profile Radio Colorado Network, which handed him an 11 a.m. slot on KRCN in Longmont and three affiliates. Costa soon built upon this underwhelming gig, convincing Fox Sports Net to launch Raw Sports With Dino Costa, a twice-weekly rant session that brought Dino's pugnacious style to a much larger audience. Early ratings were solid, convincing FSN decision-makers to expand his role. Hence, his presence during a June 19 post-Rockies live broadcast that found him trading observations with Sam Adams of the Rocky Mountain News.
Costa's not exactly telegenic. His hairstyle looks like it was inspired by inmates in 1930s prison flicks, and he doesn't dress up too well, either. In the aforementioned appearance, his unbuttoned jacket offered a clear view of his sloppily knotted tie, his barrel chest and a stomach growing more bulbous by the meal; he resembled Married With Children's Al Bundy a few seconds before his trademark crotch scratch. Yet his boisterous personal style jumps off the screen, and differentiates him from the typical sports personality.
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Whether this is a good thing or not will be up to each viewer to decide. Costa remains a divisive figure with plenty of enemies, as is demonstrated by this thread from DenverRadio.net, a repository of anti-Dino commentary. At this point, though, Costa is on a roll. Lord help us all. -- Michael Roberts