Last May ESPN's Dick Vitale hosted his fourth annual
The night spoke to Vitale's passion for raising money for cancer research.
It also spoke to how close Vitale is to the people he covers.
One of the longtime criticisms of Vitale -- and it is a valid one -- is that he is an inveterate butt-smoocher of coaches. Calipari and Pitino are among his favorites. Ten years ago,
With the college basketball season upon us and Vitale back to broadcast some the biggest games featuring the biggest coaches, SI.com asked he and fellow ESPN commentator
"Probably one of the toughest moments I ever had in all my years of broadcasting, I opened the show up [in 1988] with Kentucky against Duke at the Hall of Fame game [the Tip-Off Classic]. I came on that night to open the show about a good friend of mine, a really good friend of mine,
"I have situations where I've second-guessed a coach on the air and I try not to even consider what the coaches' feelings will be about it. There are times in dealing with coaches and players you have a relationship with and dealing with comments you get off the record. That's where you hope your best judgment comes in. I worked with
"One other example: Sometimes when a kid gets suspended or leaves the team for personal reasons, there are times when a coach will confide in us and say, 'Off the record, here is what it is.' There was one where a kid left the team several years ago for severe depression issues. I knew it and I decided not to broadcast this because it was a personal issue for the kid. I don't know whether from a journalistic standpoint I was right or wrong. That's the balancing act you have. Luckily, we are not dealing with state secrets or Pentagon Papers type of stuff where we have to go into court and they'd throw us into jail if we didn't reveal our sources.
"If I criticize Duke when I think it's warranted, I don't particular care whether they like it or not. As long as I am confident in what I say and the judgment I made, I will stick up for what I say. If I am wrong, I will say I'm wrong, and I am wrong on occasion. But because I may know a coach, or played for this guy or I played against this guy, nobody is going to get any favors as a result of relationships when it comes to what we do on the air."
• Fox Sports'
• When NBC Sports sideline reporter
• ESPN announced Monday that
Finally, I asked Williamson if Gruden will be at ESPN in 2011? "In 2011? Yes, he'll be here, he said. "Absolutely." Clip and save.
• In what is likely to be a YouTube favorite in the future,
• "I thought it was awkward firing four questions at [
• "I'm big time, lol! RT @petitiononline: "Fire
• "Thumbs-up to the press box popcorn tonight. It's particularly salty and buttery, much more than normal. That's how i like it."
"I have been around [
When it comes to pay-per-view boxing on HBO, there can be no criticisms like the ones that laid siege to TBS'
The in-ring cameras focused almost exclusively on Cotto's corner in the timeouts between rounds, whereupon the talk of quitting emerged. We saw shots of Cotto's wife,
The fight itself was finally stopped in the 12th. And if you had the requisite $54.99 in discretionary spending -- not to mention a tolerance for blood -- it was hard not to appreciate what you saw and heard.