Sept. 16, 2004
Over the years, some writers/journalists have criticized me for hyping ESPN's shows. I plead guilty as charged, and I'm going to hype the network again. Earlier this week, I was reminded why I've loved working for this network for 25 years. ESPN has been like a family to me for a quarter-century.
Why am I so enthused about it? I've been lucky enough to work with people who have such a passion for their work and the world of sports. People like the announcers all the way through the ranks to the people behind the scenes. You don't always see them, but they are so valuable to me.
Guys like Dave Miller, Dan Steir, Howie Schwab, and the list goes on and on. They give their time and energy and mean so much.
One morning earlier this week, I received a phone call from ESPN VP John Wildhack. It was a simple message, thanking me for my 25 years at ESPN and the times I've tried to help the network by promoting it.
ESPN has been the best thing to happen to sports fans everywhere.
It has been my love, and the network has been so good to me. Mr. Wildhack spoke about what he and the people of ESPN felt I've meant to them.
It touched me dearly. That's what ESPN is all about, guys like Wildhack, who started low on the totem pole when he came here out of Syracuse. He worked his way up to become one of the leading executives in the world of programming here.
I think about guys like Mo Davenport, who heads much of our college division. I look back at Fred Gaudelli, who is now one of the big men in sports television, as the man who runs the show at ABC's Monday Night Football. Jay Rothman and Chip Dean are doing a great job on ESPN's Sunday Night Football.
I can go on and on, guys like Mike Soltys and Josh Krulewitz in PR. All the people at ESPN are so valuable.
These people at ESPN have such a love and passion. They make it exciting for me to be part of this team! I have enjoyed every one of my 25 years.
I will continue to yell and scream about this network. ESPN has been the best thing to happen to sports fans everywhere.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.