Tuesday, November 1, 2011

6 comments Let's Chat with Dick Vitale and Watch Him Lose Interest Quickly

I am a huge fan of college basketball. I am not a huge fan of Dick Vitale. He seems like a fantastic guy who does great charity work, treats people nicely and just seems like a fun guy to be around. Whereas a guy like Jay Bilas seems like the kind of guy who would take a piss in your coffee and then explain to you at length about why you are a such a piece of shit that you actually deserved to have this happen to you...most likely while quoting lyrics from Lil' Wayne's latest album. Personality aside, I much prefer to hear Bilas call a basketball game as compared to hearing Vitale scream at me while calling a game. So while Vitale seems like a great guy, he is the type of sports analyst I tend to detest for three (there's probably more, but I can't think of them right now) reasons.

1. Much of his "analysis" is merely him talking in glowing tones about a team/player/coach while yelling. It usually starts with a "He's a great kid," "Let me tell you, this guy is a Hall of Famer" followed by a catchphrase, more yelling while telling a drawn-out story, and then more comments like those which really don't seem to add much in-depth analysis to the game. You don't watch a college basketball game called by Dick Vitale and feel like he has contributed much substance to what was going on during the game. Your head my hurt though.

2. He is very easily distracted by his insistence on telling stories and getting off topic. Often times ESPN will put Vitale with Dan Shulman because Shulman has the poise and patience to get Vitale back on to the game at-hand. Still, at any point in the game you will hear multiple Vitale-led discussions about non-college basketball related items while the game is being played. Vitale does great charity work, but I don't need to hear about the conversation he had with Rick Barnes about an upcoming benefit while I am trying to watch a basketball game.

I know much of the charity stuff Dick Vitale pumps up is very, very important to him and to others, but I grow tired of the long conversations during games about these charity events. I don't want that type of thing on a constant basis from my basketball analysts. Mostly, it isn't the charity-plugging that bothers me, but the drawn-out stories that don't deal with the game.

3. The yelling. It kills me. I dislike Gus Johnson for his yelling, but in a different way. Vitale subscribes to the ESPN mantra of "If you say it loudly and yell into the camera that means you know what you are talking and really mean what you are saying." Vitale is the patron saint of this mantra. He lives it. Not to mention, Vitale is always pimping an upcoming game he is analyzing while the rest of us are trying to watch the current game he is analyzing. For me, while Vitale is a really, really, really nice guy he is also representative of the "all-show, no-substance" analysis that drives sports fans nuts about ESPN. But hey, he's a great guy.

So I noticed Dick Vitale is doing chats for ESPN.com. I have been trying to find a chat to cover and I really want to talk more about college basketball since I absolutely adore the sport. So let's get a feel for Vitale's inability to discuss basketball and his insistence on going off-topic while chatting. Let's start with the September 29th chat.

DV: I know this is supposed to be all about basketball, fans. But what a night for MLB last night. I was right there in Tampa in front of the Yankees dugout. I yelled into the Yankees dugout that the Red Sox lost. The place exploded in the stadium when the rest of the crowd got word. Evan Longoria is a PTP-er. I've been there from the beginning. I've had season tickets since the inception. I can't wait until 11/11/11 with UNC and Michigan State. Should be special.

This is the introduction to the chat. Here you see the ADD-type analysis that drives me crazy. He makes me look incredibly focused. In one paragraph we get the following jumping around from topic to topic:

I know this is supposed to be all about basketball, fans. But what a night for MLB last night.

It is about basketball and now we are talking baseball. Focus.

I was right there in Tampa in front of the Yankees dugout. I yelled into the Yankees dugout that the Red Sox lost. The place exploded in the stadium when the rest of the crowd got word.

He tells us he was there. Sort of interesting, yet not related to college basketball.

Evan Longoria is a PTP-er.

This is a generic, catchphrase-oriented compliment of Longoria that means so very little in terms of the conveyance of knowledge. Vitale isn't sure how to properly say how great a professional or college athlete is without using some sort of catchphrase.

I've been there from the beginning. I've had season tickets since the inception.

And now we are back to how Dick Vitale attended the Rays game.

I can't wait until 11/11/11 with UNC and Michigan State. Should be special.

Finally, careful of whiplash, we go all the way back around in the very next sentence to talk about a college basketball game occurring and how great it will be.

