Duke Shows Off For Lover Vitale

We could go into a ton of detail about the Duke-North Carolina game last night, how Duke is probably the best team in the country right now just a year after a first-round tournament upset, or about how Coach K is able to adjust and elude irrelevance in a way Bob Knight wasn't able to late in his career, but we're gonna hold off on that, because, sheesh, what do we know? Instead we're going to talk about Dick Vitale.

Vitale returned from his throat surgery last night for the Duke-UNC game, and we were reminded once again how much we absolutely cannot stand him ... and how much we had missed him. Some people might go a bit overboard on this — "Vitale's return - with that first in-depth, technical analysis you can only get from Vitale, the diagnosis of a play that begins and ends with "Ohhhhhhhh!!!!" - sounded like one of the classics. Dylan singing "Like a Rolling Stone." Lennon doing "Imagine." Vitale shouting "Super! Scintillating! Sensational!" — but it's impossible to deny that a Duke-UNC game would feel different without Vitale's signature brand of screaming, idiocy and Duke fellatio. All of college basketball would. Those who say Vitale is owed a considerable amount of credit for college basketball's explosion over the last 15 years sound correct to us: When our Illini team of 1989, with Nick Anderson, Kenny Battle and Kendall Gill, busted out, it was Vitale whose voice we would all imitate while playing basketball in the back yard. "The Flying Illini, Baby!"

Of course, we were 13 years old, and 13-year-olds are stupid. Vitale is a guy that's vital to the game, and we're happy he's back, doing what he loves. It's not quite right without him. We're still not taking the TV off mute.

Grating? Sure, But It's Great To Hear Vitale's Voice [Northwest Herald]