SI Vault
Edited by Richard Demak
February 10, 1992
The Mouth That Bored
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February 10, 1992

Norman Chad

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The Mouth That Bored

In the ongoing case of Dick Vitale v. The American Sporting Public, the 52-year-old analyst/antagonist is winning big. He is on network TV. He is on cable TV. He is on home video. He is on radio. He is a frequent public speaker. He writes for newspapers. He writes for magazines. He even writes books.

In every instance, unfortunately, he talks in a language all his own.

Now in his 13th season on ESPN and sixth on ABC college basketball telecasts, Vitale is a one-man avalanche of viewer aggravation. College hoops remains the most overanalyzed game on television: There's so much that doesn't need to be said, and Vitale manages to say just about all of it. He is the sport's search-and-destroy commentator, a fast-break sideshow that often upstages the main event.

His is a high-pitched, piercing voice with no sense of dimension, an endless shrill of hype and hysteria. He's the car-alarm siren that can't be stopped. He's the Lhasa apso barking at your feet. He's the skip in the record that plays over and over. He doesn't observe a game, he obliterates it. He doesn't speak, he shouts. He doesn't soothe, he shatters.

Man, he's loud.

His voice could boil an egg.

Here now, for the first time in print, is an attempt to simulate the sound Vitale makes when all his comments run together toward the end of a game telecast:


Note: Within earshot of certain Vitale telecasts, many dogs start baying.

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