Dick Vitale Won’t Call UNC-Duke
For the first time in 36 years, Dick Vitale won’t be on the call when the Tar Heels head to Cameron Indoor to take on the Duke Blue Devils.
Sports Illustrated reports that Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas, Vitale’s normal broadcasting partners, will have the call.
Vitale himself confirmed the news this past Thursday on Twitter in an exchange with Jeremy Schilling:
@jschil Yes 35 straight years / it was fun / I will miss it but ESPN has been great to me /No Hall of Fame w/o ESPN
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) February 13, 2015
To put this in perspective, the last time that Vitale missed a UNC-Duke game, Mike Krzyzewski was still the basketball coach at Army, Jimmy Carter was President, and Michael Jordan was still in high school. So, to say the least, it’s been a while.
While many college basketball fans have been critical of Vitale’s broadcasting style in the past (as well as his perceived favoritism towards the Blue Devils), it’s still somewhat disappointing that he won’t be on call. For better or for worse, Vitale has ingrained himself into the rivalry for over three decades and it’s sad to see him miss this game. The man truly loves the sport and has been a fan of both teams throughout the years so his presence will undoubtedly be missed on Wednesday.
Here’s hoping he’s able to make it back to Chapel Hill and call the game on March 7th when Duke comes to play in the Dean E. Smith Center.
Report via Sports Illustrated. Tweet via @DickieV. Image via WRALSportsFan.com