I would rank the moment last night as one of the top 5 moments in my life of witnessing a live sporting moment. It was so dramatic and a great win.

And now we immediately go back to talking about the Rays-Yankees game that clinched the Wild Card for the Rays. His basketball telecasts are very much the same, except pretend this information was yelled at you while you are trying to enjoy a basketball game.

MIKE (Cincy)

1 word describing Jared Sullinger?

DV: He's great.

I'll pretend the "he's" doesn't exist, so there we go, that's one wo---

He's a great, strong, powerful guy.

That's three words.

He's got leaner.

That's four words. It is also terrible grammar.


Five words. And how has Sullinger gotten meaner? Does he punch toddlers now just for the pure joy of seeing their faces while they cry? If so, that's probably what my face looks like while listening to Dick Vitale call a college basketball game.

Lee (Syracuse)

The very nice thing about the NBA lockout is we are getting a taste of what it was like in the old days when players stayed for 3 - 4 years. I miss it. So how many teams do you see as having a legitimate chance of winning the NCAA tournament this year?

DV: The thing about college basketball this year is the quality of teams, not just the quantity

That's correct, which is why Lee asked you which teams have a legitimate chance of winning the NCAA Tournament. In other words, which teams this year are quality teams.

Spoiler alert: We never really get an answer to this question, but we do find out what the newspaper in front of Dick Vitale is saying about the Rays' baseball game.

Jones in Kentucky, Jones at Baylor, Sullinger, Barnes.

Those are college basketball players, not college basketball teams.

When it gets down to it, there's usually about 15 teams that have a chance to win it.

So 15 teams then. I wish I knew what the name of these teams were and let's remember UConn was unranked going into the 10-11 season when believing there are 15 teams that have a chance to win the national title.

I've got Rays on my mind! I see all of these papers in front of me and I'm reading all of the headlines. I've got the New York Post. The St. Pete Times. The paper from Sarasota. A W for the Rays!

That's great! And also not college basketball-related.

Hoops season will be right around the corner. But right now, I have baseball fever. I hope the Rays can keep playing. I'm doing double duty on Monday. I'm going to see the Rays in the playoffs and then the Bucs and Colts on Monday Night Football!

I am sure everyone has heard Dick Vitale call a game, but this is a pretty good indication of how unfocused he gets. He also doesn't tell us why a great play is happening on the court, he yells and then tells us how great that play was to see. Superior analysts to Vitale explain what the viewer just saw and why the viewer saw what he/she saw.

Now onto the October 6th chat, where we get an all-important follow-up on how the Rays are doing and find out where Vitale will be speaking that weekend. Also, in his spare time he talks about college basketball.

Thomas (Missou fan)

How big a loss was Bowers to the Tigers?

DV: Any time you lose a starter who averages double figures in scoring you don't want to lose his chemistry.

Well, you also don't want to lose a guy who scores in the double figures, regardless if he has great chemistry or not.

Missouri wants to go to a hgiher level this season, more than just making the tournament, they want to go a lot further,

I guess this is as opposed to the college basketball teams that are looking to regress and want to see if they can go from having a winning record to a losing record or go from making the NCAA to being knocked out in the first round of the NIT.

Scott (Johnson)

Who is the best college player that you ever saw play? They didn't necessarily have to be a success in the NBA, but they could have been.

DV: Wow, that is a good question. If we are talking prior to ESPN,

Whoa, whoa. "Prior to ESPN?" Was there even sports prior to ESPN? Didn't ESPN invent sports?

Sarcasm aside, I find it hilarious when asked who was the best college player he ever saw, Vitale wants to know if this questioner is talking before or after Vitale joined ESPN. It is as if Vitale may believe anything he saw prior to joining the Mothership did not exist and would not count as an answer to this question.

I would say Oscar Robertson.


Tom (The Bronx)

down by 1 who are you giving the ball to, Kemba or Laettner?

Really? Like Vitale is going to answer Kemba. I'm just surprised he didn't name Laettner the greatest basketball player he ever saw.

DV: I love Laettner. I know Kemba was terrific, but Christian Laettner was so tough and he made so many big plays.

Like stepping on a player's chest and magically not getting hit with a technical or being ejected from the game for this act. Laettner was a magician on the court!

