Wednesday, February 8, 2012

0 comments Let's Pretend to Hold a Chat with Dick Vitale

I've fallen a little behind my Dick Vitale chats. For that I apologize. So I am coming back today with a greatest hits from three of Vitale's latest chats. We all know Vitale is more focused on talking about anything except college basketball if given the opportunity and this is especially true during games Vitale is actually broadcasting. Vitale is like some other ESPN analysts in that he doesn't always enjoy answering direct questions and instead prefers to talk in cliches, or give vague answers. Vitale's chats are what happens where Dan Shulman isn't there to interrupt him and get him back on track...pure madness ensues.

In the comments of the last Vitale chat I covered it was speculated that Vitale isn't really answering these questions because many of the answers resemble answers from Joe Morgan's chats with the misspellings and some of the phrasing. I like to think Vitale is by himself in an incredibly bright room answering these questions in a loud, obnoxious voice and reading the answers aloud while making furious hand motions as he is typing. That's how I like to think about it. It would hurt me to believe Vitale is dictating the answers by phone to a Chatmaster who is actually doing the typing. I also like to think ESPN tells their analysts the fastest way to get the chats over quickly is to not give direct answers and frustrate those following along in the chat. That would explain a lot. Let's get to the first chat for today.

Grant Kruszewski (Erie)

Do you think that Ohio State can win the Final Four?

(Dick Vitale reads from a piece of paper without ever looking up in a monotone voice as if it were a statement written by a PR firm so as not to offend anyone...)

DV: Ohio State is one of the leading contenders and thy have an outstanding team. They cover all three areas of the court -- the post with Sullinger, the point with Craft and the wing with Buford. When you cover those three areas you have a chance.

Thanks Dick! So if you "cover" (what the hell does that even mean?) all three areas of the court you have a chance to win the Final Four.

Congratulations College of Charleston! You have the second leading scorer in the Southern Conference, the second leading rebounder, the leader in steals (who is also second in assist-turnover ratio) in the Southern Conference. You have all three areas covered. You have a chance to win the Final Four!

I get what Vitale is saying as a generality, but in his vague answer to the question he doesn't realize covering three areas can go for quite a few teams. Not to mention, there are various other reasons Ohio State could win the Final Four that are more relevant.

Now in response to a question about NC State, Vitale responds:

I am impressed with the spirit, enthusiasm and energy Mark Gottfried has bought to the program. I tweeted about that yesterday at v.

WHY MUST YOU INSIST ON ASKING DICK VITALE QUESTIONS DURING HIS CHAT HE HAS PREVIOUSLY ANSWERED? Before asking any questions, search through every medium of communication Vitale has, which includes his web site, every game broadcast, his Twitter, his Facebook page and every previous chat. Don't waste his precious time asking him to repreat himself when that time could be better used talking about a non-basketball related topic or could used to discuss which honor Vitale has recently received for being so damn awesome.

Lucas (Quincy, IL)

Dick, who do you think is the key to Kentucky's season? Also, UK was 10-6 in the SEC last season. Do you think they will improve on that record this year? Will you be in Rupp tonight?

Three questions? Good luck with that.

DV: Very simple, the key is Marquie Teague.

This must be Jeff and Marquis Teague's less "street" and less talented brother, Marquie, that is the key to Kentucky's season. I'm guessing he is a walk-on.

It is one of my favorite places to go to, you feel college basketball when you walk into the arena.

Don't fall for that "feeling college basketball" thing. I went to basketball game in junior high and an older, trustworthy-looking gentleman invited into a dark, private room to feel college basketball. I never felt college basketball, but he did get arrested.

I think Kentucky could improve on last year's SEC record though the league is very good.

"I think Kentucky will do better than 10-6 in the SEC, but of course they also may not do as well as last year, but aren't you glad you asked me since I am supposed to be an expert? Want to hear a lengthy monologue on a topic that has nothing to do with your question? You don't? Here goes anyway."

JESalukillini (Decatur, IL)

So does the Illini looking like that they maybe a suprise this year? Is Sam the Man at point?

Oh sweet Jesus, this question just made every English teacher in America and the world cry tears of sadness.

DV: This is an important season for Bruce Weber and the Illini has been playing pretty well. That was a good win on the road against Maryland.

Great answer if the question were, "Is this an important season for Bruce Weber and how well have the Illini been playing this year?" Otherwise, I am booing right now. I wish I could answer these questions for Dick Vitale. I would answer that Illinois could surprise this year, but they have to rebound and shoot the ball better. Brandon Paul needs to cut down on his turnovers and shoot the ball better, but once he starts doing this Illinois could win a game or two in the NCAA Tournament. Not shooting the ball well and not rebounding well isn't a good combination though.

