Dick Vitale is already in my television set. Which means he's already in my living room. So he's already inside my head like an echo. Or like an ice pick.
But in my Hall of Fame? Over my dead body.
|Gregg doesn't want to run into this bust in the Hall of Fame. (Getty Images)|
And if Vitale makes it into my Hall of Fame, I'll disown the damn thing. You can have it if Vitale, who didn't achieve greatness but who had greatness thrust upon him like a pie thrust upon a clown's face, gets in.
This opinion might put me in the minority. Coaches are lining up to support Vitale, Hall of Famers like John Wooden, Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski and John Chaney. The movement is led by Bob Knight, another Hall of Famer.
Don't be fooled. Coaches are the least sincere group of people you've ever met. If you've not met a coach, take it from me. At the highest levels, they're interested primarily in the same thing: self-preservation.
And who is more dedicated to the preservation of coaches than Dick Vitale? Nobody. He spends much of his air time talking about the brilliance of the home coach, and the visiting coach, and 20 or 30 others along the way.
I'd call him a sycophant, but the dictionary defines sycophant as "a servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people." Vitale isn't trying to flatter coaches; he's titillating them through the television set. It's gross.
When he's working a game, I mute the volume. Whatever thrill comes from watching Duke play North Carolina or Kansas play Texas is tainted by the idiot in the booth who sees Kevin Durant drain a 3-pointer and tries to tell me the shot proves Rick Barnes' genius.
This is why coaches want Vitale in the Hall of Fame.
For one thing, it's payback for all the intellectually dishonest slobber he has thrown their way. For another, having Vitale in the Hall of Fame would only strengthen his words when he declares (insert your semi-successful coach here) belongs in the Hall of Fame or (your loser of a coach here) IN NO WAY deserves to be fired or (your total loser of a coach here) is being treated unfairly by fans or media or the administration.
Ignore Bob Knight's biased trumpet. He has no idea what he's talking about. He should stick to things he knows: the motion offense, befriending the shady Pump brothers, back-stabbing his protégés and hanging up during conference calls.
As for Vitale's influence on the game ...