Another “busy airport” Story

March11/ 2013

EVERY Wednesday of Thanksgiving Week your local TV station(s) sends a junior info-babe to the airport for their annual “busiest airport day” story.   Sports has its equivalent.  EVERY regular season finale UNC-Duke game we get the “Dookie V” article.  ….. Dick Vitale is UNC fans’ version of what John Swofford is for Wuffs?

NOTE:  This column was posted BEFORE all the latest revelations about Lots More Nasty Marvin Crap.  Not trying to downplay anything.  I leave that to those unable to accept grim realities.

Whenever I critique a sports/political/entertainment celebrity I try to note I am only dealing with their public persona.   I have been “around” VitaleeDick Vitale at a few sports celebrity charity “dos’” over the years.  Even without a camera or live mic in the immediate area Dick Vitale is “Dickie-V”.

I don’t begrudge anyone their shtick.  Whether its Howard Stern, Pee Wee Herman, Phyllis Diller, Oprah, Obama or Ric Fair; if you can create a public persona that has appeal to some market segment….. “work it” for whatever potential it has for you.  Dick Vitale’s has worked for him for going on 25 years.  I’m betting The Kardashians’ will burn out long before then.   Paris Hilton did.   I’m not sure what magic ingredient bestows “staying power”.   Dick Vitale has “it”.

I have gotten emotional over a sports announcer once in my life – Curt Gowdy calling a UNC – FlaState NCAA semi-finals in the early 70s.  I felt Gowdy was delighting in UNC’s frustrations in dealing with “little Otto Petty”.   I recall that evening embarrassed at my immaturity.

I got angry at referee Lou Bello at a high school state finals in 1961-ish.  Lou told me ten years later that the Mt Airy coach had given him a ½ lb of BBQ to “fix the game”.  You had to know Lou to appreciate that.  That’s the last time I “blamed a ref/umpire” for my team losing.  I was 14.  How old were you the last time you “blamed a ref”? That’s a rhetorical question.

“The announcers” have no impact whatsoever on my enjoyment of any sports event.  I can only connect one-two voices to any event because of the shuffling among networks.  If you called me in the middle of any major sports event and offered me $10 to identify the announcers I would guess 95% of the time.

I have a very intelligent friend who “hates Tim McCarver”.  Why would an otherwise very intelligent individual waste “hate” on Tim McCarver?   Hey, I just realized my McCarver-hatin’ friend is also a Liberal and “hates” Sarah Palin.  I need to rethink all that.  I digress.

Yes, Dick Vitale has a very distinctive style.  No way you mistake his voice for anyone else unless someone is “doing their Vitale impression”.  Whatever happened to Roy Firestone?

To the Great “Dookie V” Conspiracy….. Dick Vitale’s college basketball media personality career has coincided with Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching career at Duke.   Over the past 25 years Duke has played in a great many “big games” (as has UNC) and, more often than not, won those games.   That success is noteworthy and Vitale has noted it.   As with similar success runs at Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, UCLA, UNLV, Georgetown, UConn etc etc.   Dick Vitale has been court-side for most of those “big games.

Arguably Duke under K has been more consistently “top-shelf” over those 25 years than any other program but marginally so.  UNC, Kansas, Kentucky, UConn are in the same category by any reasonable analysis.  “Reasonable” being a silly adjective to use in any discussion of sports fan behavior.

Dick Vitale’s shtick is to be an unapologetic over-the-top cheerleader for college basketball.  Just like air-headed coed cheerleaders throwing mega-watt smiles into the upper decks when their team is down by 30 with 30 seconds to play, Vitale accentuates the positive and ignores any/all negatives. ”.  I don’t care for Dick Vitale for that reason.

Big Time College Basketball oozes controversial socio-cultural “issues” that Vitale refuses to discuss.  He claims that is not his role.   I think less of him for that cop-out.   As a high profile celebrity his voice might make a positive difference.

Every fan base in America has some unique paranoia that it formally embraces.  These paranoias are deep-seated, defying reason and common sense.   Their genesis has been covered by the sands of time.  They get passed down thru generations.

Every young Wuff and young Heel remembers when his dad and/or mom sits him down and explains either “John Swofford is out to git us” or “Dooky V is in cahoots w/ Dook”.  It is a Bar Mitzvah-esque rite of passage into respective fan-hood.

Diogenes would have a fit trying to find a hard-core Tru-Blue who is not convinced that Dick Vitale has a permanent man-crush on Mike Krzyzewski and all things Duke.  And furthermore his slobbering man-crush translates into a tangible advantage for Duke ??  I don’t think that; but my Tru-Blueness has been in probationary status for quite some time.

I make the Vitale – Swofford comparison because in both cases the fan base paranoia extends well beyond the bottom-feeding lunatic fringe.   Lunatic fringers (LFers) are insane…… to wit  the earth is flat, man will never fly and Lee Harvey Oswald was a Rotarian from the Planet Zoltan.

Wuff-LFers blame John Swofford for them being over-weight, under-appreciated by everyone they encounter, and being pulled over for a busted taillight…. as well as any/all deficiencies in their athletics department.

Their Franklin Street counterparts blame Vitale for Duke’s 14-0 start Saturday night and Kendall Marshall’s injury last March.  As well as being pulled over for busted taillights.

Both Vitale and Swofford Paranoias extend into the mainstreams of each fan base.  When plum foolishness infects otherwise “normal” people then foolish has become normal…. and all bets are off.

NOTE:  As the “how bad will the final score be” set in on Saturday night, I wondered if PhilipBridges’86 and his ilk began their inexorable creep from under their hate-Roy rocks.  I’m betting they did.  That bitter bunch don’t like Dick Vitale AT ALL.


Yes… I know about the latest Marvin The Tweeter $2,000 revelation.   Marvin, and Black Santa, fallout will continue like acid rain for at least five (or 50) more years.

Who among you know what March 13, 2013 is the 7th Anniversary of?   BobLee knows.


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