The middle of the Big Ten is going to be very tight. Ohio State is still the team to beat clearly.

Mostly because they have all three areas covered. It doesn't really matter if Ohio State is the team to beat, this person was asking how Illinois will do this year.

BoB (Neverland)

Better freshman at the moment: Bradley Beal or Austin Rivers?

DV: Wow, that's a tough one. I like both of them a lot.

BUT YOU ONLY CAN CHOOSE ONE! Rivers or Beal? It's an opinion-based question. Choose one. Go!

Florida has such athletic guards.

Irrelevant. Rivers or Beal.

Rivers has to cut down on turnovers a bit but he is so special as well.

You didn't say the Florida guards were special, you said they were athletic. There's a difference and not need to include "as well" at the end of this sentence.

Spoiler alert: That's it. That's our answer. Dick moves on to the next question. Glad he's here to chat and not answer questions. (Bengoodfella looks down at index card in his hand like he is a game show host) The correct answer was Bradley Beal. Bradley Beal is what we were looking for as the better freshman at the moment.

I am excited to see the battle of Goliaths between North Carolina and Kentucky on Saturday. Until someone wins at Rupp, I give the slightest of edges to the Cats.

I like Vitale phrased this sentence. So until someone wins the game, Vitale gives the slightest of edges to Kentucky. After someone wins the game, who knows which team Vitale will believe has the edge? Maybe Kentucky, maybe UNC. It's too soon to tell.

On to the next chat.

I am excited to work with Mike Patrick as we are re-united for the first time in three years, it should be a lot of fun.

It should be a lot of fun as long as you aren't watching or listening to these two broadcast a Duke game on ESPN. Let's just say both broadcasters sort of like Coach K and are overly complimentary of Duke. To the point I am making, I tend to spend most of a broadcast mocking Mike Patrick's constant praise of Duke by using sexual inthewindows (No lie. I edited a third year education major's paper in college and it had that phrase spelled exactly that way in the paper, just with spaces between words. The person who wrote that phrase is now a principal. Public schools everyone!) about what Patrick may or may not be doing with any free hand he may have in the broadcast booth during the game. I believe Mike Patrick gets very excited while watching Duke.

I would guess Mike Patrick's children are named Trajan Taymon Patrick, Battier Wojciechowski Patrick and J.J. Laettner Patrick. The newest edition to the family is Nolan Singler Patrick. Patrick done loves himself some Duke. So the long form answer is I am usually not excited to see Vitale and Patrick together. One of them I could handle, both of them I struggling dealing with.

Paul (Orlando)

Dick what is your scoop and opinion on the talent of Dion Waiters?

DV: Waiters, I just put up a tweet.

Interesting response and I have three ways I think this bizarre response could have occurred:

1. Vitale thinks this is Dion Waiters asking the question. No Dick, this isn't Dion Waiters asking the question. The question is being asked about Dion Waters.

2. Vitale is ordering food at a restaurant while doing the chat and wanted to tell the waiter he just put up a Tweet, but accidentally wrote this in a response to a chat question about Dion Waiters.

3. Vitale would prefer Paul from Orlando wait for his question about Dion Waiters to be answered while Vitale finishes a Tweet.

Ray Stinger Jr (Pittsburgh)

Dickie V!!!!! What in the name of Paul Evans is going on with Pitt?

DV: Obviously the transfer of Birch did not help. They have not gotten the same execution on offense that they have in the past. It is a mystery to many involved.

I'm certainly glad there isn't anyone who gets paid to analyze and explain these types of mysteries. Why doesn't ESPN hire someone full time to do this? This person could also analyze college basketball games on television and do weekly chats.

Dusty (St. Louis)

Thomas Robinson played 19 min last night and had 19 pts and 12 reb. He has to be the leader for POY right?

DV: If you go to my website he was my choice of Midseason POY.

Why the hell are you asking Dick Vitale a question he has answered on his website? He isn't chatting with you to answer your questions, but to explain to you how excited he is to be chatting with you, broadcasting games and publicizing his Twitter, Facebook, or website. Damn you Dusty from St. Louis and your insistence on asking questions about college basketball!

Ben (Chicago)

Should Illinois be more excited about Paul's performance against OSU or Leonard's play vs. Sullinger? What effect do you think this game has on the rest of both teams' seasons?

DV: Excited about both. Paul was brilliant, off the charts, shooting 28 percent from 3 before the game.

Yes, Illini fans should be excited their guard with questionable shot selection, who can also be offensively inefficient, is getting positive reinforcement from a great performance in one game. Paul has played well since this game, so Vitale is actually correct about this part of the answer. I simply feel like Vitale should point about Paul's brilliance in one game needs to result in better shot selection, which it sort of has I think.

Leonard's development has been exciting too. He may get himself into the lottery.

