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Dukie V - Bane Or Boon?

Someone posed an interesting challenge to us via e-mail the other day: what to make of what people think of "Dukie Vitale," aka Dick Vitale, who, even Duke fans must admit, promotes Duke relentessly. What to think?

First, acknowledge Vitale's special status in the game as both a lover and a diplomat. He at times is absolutely willing to say hard truths. Having said that, does he go overboard with Duke? Perhaps.

One has to remember, though, that it's not just Duke. It's The General! Paisan Pitino! Michelangelo!

We can identify with people who get crazy over this, because we used to have exactly the same response to Vitale and Dean Smith. It could get ungodly, too.

For Duke fans, just take it as a a corporate compliment on winning so damn much. And as far as the rest of you go, it could happen to your school, if they start winning enough. Vitale is definitely an ambassador and a hero to basketball at large. His enthusiasm has affected literally millions of people. He is also a guy who jumps on bandwagons and yells to the crowd. There was probably a name for this kind of person in medieval Europe, and the driver of the wagon should probably have kicked him off, but he did sing the praises and so he did get to stay. Same with Vitale, most likely. He has vastly more good quantities than bad. Sometimes even we wish he'd put a sock in it, but on the other hand, it is genuine admiration. So why complain?