I'm pretty sure Laettner knifed Jamal Mashburn under the basket one time and ended up getting to shoot two foul shots while Mashburn was thrown out of the game.

If you don't believe me, go ask the fans at Kentucky about the play he made against them, baby!

Or you could watch the replay that gets shown 10,000 times every year. I'm just saying you may not want to ask Kentucky fans about Laettner. That's like threatening a UNC Tar Heel fan with destroying the picture of him and Tyler Hansbrough that one time Hansbrough came by for a house party and “was real chill and cool the entire time.” The anger in the response isn't worth the question.

Meka (East Lansing,Michgan)

How will roe not playing bball affect the Spartans

DV: A lot of guys have gone down alreayd and injries change rotations. I just did a piece on ESPN.com on that. I feel Roe will be successful int he most important game of all, the game of life.

I disagree. I think the important game of all is actually the game of Scrabble. It teaches you new words, as well as prepares you for the future inevitability of meeting someone who succeeds in excelling in life despite the fact he/she is only able to spell four or five letter words.

Brian (Virginia)

Hey Dickie V! I was wondering your thoughts in Virginia's Cavaliers this year in the ACC? With Mike Scott back and Tony Bennett getting this team moving in the right direction....could they be in the NCAA tourney this season?

Just as a note. Virginia is my sleeper in the ACC this year. When they go 22-10 and end up with a #5 seed or better in the NCAA Tournament, I am not going to be surprised. They have a soft-ish schedule, the return of a stud player (Scott), good freshman class and run a loose version of the Princeton offense. I think that puts Virginia 3rd in the ACC this year.

DV: They can be up here in the mix for number three in the ACC. We know North Carolina and Duke will bve 1-2.

Well, of course. That’s a given. There’s no need for an actual debate about this since the only two teams that matter in the ACC are North Carolina and Duke, so we’ll just give them the 1-2 spots automatically without thinking.

In reality, we don’t know North Carolina and Duke will be 1-2 in the ACC. It very well may happen, but Duke has very little senior leadership, a team full of freshmen and sophomores playing important roles off the bench, questionable point guard play and no inside game. I can see Virginia being #2 in the ACC this year in a certain scenario or two. They probably won’t be, but we don’t “know” the final standings of the ACC yet. Let's not assume we do.

They could be up there with Florida State, Virginia Tech, Miami, Clemson, etc. for number three in the league.

So basically the entire ACC could be #3 in the ACC? Thanks for the help.

Rick (Champaign-Urbana baby!)

How much pressure is there on Bruce Weber this season? I think the Illini will surprise some people.

DV: He is a throwback who loves to coach, to be in the gym and work with kids. Jereme Richmond came in last year and never materialized

(Insert joke by Illini fans about Richmond being a ghost. They heard he was going to be really good, but he was invisible most of the year.)

and then went into the NBA and was no drafted.

(Dick Vitale) “Jereme Richmond you no drafted. You go oversea and play the basketball. You no get to be basketball player in United of States. Diaper Dandy you no be!”

Jarred (Kansas)

Dick, you know you can't have a chat without having a KU question. Where do you see the Hawks in the Big 12 standings when it's all said and done?

DV: I think the one thiong you have to respect is their pride and tradition. They will be tough to beat at the Phog.

So where do you see the Jayhawks in the Big 12 standings?

They may not be as talented as some Kansas teams of the past, but they will contend in the Big 12. I love Thomas Robinson and feel he will have a really super season. Bill Self has done a great job in Lawrence

So, where do you see the Jayhawks in the Big 12 standings? How about answering the question?

and the fans will be chanting rock, chalk, Jayhawk for another winning team this season.

Oh that’s great, baby! You didn’t even come close to answering the question.

Jake (Harlem)

Dick, from what you've seen how good can this Drummond kid be when all is said and done?

Andre Drummond signed with UConn and is an early-entry freshmen who is being compared to Dwight Howard. I'm bet everyone knows this, but I'm never sure how many people follow recruiting.

DV: Based on reports I am getting from people I respect, he will have a big impact.

I have a slight problem with this statement, because it is clear Vitale doesn't know much about Drummond. This is a great example of Vitale’s commitment to style and not substance. This chat was done on October 6th. When Vitale was asked from what he’s seen on Drummond and what does he think of him, Vitale said “based on reports from people he respects” he thinks Drummond will have a big impact. So he hasn’t seen Drummond play. Other than the fact he is a college basketball analyst and probably should follow recruiting a little bit more closely, this wouldn't normally be a huge issue.

