Dick Vitale is the most influential figure in college basketball since John Wooden.
Are you serious! Are you serious!
Yes, I’m serious. Dickie V is more than just a TV commentator. He is the face and voice of college basketball for 30 years. What Michael Jackson was to MTV, Dick Vitale is to ESPN. Vitale’s enormous popularity extends beyond one sport. He’s a popular culture icon. Heck, he’s probably one of the most influential figures in sports history, and his recent induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame was well deserved.
Oh, Oh!….Oh, oh!
The explosion of the NCAA tournament coincided with Vitale’s rise to prominence on cable television. He’s a one-man marketing machine. Vitale made every game he covered for ESPN the most important game of the season. His passion and love for the sport filtered through the airwaves and the fans absolutely went Cameron Crazy when he showed up.
It was 1994 and UCLA had just played Arizona in a nationally televised contest. After the game, I headed to the locker room to do gather some postgame quotes. I was working for the Glendale News-Press at the time and I wore my press badge around my neck. Vitale just happened to be walking by with then UCLA coach Jim Harrick. I said “Hello” to both. Harrick saw my press pass and said, “Glendale News-Press! Say ‘Hi’ to my good friend John Goffredo.” At the time, Goffredo was the boys’ basketball coach at Crescenta Valley High School. Vitale gave me a head nod and said, “How about that Shon Tarver, baby!” Though the meeting was brief, I was honored just to get some kind of acknowledgement.
I sent him the article I wrote for the News-Press and in return he mailed me his book, “Holding Court: Reflections on the game I love.” To this day, I consider that book one my prized possessions, not because it’s a good read (sorry, Dick), but because of the words written inside the book. It read: JOEL, THANKS. AWESOME BABY. DICK VITALE.
Dick, you’re awesome baby!
Hi I like your post “” so well that I like to ask you whether I should translate into German and linking back. Greetings Engel
Thanks, Engel. Google has a translator software that you can actually use. Try it. It might make it easier.
With all due respect to Dick Vitale, the most powerful man in college basketball is Sonny Vaccaro, hands down, bar none.
Alpha Wolf, I think Sonny Vaccaro is one of the most influential figures in basketball history, but only hardcore basketball fans know him. He’s more known around summer league circles and shoe-company-driven tournaments. If I had a top-five list, Vaccaro would be in that top five of most influential figures in basketball, but Vitale would still No. 1.
History Of Nba Basketball
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