To the dismay of many fans of the game, for the first time since 1979, Dick Vitale will not be calling one of the greatest rivalries in sports when the Blue Devils take on the Tar Heels tomorrow night in Durham.
When asked how he felt about the change Vitale’s disappointment was evident.
“I told them that I cannot lie when a writer asks me what’s my feeling not doing the game,” he said. “I said I have to be honest. And my honest reply to you is, obviously, I’m a loyal, team player. I will go where my bosses tell me to go.
“But in my heart I will absolutely miss being a part of North Carolina-Duke.”
“It’s been a special part of my basketball and my announcing career,” Vitale said. “And I will never forget the magical moments that I’ve had, being able to be part of such an incredible rivalry.”
Vitale has been a staple at this game for over 35 years, but this should come as no surprise given ESPN announced in October of last year that Jay Bilas would replace him on ESPN’s prime-time games.
I’m sure the combo of Bilas and Dan Shulman will do a wonderful job, but I must admit I will miss the excitement and enthusiasm Dickie V always brings to the game. There’s no doubt he’s “He’s Awesome baby, with a capital A!”