But...on September 14, Vitale wrote a column for ESPN titled “Dozen Dazzling Diaper Dandies” and had Drummond #1 on that list with a brief scouting report (Even the title of the column is style to reflect on the lack of substance). How does he know Drummond is a solid passer for a big man if he hasn’t seen him play and is relying on others to tell him this? I understand he can’t see every high school player play, but this is the best freshman in the nation according to Dick Vitale, wouldn’t it make sense to see him play or have some first-hand knowledge of his game before ranking him? How can Vitale rank Drummond or even put him on the list if he knows next to nothing about Drummond?

So Vitale raves and gives Drummond compliments, but he is just basing all of his analysis on what other people have told him. This is the #1 college basketball analyst for ESPN. He hears what other people tell him and then parrots what they have already said, except he yells and uses catchphrases to describe the player because he hasn’t seen the guy play yet. This is a great example of ESPN’s style over substance. Who cares if the analysis is correct or if the person giving the analysis knows what he is talking about? Look how certain Vitale is in giving the analysis! That's all that matters to ESPN.

Think about how much we (or I would) would criticize Joe Morgan if he said positive things about a baseball player and then said he hasn’t seen the guy play yet.

To add to my frustration look at Vitale's entire "Diaper Dandy" list compared to ESPNU's Top 100 high school prospects.

Vitale's list.

ESPNU's 100 prospects

Vitale names twelve top freshman and every single one of them is in the Top 14 on ESPNU's list of 100 prospects. How lazy. He just moves the rankings around a bit. Of the two in the Top 100 that aren't included on Vitale's list, Quincy Miller and PJ Hairston, Hairston is mentioned in the column as also being able to contribute this year. This along with #15, #17, and #18 on the Top 100 are also mentioned as being able to contribute this year by Vitale. That's fine if he doesn't know much about high school players, but don't pretend you do have knowledge by essentially re-ordering a list already available to you or anyone else with an Internet connection.

Drummond can defend, pass inside and is an instant impact diaper dandy.

Or as Dick hears it this is what Drummond can do. If you get paid to have knowledge and give analysis about a player then your analysis should include more than second-hand knowledge and analysis based on a general scouting report.

Mark (Nashville)

If Vandy beats UK for the SEC title would that be considered an upset? Vandy is pretty legit and might have more talent than KY?

Well, Vandy does not have more talent than Kentucky. Vandy is going to be a pretty good team, but Kentucky has way more talent than Vandy. I would consider Vandy beating Kentucky for the SEC title to be somewhat of an upset. I'm not saying they can't do it, but they don't have more talent than Kentucky and it would be a bit of an upset if they won the SEC title.

I cannot wait for this weekend. I am speaking at a convention in Indianpolis on Saturday and one in Sioux City on Sunday.

I’m guessing Vitale will be speaking very loudly, will say a lot of things, jump around topics constantly, and then as the attendees are leaving they will realize they can’t remember anything of substance Vitale said.

I bet this is the format for Dick Vitale’s speeches:

“I’m excited for (Topic). It will be great. (Generic brief mention of topic) (Generic brief mention of specific person involved with topic) (Ends with a catchphrase) (Moves onto next topic).”

Now for the October 13th chat.

Great to be back with you. I have to get something off my chest and it is not basketgball.

There’s a shock.

I am sick and tired about reading about prima donnas showing no respect for the uniform.

I know this rash of amateur strippers who can't stay in character for more than five minutes are really giving the professional strippers who stay in character as a “policewoman” or “nurse” a really bad name. I couldn’t agree more.

If it is true that several Red Sox drank beer and played video games during games, that is embarrassing and humiliating to Red Sox nation.

“I’m not sure if this is true, but it will not stop me from overreacting to the situation immediately upon hearing this information.”

Guys like Beckett and Lackey have got to be kidding. There is something called professionalism.

“Oh yeah, they should have shown some professionalism. You should see the preview for my newest Hooters commercial. It’s terrific and awesome with a capital T&A baby!”

Mark (Nashville)

Vandy beat North Carolina last season. They both have everyone returning. Why is North Carolina preseason higher than Vandy (i know it doesnt matter) and i think Vandy would go into chapel hill and win by 10 this year if they played.

