Monday, September 8, 2008

Dick Vitale is a Hall of Famer

Some people like him. Some people can't stand him. But the one thing that you can't argue is that Dick Vitale has left his mark on college basketball, from each "Dipsy-Doo Dunkaroo" to every "Awesome Baby, with a capital A!". Sure, he was never the greatest coach (but how many people can name the top 10 winningest coaches of all-time? I can probably get, like, six tops) or the greatest player, but has there ever been a more recognizable announcer in college basketball (or any sport for that matter)?

Seriously, has there ever been a college basketball announcer that is more well known than Dickie V, especially with casual fans? Love him or hate him, he has been as much a face (or voice) of college basketball as anyone since the 90's. It has gotten to the point where, if he is working a game, fans will come out with their bald wigs on and their "PTPer" signs. What other announcer has ever gotten that kind of treatment, regardless of who is playing.

Isn't that what the Hall of Fame is all about? It is more than just a place where you can hang the plaques of the guys a group of writers think were the best ever. The Hall of Fame (and this goes for any sport) is supposed to be a museum - a place someone can go to learn about the history of the game, the athletes and people that played, and everyone that was involved with it.

How can you tell the story of college basketball without mentioning Dick Vitale?

The one thing that most people hate the most about Dickie V (other than the Duke bias) is that he rants and raves and yells his usual Dickie-babble when he gets excited. Well, I think that is his best attribute, and what makes him the best at what he does. Don't get me wrong. When he starts spouting that verbal diarrhea, I sometimes want to throw the remote at the TV.

But all of it is legitimate. He is not faking it. He actually gets that excited about a great play. He really is that emotional when talking about Jim Valvano, his close friend that died of cancer. He truly enjoys and loves the game that college basketball so much, and he is not afraid to wear those emotions on his sleeve. 

And regardless of how much you hate him, you have to admire him for that.

Congratulations Dickie V. At least one person thinks you deserved it.

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