A 2008 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and a member of 15 other sports halls of fame, Vitale has become an American sports cultural icon.
Now that the NCAA college basketball is fast breaking into full swing, it appears as if Vitale shows up nightly on ESPN.
He’s also an expected, worthy choice at #9 in my sports comic book Favorite Sportscasters – available for only 99 cents on Amazon.
Here’s a chapter excerpt on Vitale from the book.
…..As CBS Sports sportscaster Vern Lundquist has suggested, the highly animated Vitale is an “acquired taste quote.”
However, all sports fans recognize Vitale’s intense love for – and knowledge of – college basketball.
Fans also admire how the senior citizen sportscaster tirelessly and willingly gives of his time serving the community and those who are sick or less fortunate. Every year Vitale’s foundation has awarded five college scholarships to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota, FL.
Moreover, this ESPN talking head has served as national spokesman for the V Foundation in its unending fight against cancer. In 2014 alone, the Vitale-led V Foundation gala raised $2.1M for pediatric cancer research.
Vitale’s remarkable career has spanned over 35 years. Dickie V joined ESPN in 1979 and quickly became synonymous with the network’s NCAA college basketball coverage.
Vitale instantly found his niche by creating his own unique expressions that will be forever remembered as part of the language of the college game.
A colorful sportscaster, he has always had a talent for coining popular phrases. College basketball fans can easily recite and apply Vitale’s extensive, cliché-laden vocabulary.
Thanks to ESPN’s Vitale, fans understand that a P.T.P. is that special Prime Time Player. They also know who’s on everybody’s All Rolls Royce Team. Even more, fans know a Dow Joneser is an up-and-down performer on the basketball court.
Dick Vitale has mastered his own college basketball language. Every hoops junkie knows that a blender (an unselfish player) always dishes the rock (passes the ball). The blender can easily pass to a great shooting teammate for a trifecta (three point shot) as he can to a sky walker (great athletic leaper) for a dipsy-doo dunk-a-roo (slam dunk finish).
For a former coach who speaks in corny sentences, leave it to Vitale to connect baby diapers with highly recruited college basketball freshmen. The term Diaper Dandies became famous when Vitale named Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant to this highly respect breed. His connection created one of the sports world’s most recognized nicknames – the Diaper Dandy.
Admittedly, Dickie V.’s unique vocabulary and overly excited personality may be too much for some basketball fans to bear.
However, this unofficial college basketball ambassador lives out the word “color” in his job. With flowery language and a motor always in overdrive, Vitale energizes every telecast.
Even during slow games, it seems like Vitale is breaking through our LCD screens and appearing front and center right as an uninvited guest into our living rooms.
Dick Vitale combines his love for the game with a heartfelt desire to see all college basketball players succeed.
Corny expressions and over exuberance aside, sports fans, sports can’t do without Vitale’s passion for the game he loves and the boundless spirit for the life he leads.
May Dick Vitale’s enthusiasm keep him just as youthful as the players he celebrates during his ESPN telecasts. That’s right, Baby!
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!