- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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Yes, my friends, there is more to life than basketball. I had a great time visiting England. I saw the Tower of London, got to visit Buckingham Palace (but the Queen was not there. I thought she was a hoops fan!).
The highlight was attending Wimbledon for several days. It was a thrill to see Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and the Bryan Twins in action. I also watched the biggest upset over the last few years when Lukas Rosol stunned Rafael Nadal. At least Rafa got to see Spain win the Euro tournament in person.
It was a thrill to meet lots of fans there. Yes, people come from all over the world to see Wimbledon, and there are fans of all sports, including college basketball. That added to my pleasure there.
I had a great opportunity to see a number of people that I worked with earlier in my basketball career, like Bob Feller. It was truly amazing to see how much work goes into covering the event. When I visited the Broadcast Center there, I was astonished.
ESPN had around 200 people covering the event. That showed me how far the network has come over 34 years. I remember when I first started there, and Bristol had a few buildings and trailers. Now, you cannot go anywhere without sports fans knowing about the worldwide leader.
To cover an event of this stature, all I can say is WOW! Jamie Reynolds and his team did a phenomenal job. We have an incredible line-up of talent in England, with hosts like Chris Fowler, Hannah Storm and Mike Tirico. Analysts like Chris Evert, Mary Joe Fernandez, Pam Shriver, Patrick McEnroe, Brad Gilbert, Cliff Drysdale and Darren Cahill have a love and passion for the sport of tennis. I spoke to McEnroe about the NBA draft and he knows this stuff! It is an impressive roster.
I also got to meet the people involved with ESPN hospitality at Wimbledon. Moira Davis and Melissa Seitz did an incredible job there.
I am so proud of my association with ESPN. I remember 34 years ago, and to see where it has come to is simply awesome with a capital A! The people have worked so hard to make it so special. ESPN is the worldwide leader in sports and an event like Wimbledon proves it.
I may not be Richard Deitsch, Phil Mushnick or Bob Raissman, but right now, I want to play TV critic. ESPN means so much to sports fans everywhere, and tennis fans had to embrace the coverage of this event. It was so special, and I will tell fans that love the sport, they need to go to England and catch a glimpse of this special sporting spectacle.
Enjoying this trip with my family made it even more special. I will have memories of this for the rest of my life. I am a lucky man!
1dEthan Sherwood Strauss