This is the same Mark that seems to think Vandy has more talent than Kentucky has. Clearly, his ability to view his favorite team through a neutral and unbiased point of view doesn’t exist. I don’t usually focus on the questioners, but I have to tackle this one.

Vandy beat North Carolina last season.

That was last season. Not this season. North Carolina finished better in the NCAA Tournament than Vandy did last year and both teams have everyone returning, including North Carolina adding two Top 20 recruits.

Why is North Carolina preseason higher than Vandy (i know it doesnt matter

Because North Carolina is going to win the National Championship and Vandy isn’t going to win the National Championship. That’s why North Carolina is ranked higher…and you clearly do think preseason rankings matter or you wouldn’t be asking this question.

i think Vandy would go into chapel hill and win by 10 this year if they played.

You also think Vandy has more talent than Kentucky has, which pretty much makes your opinion completely void due to an overwhelming bias towards your favorite team. There’s no way Vandy beats North Carolina by any amount this year at home, on the road or on the moon. North Carolina is loaded and I won't put Vandy in the same discussion as North Carolina until they prove to me they should be there. Talk to me after the Xavier and Louisville games.

Joe (NYC)

How good is UConn and do they have a real shot to repeat?

DV: Yes absolutely. UConn is right with the heavyweights and they may have more talent than last year even with Kemba. Andre Drummond has a ton of potential and one coach told me he has Alonzo Mourning type of potential.

A coach told Dick Vitale this because Vitale doesn’t know enough about Drummond to say anything of substance about him, though he does “know” enough about Drummond to put him as one of the top freshmen in the country…based on information other people have given him of course.

I want to go back and say this about Francona...

Ah yes, the lack of ability to focus on the one topic at-hand.

tim (West Caldwell,, NJ)

Hi Dick, have been a big fan following you when you were in Detriot! Can you tell me your views on how Mark Tuergon is doing at Maryland.

DV: He had a big signing but he has big shoes to fill replacing Gary Williams. I am thrilled they are naming the courts after him.

Answering a question about Turgeon with an answer about Gary Williams. These are a trademark of a Vitale broadcast. During a Maryland-Georgetown game there is a guaranteed 10 minute discussion on Gary Williams and John Thompson (the first) at the expense of what is happening during the game.

Turgeon is a winner from the day he stepped on the floor at Kansas, did a good job at Txas A&M and now he has to perform on the big stage. I am thrilled that we are honoring Gary, Jay Wright and Lou Holtz at our Dickie V gala next year, for details go to dickvitaleonline.com

Where do I go for details on the question that was asked of you? You know, your view on how Turgeon is doing at Maryland? Also, how is Kansas and Texas A&M not “the big stage?”

Ted (NYC)

Do you think some of the kids who went into the draft early are sorry now that the lockout is costing them games?

DV: I am sure they are a little upset because they want to play. They made the decision and you cannot look back in life. You cannot sit there and waste energy and time worrying about what you could and should have done.

Great advice, let’s move onto the next que---

By the way, I am really honored to be nominated for the New Jersey Hall of Fame. That is where I grew up as a young guy. So many great people come from there, and if anyone wants to vote go to www.njhalloffame.comHelp me, the competition is tough baby!

This is another part of Dick Vitale that irritates me. The self-promotion aspect of his personality. I don't really consider him necessarily an analyst, but more of a personality calling a basketball game. Sometimes I think he believes we are as interested in Dick Vitale as he is in himself. Of course, this is part of how ESPN sets him up, as a personality in college basketball, not necessarily an expert on college basketball. It’s all about the style over substance. ESPN isn't a sports company, but an entertainment company after all.

Ok, enough ranting. Onto the ne---

Not bad, 10 Hall of Fames and I cannot run and jump and have a body by linguine. Get me to 200,000 followers on Twitter, baby!

Vitale’s job with ESPN at this point is to advertise the Vitale-brand.

Believe me, college basketball will be bigger and better than ever this season with the return of stars like Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes, Perry Jones III and Terrence Jones. It will be awesome, baby with a capital A!

Another catchphrase! Yippee….

Dick Vitale is a really, really nice guy though. Really, really nice. Still, a lot of what his quest to be a “personality” encompasses is what I find wrong with ESPN and sports in general.


jacktotherack said...

