Sort of like John Madden in that his exuberance can sometimes be distracting to the point that you want to throw a brick through your television. But what separates them from most of their colleagues is that they seldom utter a malicious word about the players or coaches they're covering.
And if you need more confirmation that Vitale is a swell dude, this should do it (via the Tampa Tribune):
The story of a Bradenton teenager's slaying has led a nationally known sportscaster to help pay for her funeral expenses.Thompson was the victim of a random attack following Bayshore's football game Friday night. "I didn't know Jazmine. I just know what I read, and it tears my heart out," Vitale told the Tribune. "There's no way there should be a funeral for that young girl this weekend. She did nothing wrong. She was minding her own business."
ESPN commentator Dick Vitale spoke this morning with Raechelle James, the mother of Jazmine Thompson, the Bayshore High School cheerleader who was fatally shot Friday night.
Vitale said he has made arrangements with the family to help with funeral expenses. James recently lost her job and does not have insurance.
Vitale is also planning to set up a scholarship fund in the names of Thompson and Dejuan Williams, who was shot and killed on Aug. 4.
"It really hits home when this happens in your own community," Vitale said. "It boggles my mind how young people can get hold of guns and something like this happens. One senseless act and so many lives have been affected."