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Thursday, February 07, 2021

diaphragm-dandyA bit of news that originated in the Sunshine State, even though it has national impact: The recovery of Dick Vitale from potentially career-ending vocal chord surgery, and his return to his usual ESPN-hosted bombastity.

It’s indicative of how much my sports-television viewing patterns have shifted that I honestly wasn’t aware that Dickie V was off the air. With NHL games long gone and SportsCenter having morphed into more of an endorsement platform than a news service, I’ve had scant reason to tune into ESPN, other than a weekly limited dose of “Sunday NFL Countdown” during football season. On top of that, I’m not a college hoops fan anyway, so I’d rarely seen Vitale in action; but his stature as a network personality pretty much transcends his specific beat.

But anyway, he’s back, after an extended recovery period in his home base of Sarasota. That residency is enough reason for me to yank out this accompanying image of a long-ago Florida Trend cover, from when Vitale headlined a feature piece on the most influential Floridians.

I’m sure the link to that article rotted away long ago, and I’m not going to fish for it now. But I will recount the Dickie V photo-shoot experience, as related to me when I was at the magazine:

The Art Director told me he was a lot of fun to shoot. The goal was to get Vitale to keep up the animated look for the camera. When he would start to flag, the Director would do a terrible Dickie V impersonation, saying “INFLUENCE, BABY!”, and that would recharge Vitale for another several minutes.

I was hoping to get a nice Floridian recharge myself over the next few days, somewhat in parallel with Vitale’s. But I had to cancel at the last minute. At least I won’t run the risk of some baldheaded ex-coach yelling in my face, with the need for a V-Speak Glossary to translate what a “PTPer” is.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 02/07/2021 09:22 AM
Category: Florida Livin', Sports, TV
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