"The American Broadcasting Company has lived with me and permitted me," Cosell plowed on. "Tomorrow they may not. If so, there will be no sad songs for me. I'll go without a whimper. But ABC has been the only network to permit a Howard Cosell, and that's why Howard Cosell is important. That's why Howard Cosell is a story. If ever there was a trailblazer, if ever a broadcaster sought to bring sports out of the juvenile, out of the banal—this, you see, is my mission. I have been an electronic first," Cosell declared, "and I don't mean that egotistically."
The electronic first gazed at the ceiling, as if the magnificent trails he'd blazed were etched into the beams for him to see. "Yes," he at last decided. "When you get right down to it, I am a hero."