Dick Vitale To Return

And you will never guess for which game. That’s right, Vitale will call the UNC-Duke game on February 6th because he apparently believes the best way to test his newly repaired vocal chords is the go all out during his first broadcast or as Deadspin put it:

Yes, Vitale’s doctors are so confident in their work that they’re trusting their patient to ease back into his job with a Duke-Carolina game. This is roughly equivalent to releasing a gastric bypass patient into a mall consisting entirely of Hometown Buffet and Cold Stone Creamery stores, locking the door, and piping in hot fudge in lieu of elevator music.

Not that it will matter to me since the game will be carried on the regional feed and therefore I will be sentenced to a far worse punishment in the person of Billy Packer. However it is odd that Vitale would not want to get his feet wet before doing UNC-Duke. The Maryland-Virginia game on January 30th should be low key affair full of missed shots, turnovers and not much to get excited about. At least that way he could spend all his time talking about Duke to get back in the swing of things.


13 Responses to Dick Vitale To Return

  1. william says:

    Both Billy Packer and Gerald Henderson should get a warm welcome in Carmichael Auditorium that night.

  2. robuck says:

    Does anyone know if there has ever been a “same game” analysis of Vitale and Packer broadcasts? It would be really interesting to compare their styles and analysis as they call the same game. And since we know that they both do the first Carolina – dook game each year, there should be plenty of material available for review.

  3. Tar Heel Fan says:


    I do not have access to the ESPN feed because I have standard cable and that gets blacked out in favor of the Raycom feed otherwise I would offer some thoughts along those lines.

  4. robuck says:

    understandable. In theory, nobody has access to both feeds during the game, due to local broadcast rules. However, I (thinking outloud, more than anything) wonder if anyone had attempted to procure a copy of the other feed and make the comparison.

  5. william says:

    Satellit gets blacked out too. Some times, however, they forget to apply the black-out and both channels come through, but man, a person would really, really have to be obsessed with Billy Packer to care enough to compare the two.

    If we really care, we could ask someone outside of ACC broadcast country to make a DVD of the ESPN broadcast and then we could compare the two side by side.

    Here is my take.

    Casual fans (like wives) often enjoy Vitale because he makes the game different and interesting for them.

    People who dislike Carolina and Duke often dispise Vitale because those are clearly his two favorite programs.

    Everyone hates Vitale when your team is losing because he is blathering away 50 miles an hour about marginally relevant things and it can drive you crazy.

    Everyone loves Vitale when your team is winning because he is blathering away 50 miles an hour about marginally relevant things and it can really pump you up even more.

    Billy Packer provides much more interesting analysis for those of us who know alittle about basketball but for whom, a switch to the 1-3-1 is not readily apparent. He is excellent about pointing such things out, or for example, pointing out the moving picks in the 2005 championship. Hate him though you guys might, nobody else would have been as adamant about Illinois’s illegal screens in the second half.

    Billy Packer, at times, gets too caught up in telling us about the backcourt substitutes on the 1967 Clemson team. He also seems to either be willfully blind to certain things that seem clear to everyone else. If you watch the second Duke game last year, Packer’s partner just let him go on and on and it was clear that he wanted no part of the hole that Packer was digging for himself concerning Gerald Henderson.

    I still think, that love him or hate him, Packer is the closest thing left to Howard Cosell in that he will say what he believes, right or wrong, let the pieces fall where they may. In a day of blowdry blather, there is a lot to be said for that.

  6. Wayne says:

    William, nice analysis.

    I agree with everything you said except: “Everyone loves Vitale when your team is winning because he is blathering away 50 miles an hour about marginally relevant things and it can really pump you up even more.”

    I, as a small part of “everyone”, hate Dick Vitale whether the Heels win or lose, and regardless of who is playing the game.

    Nobody drives me crazy like Motor Mouth, win or lose.

  7. Josh Bowling says:

    I couldn’t agree more William. That part of Packer being oblivious to the things that we may recognize on the floor gets to me a little sometimes. And yes, the Henderson support really frustrated me as well. I enjoy Vitale on some occasions, I really do. I do not look to him for basketball analysis as much, more just for entertainment. I think he is a sincere person and has done some great things with his life. I appreciate his love for ACC basketball. I am already tired of the Patrick/Elmore color though.

  8. thesportsidiot says:

    I’ll have the ESPN feed up here. I’ll try to remember to record the game if you wish, and mail it down for you. No way I’d put myself through the agony of watching both feeds, but this game could be a great one. It’s a few weeks away though, right?

  9. Josh Bowling says:

    Right on!

  10. 52BigGameJames says:

    interesting to hear what Mark Packer has to say about his dad (and the perceived fan relationship) in this article:


  11. TxTarheel says:

    I will gladly welcome back Vitale…but keep the mute button on ice when he goes onto his first non-affiliated tangent about the following (pick any of 1): Bob Knight, UCLA, Georgetown, Roger Clemens, Notre Dame football. Call the over/under 10 minutes

    If I’m lucky the good folks here might figure out it’s a big deal at the so-called “sports” bars..

  12. Josh Bowling says:

    I miss him talking about Dante Calabria. “Look at that hair man, I wish I had that hair. Dante’s hollywood Baby! You got Deneiro, Pacino, and Calabria!” He always made fun of himself by not having hair when contrasting himself and Dante.

  13. william says:

    Calabria wan an attractive young man.

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