Let's Call it March "Dipsy-Doo Dunkeroo" - The Missourian: Columns

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Let's Call it March "Dipsy-Doo Dunkeroo"

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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 6:32 pm

We didn’t coin “Dipsy-Doo Dunkeroo.” The credit goes to none other than Dickie V, or more correctly Dick Vitale, the always excited, always energetic, always talking faster than Carl Edwards’ racing car college basketball announcer.

This is Vitale Month, which is called March Madness by most people, because this is when college basketball season comes to a boiling point. The time when the NCAA champion is crowned. College basketball has become a billion-dollar-plus business, chiefy through television.

Vitale really is a cheerleader for the sport. He’s overkill personified. To some he’s annoying. To others, he’s the four-point basket that is just right for the excitement that is the game because of the three-point shot.

We are not among the inner circle of distant fans of Vitale. His worshipers like the added excitement he brings to the games (does the game need more excitement?).

Vitale, 73, is an accident that happened and he’s reaping the benefits. Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal wrote an excellent story about Vitale that was in this past weekend edition. He pried open inner thoughts of the V man.

or instance, his comment on paying college basketball players: “My feeling is with the millions that are being made by the schools and the billions for television rights, I definitely think the kids should get paid something — a couple of hundreds bucks a month at least. I mean the money they are bringing in — are you kidding me? I’ll tell you, if someone is going to sell a jersey with my name on the back of it, I want to get paid.”

The cynics say some players already are being paid something. They might add that college basketball is a ticket to the pros and millions of dollars. We oppose paying them because it would put on the court all kinds of potential violations of the rules and policing it would be impossible. If you paid college basketball players, what about participants in other college sports?

Vitale has never worked the final four games. This month that will change. He will do a semifinal game and the national championship game in Atlanta. His high-octane motor mouth will be heard worldwide.

or a guy who started out as a sixth-grade basketball coach, then coached a high school team to two state titles, went on to college coaching at Rutgers and the University of Detroit and even coached the Detroit Pistons, where he was fired in his second season there, he’s done good. ESPN hired him at $350 a game many years ago. As ESPN expanded, and became popular, so did Dickie V, according to the Journal story.

We wouldn’t say that Vitale is as exciting as a three-point winning shot at the buzzer, but he can be as colorful as a rainbow that has hoops at both ends.

/opinion/columns