Dick Vitale Continues to be a Polarizing Figure

BY STEVEN KUBITZA

College basketball season is upon us and that means Dick Vitale will be announcing games, just as he has been doing since ESPN’s inception in 1979.

His famous calls that all seem to include “Baby”, or “Unbelievable”, make some people smile and others cringe. It is likely that you even read those words in his voice. If you did not do so, then it is likely that you just did. His voice is so distinct, that it is impossible to forget. It is this type of reaction that makes “Dickie V” such an interesting case to look over.

Liking Vitale or not may depend on the personality of the person listening to him, as those who prefer a more peaceful game experience may not like all the yelling.

His style is something that makes him unique, and exclusive to ESPN broadcasts. Perhaps that is not how he would call every game, but ESPN forces him to do so. It is a possibility, or maybe that is his style. That seems like a trade secret that we will never know.

Even with some of the animosity towards him, Dickie V, it is tough to have no respect for him. His knowledge of the game and love for it can usually outweigh judging his character based on his antics. It is wrong to not give respect to an actual Hall of Famer, which Vitale is since 2008.

Dick Vitale is currently nearing the end of his on-air career, so no matter the opinion one has on him, it is important to cherish the time that we all have left with him on-air.

Those who love him will continue to do so until his final game, and those who do not should at least appreciate him while he is around, because it is unlikely that another on-air personality will come around who is associated with one sport as prominently as Dickie V is with college basketball.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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