There's nothing wrong with getting into the lottery in case playing in the NBA doesn't work out.

Mitch (Georgia)

Know it's still early, but what do you think of Bama's chances this year for the tournament? If they can get a bit more consistent from beyond the arc, do you think they can make a deep run come March?

DV: The Tide has been a little up and down

Ba-da-boom! Dick Vitale, inadvertent comedian.

Mike (Tampa)

Dick, I like what I am seeing from the UNC lately, they seem to have stepped up their defensive intensity, particularly on the perimeter. However, I am concerned that the 'down' ACC will not provide enough of a battle test for the 'big dance', your thoughts?

This was written on Thursday and on Saturday UNC lost by 33 to Florida State. I'm not saying I enjoyed this, but merely pointing out how this (presumed) UNC fan was worried the ACC wouldn't provide enough of a test and then UNC got their ass kicked on the road.

I also want to thank all of my fans who helped me get over a quarter-million followers on Twitter. As I promised, I will be giving special prizes to my twitter fans.

You will do the rest of your broadcasts with the microphone turned off?

And now for the last chat.

I am looking forward to calling the NC State-North Carolina game tonight...I am also excited because there is a camera crew with me doing a reality show.

"I'm excited to do my job, but I'm also excited because I have found a way to put more of the focus on me. It's all about me, baby!"

That is exciting, baby! Let's get to your questions.

Once that's done, let's get back to the more important issue...which is the camera crew following Vitale around doing a reality show. I'm guessing this reality show would feature Dick Vitale screaming at different people or inanimate objects during the day and would be marketed towards those people who had lost most or all of their hearing.

Greg (Syracuse)

Games seem to be getting longer and longer and I believe the NCAA needs to make some rule adjustments. Several I can think of that would be easy. 1) Team that calls TO before getting the ball across mid court does not get another 10secs.

The NCAA may not make these changes but they should offer free English lessons to anyone in the Syracuse area who may need them.

2) Teams ahead by 15 points with less than two minutes get the option of taking ball out of bounce instead of shooting.

So they have the option of deflating the ball and taking the bounce out of the ball? I'm not sure this seems very fair.

DV: I would like to see them widen the lane and get big guys away from the basket. Adopt the NBA rule with a minutes left, I think those would be positives.

It seems Greg from Syracuse got Vitale to answer his question. Perhaps the key is to write in semi-mangled English and then Vitale can understand exactly what you are asking.

JW (Knoxville)

Do you think the Pack is finally back notwithstanding tonight's game in Chapel Hill (probably a loss)?

DV: You cannot assumer that is a loss tonight, you cannot tell that to the kids.

You can't assumer that JW from Knoxville. So don't go in the Pack locker room and tell them they are going to lose. I know you were going to do that, JW. Don't tell that to the kids! Those Pack kids have a chance to beat UNC at home, dammit!

(They didn't have a chance. NC State got their ass kicked)

He learned a lot on the UCLA staff with Jim Harrick

Gottfried learned how to file false expense reports, have a relative give athletes a grade for a class they never attended, commit academic fraud and then tell his players to lie to the NCAA?

Rob (Chicago)

Marquette is currently tied for 2nd in the BE with Gtown. Their two losses in conference were on the road to Gtown and Cuse, but have won 5 in a row since. Do you think they have what it takes to hang onto a second place finish and maybe challenge for regular season BEast title?

DV: Marquette is a dangerous basketball team, very tough mentally with some experienced players like Johnson-Odom and Crowder.

Why does Dick Vitale answer these questions like he's reading from a script? Does he want to avoid saying Marquette can't get a second place finish and challenge for the regular season Big East title? He is being asked a question. Answer it. Yet, he doesn't. Any further thoughts, Dickie V?

I like the job Buzz Williams has done.

But he doesn't like the job Buzz Williams has done enough to give an opinion on how well Marquette will do in the Big East.

Jimmy (Winston-Salem, NC)

The ACC is known for its basketball. The Big four (Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, and NC State) were once automatic contenders every year.

How sweet. Jimmy from Winston Salem thinks Wake Forest is part of "The Big Four." This is a pet peeve of mine. Let me be a snob for a minute. Maybe for a brief period in the 90's there was a "Big Four" which included Wake Forest, but overall I'm not sure I throw Wake Forest in that discussion. "Big Four" indicates these are four powerful teams who are actual national contenders and Wake Forest has really only been that when Tim Duncan played there. I'm not sure any national observer would consider Wake Forest to a part of a "Big Four" in the ACC. If anything, I think Maryland would be a part of any "Big Four" in the ACC. Seeing as they have continued excellence in the 80's, 90's and 2000's.

