January 29, 2009
Announcer Bromance is The Dagger's weekly look at the love showered upon certain basketball teams by certain basketball announcers. The only place to begin, of course, is with Dick Vitale and Duke.
Surprisingly, Dick Vitale was on his best behavior last night in Winston-Salem as his beloved Dukies fell to Wake Forest. Some say he stayed silent after James Johnson hit the game-winning shot with 0.8 seconds left, I say he muted his mic so his sobs would stay private.
Vitale's Duke adoration was perhaps diminished because Coach K's squad was down for nearly the entire the game. Still, even a subdued Vitale can still provide a bevy of quotes in which his demonstrates his unabashed allegiance toward all things Blue Devil. The best five from last night are ranked below:
5) Dick Vitale tells America that Bill Cowher's daughter is dating a Duke basketball receruit -- Cowher was in attendance and when the ESPN cameras showed him sitting in the stands, Vitale took it upon himself to excitedly inform the nation that Cowher's 18-year old daughter is dating a 2009 Duke basketball signee. (I'm pretty sure it's this guy.) With a Duke basketball player and the child of a Super Bowl winning coach in a relationship, Vitale was positively giddy. He immediately announced plans to adopt their first child.
4) "Wake Forest has gone to the line more which is rare. Duke gets to the line so much more often than their opponents because of their driving ability." -- Vitale on the early free throw discrepancy in the game (which was quickly rectified by the officials)
You say "driving ability", I say "because the refs are scared of Coach K and give players wearing DUKE on their chests every close call, particularly on charging and blocking whistles." But hey, the ability to voice differing opinions is what makes this country great.
3) "Everybody tries to keep up with the Cameron Crazies." -- Vitale, when Wake's student section, the Screamin' Deacons, were shown on camera.
Even when not talking about Duke, Vitale manages to find a way to work the school into the conversation. I wonder if after Vitale watches his grandchildren at a piano recital he says, "that was awesome, baby! But not as awesome as Grant Hill in that SPPOOORTTTSSSCENNNTTAAA commercial!"
2) "That look has been why he's so successful." -- Vitale on Mike Krzyzewski after the coach buried his face in his hands following a silly foul committed under the basket by Greg Paulus with Duke down six late in the game.
If disgusted looks beget success, Gary Williams wouldn't be fighting for his job at Maryland.
1) "He's responsible for the win over Georgetown!" -- Vitale on Greg Paulus
Paulus scored 10 points on 3-8 shooting in Duke's victory over the Hoyas. At one point in the second half, the Blue Devils held a 16-point lead. Gerald Henderson scored 23 points, Kyle Singler chipped in with 15 points and 14 boards and the game changed on a technical foul assessed to the Hoyas' Greg Monroe. But, yeah, it was all Paulus.
Later this year, Announcer Bromance will spend an entire evening chronicling all of Dick Vitale's Duke-love. First, we will get a really big bottle of Tums.