I can't believe the man actually manages to be as annoying with a keyboard as he is with a microphone. One of my favorite parts of Selection Sunday is always knowing that I don't have to hear Vitale "analyze" another game until the following November. Thank you CBS for sparing us his schtick.

Martin F. said...

Dan Shulman is really underrated. Does good work on basketball and his baseball announcing is great over the radio, which is how I hear him about 90% of the time. Quickly becoming a favorite.

BR said...

Dick Vitale is unwatchable and his continued presence illustrates an ongoing difficulty ESPN has in being unwilling to part ways with people who deserve the axe. Unless you are showing people a cell phone shot of your schvantz ala Sean S. or have been filed on for sexual harassment like Harold R., once you are renewed you are golden. Look at Berman, Hoge, Ditka, Clayton, Mayne, Holtz, Kruk, etc., etc. These guys are either stale or were always wince inducing hacks.
I thought the Good Ben was from Carolina so I'm surprised to find criticism of a DUKIE. Isn't there a state law banning such or am I thinking of the Billy Packer law banning criticism of the ACC.
R. R.

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, it is true. I don't think it matters the medium, you always feel like Vitale is yelling at you. I really hope Vitale doesn't weasel his way into covering the tourney. I am always afraid he will. He does seem like a nice guy, but he is very much what I feel is wrong with ESPN.

Martin, I like Dan Shulman. He does a great job with Vitale and my favorite announcing crew is Shulman, Bilas and Raftery. I know some people don't like Raftery, but I feel like he focuses more on the game than Vitale does, so I don't dislike his call a game. Shulman always keeps Vitale on point as much as possible.

BR, it is like having tenure at a college. At a certain point it is not even about how good you are, but how long you have been there. Vitale doesn't provide analysis in my opinion, he just yells at the television. Also, I went through other lists of freshman for past seasons and he pretty much takes the ESPN Top 100 and picks the Top 15 players and puts them on a list. It's just lazy. What's the point of providing the info if it isn't new or you don't have anything new to add?

I criticize my favorite teams more than I compliment them. I feel free to criticize pretty much any team. Fortunately it is not against the law to criticize a Dukie. Nearly the entire state of North Carolina dislikes Billy Packer and Dick Vitale...at least among people I know.

My father hated Billy Packer with a passion and he didn't hate anyone usually. UNC and Duke fans usually take turns complaining to each other about Vitale.

You probably heard the story, but Coach K asked Vitale to tone down the complimentary talking a/b Duke b/c of the way it made ppl think of the program. That's pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

If you go WAYYYYYYYYYY back and listen to his commentary from the early 80's you'd probably be surprised at how decent it was. He brought refreshing perspective to the game and he was colorful and energetic, yet kept it within the confines of the game.

Of course we know how that ended when he became Big Mouthed Dick the obnoxious self promoter to whom the game was secondary to his desire to create "catch phrases" and proclaim his endless throbbing manlove for the likes of Bob Knight and Mike Kzuzlezwslokie at least 20 times each broadcast.

I know he's a nice guy...But he epitomises so much that is wrong with sports today.

The funniest memory I have of him though is when he came to Michigan State to speak at a pep rally. For the first 5 mins he got the crowd all fired up with his schtick and pumping up MSU hoops. Then he launches into this half hour lecture about all the mistakes young kids make in college with sex, alcohol and drugs and how he's know so many who have died as a result and don't screw up your life.....You could hear a pin drop by the time he was done and everyone walked out on such downer.

I was in such a funk that when I got back to the dorm I had to have a few tequilla shots and fuck a hot co-ed that lived across the hall from me to pull myself out of it.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I haven't heard his old announcing and how good it is. I don't remember him annoying me as much about a decade or so ago. Not sure I could agree with your 1st and 2nd paragraphs any more than I do. He has become the king of catchphrases and passes up any analysis for yelling and making the game about him. I don't know if he provides much to the broadcast other than a name at this point.

I've seen him in public a few times and he has always been very gracious and waves to people, but he really is a lot of what bothers me with sports announcing.

That was probably the worst pep rally ever. I am not sure it gets worse than to hear a speech about drugs and messing up your life at a pep rally. How depressing. I probably would have drunk during the rally to get through it.