Today’s date is September 17, 2009, and in exactly two months, November 17, 2009, something greater than you or I happens:
College basketball returns.
Naturally, ESPN will be all over it, offering 24-hours of coverage. The idea alone, even if Kentucky is not on the WWL’s opening day schedule, is enough to make one giddy with anticipation. Here’s the upcoming schedule, which, if you are a college basketball, should read like what happens when you get to heaven.
While we are waiting on Yahoo to get their Tournament Pick ‘Em in working order, we thought it would be fun to watch Dick Vitale’s mid-major argument get attacked by Jay Bilas. Vitale was upset about the apparent snubbing of St. Mary’s–while using it as a platform to defend mid-majors everywhere–and he let his position be known. Unfortunately, Jay Bilas was in studio, and because Bilas watches more than just ACC basketball, he’s probably in a better position to argue seedings and selections.
The Mouth that Roared is coming to the NBA tonight when Dick Vitale (and Dan Shulman) will bring their exuberance for college basketball to the professional ranks tonight when the duo calls the Miami/Denver game while their NBA counterparts — Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Mike Tirico — will be calling the Duke/Davidson game. To celebrate such a monumental event (hyperbole, anyone?), ESPN made a little video of NBA players and coaches doing Vitale impressions, as seen below:
The ubiquitous Dick Vitale is returning from vocal chord surgery just in time for the best rivalry in sports (at least according to ESPN), Duke versus North Carolina on Wednesday. It will be Vitale’s first game since he went under the knife in December.
“I have waited so long for this day to come,” Vitale said Monday. “I feel rejuvenated again and I am so thankful for the opportunity to get back behind that microphone.”
While I’m not sold on Duke/Carolina being the end-all of sports rivalries, it is nice to see Vitale back on the sidelines. I just hope he doesn’t get over-excited and blows his repaired vocal chords out.
The voice synonymous with college basketball is taking a break after undergoing surgery on his left vocal chord. The procedure was done to address complications Vitale was having due to the presence of ulcers. While the mention of Vitale’s name can cause a myriad of reactions (he’s had a falling-out with some fans because of perceived ACC bias), there’s no denying the enthusiasm he has for the game of college basketball.
The past six weeks have been very emotional for me and for my family as we’ve visited some of the most outstanding throat specialists. Fortunately, I am currently under the guidance of Dr. Daniel Deems in Sarasota, Fla. and he is an outstanding ear, nose and throat specialist. Dr. Deems strongly recommended that I visit Dr. Steven Zeitels, who is recognized as one of the premier throat and voice specialists in the nation.
Dr. Zeitels serves as the director for the Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. After an examination, it was determined that I had lesions on my left vocal cord and that they should be surgically removed. Dr. Zeitels said his goal is to have me back sitting at courtside in early February.
There is nothing professionally that I love better than sharing insights about the players and coaches that make college basketball so unique. I can’t wait to get back with all my colleagues at ESPN. Visiting college campuses and interacting with the fans has kept me so young and energized. I can’t wait to get back out there, having a blast with all of you, who are so vital to our game.
Get well, Dick. Your affection for the game is sorely needed… even if it is focused directly at Coach K.