So Wake Forest isn't an automatic contender every year, nor were they ever except for two years in the 1990's. They have five Sweet Sixteen appearances since 1984, two Elite Eight apperances and won the conference tournament twice since 1962, and were regular season champion twice since 1995. That's just not the sign of a team that is an automatic contender every year, at least on a national level. It would help Wake Forest turn it around if they quit firing their successful coaches and hiring friends of the Athletic Director to coach the program.

Will we see this kind of dominance in the ACC again? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ACC DICK!?

We will never see the imaginary dominance NC State and Wake Forest have had in the ACC over the last 20 years (mostly for Wake Forest). Probably because it never happened. I'm not trying to be mean, but while NC State is the college with a huge inferiority complex, Wake Forest is the school that seems to believe it belongs with the big boys of the ACC and I just don't know if it is true as they seem to think it is. They are a good program, but not in the upper echelon, at least in my mind. Maybe I know too many UNC fans who are snobbish like me and just happen to agree with me on this.

DV: Talent level is not what it has been in the past but they have teams to think about up top with Carolina and Duke.

The ACC has one quality national contender in the conference. UNC. Whoop-de-doo. Let's not put Duke or any other team in the ACC up there as a national contender, Dick.

Virgnia and Fliorida State are very good, recruiting is going to go up and the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh will help. It often goes in cycles.

The correct answer is the last sentence. The ACC had some average coaches recently and it hurt the conference. The ACC has many, many new coaches so hopefully these coaches will start to build up their respective programs and the conference will be strong again. If not, who cares? There are a lot of good conferences and college basketball is still fun to watch.

Nils (Frankfurt, Germany)

Hi Dicky V! Please answer! I have never gotten to ask you a question before... What are the chances that my Gophers will make the NCAA tournament? Also what are the chances Mbakwe comes back next year? Thank you!

DV: Minnesota is a potential bubble team. Right now they are close but they need to win some more games

Wait, so Minnesota has to win more games to make the NCAA Tournament?

Connor (Connecticut)

How do UConn's chances look? They cant seem to get over the loss of Kemba

DV: Kemba Walker was a rare and special player, he carried them to a national title.

Yes, he did Mr. Robot Dick Vitale.

The absence of Boatwright is a major blow for them and the team really misses him. I think Jim Calhoun has been disappointed with the team's lack of chemistry.

So...UConn...How do their chances look again? Any answer for that? Nothing? Great. I'm just glad you don't get paid to give answers to questions about college basketball.

Ian (Indiana )

What happened to Kansas?

Is that you, Dorothy?

DV: Tyshawn Taylor has been playing well as I have said, the Big 12 goes through Lawrence...go ask Baylor about that.

(Bengoodfella goes to ask Baylor about this. Scott Drew hands me a suitcase full of cash as I leave and offers to hire my AAU coach if I play basketball for them. I explain I'm not a recruit and then he takes away the suitcase and an Escalade parked out front with a bow on it pulls away.)

I'm just kidding. Scott Drew doesn't pay his players or give them illegal benefits. He is just a reall, really good recruiter.

Scott (Georgia)

Which mid major do you think has a better chance of making it to the Elite Eight or even Final Four, Murray State or Creighton?

DV: After seeing what Butler did the past two years, I think there will be a lot of attention paid to the likes of Creighton, Wichita State and murray State.

Doug McDermott is one of the best players in America and Creighton can be heard from. If you consider San Diego State and UNLV as mid-majors, they will be up there too.

So.........................................Murray State or Creighton. Which of those two teams, not the three other teams you mentioned, have a chance to make it to the Elite Eight or even Final Four? Nothing? No answer? Great.

Samuel Ginaven (Iowa)

Who is the better player? Royce White from Iowa State or Draymond Green from Michigan State?

DV: Both players are contenders for All-Big 10. Both are very important to their teams. Hard to say. Green is so versatile.

We never get an answer, naturally. Though someone writes in to Vitale during the chat and corrects him about the conference Royce White plays in and Vitale then manages to spew more non-sensical crap that doesn't really count as in any form of an answer because it is clear Vitale may not have heard of Royce White.

I meant to say both are valuable in their respective leagues and should be on their all-conference teams. Both are vital to their squads.

Yeah, we get it. Both players are valuable to their league, their squad, their church and humanity in general. Which is the better player? We will never know. But we do know both players are important to their team. I feel educated.

I am excited about the ACC showdown tonight in Chapel Hill.

Just don't tell the NC State kids they don't have a chance at winning!

(Turns out NC State didn't have a chance at winning)

I have also had a lot of fun with a group given full access the last few days and following me around for this reality show.

"Everyone remember I have a reality show following me around. Me, me, me, me, it's all about me baby!"

We walked on the bach this morning,

Later you ran through a field of Mozarts?

It is a lot of fun for me.

Clearly more fun than answering questions in a straightforward manner about college basketball.