ESPN
ESPN

May 31st, 2016

It is going to an unbelievable series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors for the NBA Championship. Last year when the Cavs played the Warriors they played without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving but now they have a healthy cast and those guys will really help Lebron James, and bring unbelievable honors to the city. Cleveland has not had a championship in over 5 decades. My gut tells me they are going to find somehow, some way, to stop the outstanding Warriors lead by scoring machine Stephen Curry. Yes, I firmly feel the Cavaliers will win this series in 7 tough games.
Continue reading

May 18th, 2016

The Philadelphia 76ers did not win many games during the 2015-16 season, but they did win the draft lottery.

Form held true and the Sixers got the top pick, followed by the Lakers and Celtics. It will be interesting to see if LSU's Ben Simmons goes number one, or if Duke's Brandon Ingram earns that honor. I am sure the Lakers would be happy to have either one.

It will get very interesting with Boston's pick at number three. The draft has good talent coming into the league, so it should be fun to watch the next wave of impact players.
Continue reading

May 16th, 2016

Friday night in Sarasota, Florida was very special. The Ritz-Carlton was the sports capital of the world. The 11th annual Dickie V gala raised over $2.5 million for pediatric cancer research.

Our honorees, Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and former Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan all have passionate speeches about how cancer has affected their lives. Roberts is a cancer survivor who publicly detailed her fight against the dreaded disease.

Everywhere you turned, there were stars from the world of sports, of television, or media. I cannot thank everyone enough.

Jim Harbaugh, Nik Wallenda, Jon Gruden, Nick Bollettieri, Brian Roberts. College basketball was well represented with numerous coaches, including Kentucky's John Calipari, Mike Brey of Notre Dame, Steve Alford of UCLA, Sean Miller of Arizona, Frank Martin of South Carolina, West Virginia's Bob Huggins, Bruce Pearl of Auburn, Leonard Hamilton of Florida State, Orlando Antigua of South Florida, and Dave Pilipovich of Air Force.

It was an evening filled with passion and emotion. We gave two $200,000 grants for cancer research in honor of the late Julia Mount, a multi-talented youngster who recently lost her battle with cancer, and Chad Carr. Former Michigan football coach lloyd Carr spoke on behalf of the family.

For those who wonder if cancer research can make a difference, we presented our All-Courageous team, 10 children who have survived and resumed more normal activities. These youngsters are so special and have been through so much.

Cancer has affected so many. It affects the kids and the families. That is why I am so passionate in this fight. I have seen so many people hurt in this battle. I have also seen the positives. We must continue to raise money for research to discover more breakthroughs.

My friends, it was total teamwork raising those kind of dollars. I cannot thank the sponsors enough. I cannot thank Mary Kenealy, Janet Allen and their team that helps run the event. Then there are the celebrities, who pay their own way to the Ritz-Carlton for a special evening.

Jimmy V said, "don't give up, don't ever give up." I will fight until my last breath to help these children. You can help in the fight against cancer too. Call 1-800-4-JIMMYV. Donate and help us win this war.


Continue reading

April 29th, 2016

I want to say a thank you to all the contributors and volunteers who made the 2nd Annual Dick Vitale Telethon a major success. We raised over $131,000 for pediatric cancer that will go towards the V Foundation for cancer research.

Huge thanks to Phil Lombardo and Ray Cole of SNN TV enough for making this event happen. They did a fantastic job! Also a big thanks to the SNN staff for their contributions.

It was a super event that was really well planned and well done!

I can`t thank Mary Kenealy of Mary Kenealy events and her team enough. They did a fabulous job of making sure this event went off without a hitch and that something positive was happening each hour.

Thank you to every single contributor, whether $10 or $10K. Thank you to Buster Posey, former All American of Florida State, and now a super star of the San Francisco Giants, who called from New York and made a major contribution!

Thank you to all, as it was another move in a positive direction to helping children battling cancer.


Continue reading

April 29th, 2016

The first round of the NFL draft had its share of interesting moments.

QBs went 1-2 as Jared Goff of California went to the Rams while Carson Wentz landed with the Eagles. Joey Bosa went third to the Chargers, who needed a pass rusher. Ezekiel Elliott went to Dallas fourth.

Leremy Tunsil, the OL from Mississippi who was supposed to be a top10 pick, fell to 13th to the Dolphins. Ohio State had five players go in round one. Alabama saw a number of highly-regarded prospects slip through the first round, with Ryan Kelly going 18th.

It will take time to evaluate how teams did in the first round. It is still fun to speculate right now.
Continue reading

April 26th, 2016

The Cleveland Cavaliers had to work hard to eliminate the Detroit Pistons. It was a sweep, but three of the four games were competitive.

LeBron James had some help in the series. Kyrie Irving showed flashes of brilliance. Kevin Love had positive moments, especially in game one.

The Cavs are the favorites in the East. I don't see anyone in the conference beating them. The Pistons were tough, and Stan Van Gundy's team will learn from this series.
Continue reading

April 8th, 2016

I was absolutely thrilled as I was honored by the New Jersey Hall of Fame and inducted on April 7th at the Paramount Theater located at Convention Hall in Asbury Park. It was an incredible event hosted by Joe Piscopo of Saturday Night Live. He did a fantastic job with a first class program.

I was introduced by my friend John Saunders from ESPN and it was a night I will always treasure. It was filled with tons of memories as my family and friends gathered for this special vacation.

Thank you to the New Jersey Hall of Fame for allowing me to be a part of such a great class including Derek Jeter of the NY Yankees, Christie Rampone, Captain of the USA Soccer Team,John Stewart of Comedy Central, Cool and the Gang, and a host of other outstanding people.

It was an honor to be inducted into a great group of outstanding people!


Continue reading

April 3rd, 2016

We had two blowouts in the national semifinals here in Houston Saturday.

The first game was stunning as Villanova blew out Oklahoma by 44, 95-51. Who would have believed that, especially since the Sooners had a huge victory over the Wildcats back on December 7 in Hawaii. Saturday's game was the opposite as Villanova used a variety of players to stop Buddy Hield, who had just nine points. Josh Hart was brilliant for the "cats wit 23 big points. Oklahoma made a second-half surge and cut the margin to 46-37 when Hart made a big basket and drew a foul. That game the Wildcats the momentum again and it was off to the races.

North Carolina took care of business, beating Syracuse in the other semifinal. Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meekks were too much inside for the Orange,. Carolina also dominated on the glass and Syracuse struggled on the foul line.

We should have a great game in the finals Monday night.
Continue reading

April 2nd, 2016

I have had a great time here at the Final Four in Houston.

Last night, I enjoyed two speaking engagements, representing UPS and Allstate. The latter one also included Texas coach Shaka Smart and we talked about today's two national semifinals. He had a great point in discussing Buddy Hield. He described him as a volcano, capable of erupting at any time.

I love representing two outstanding companies, UPS and Allstate. The March Mayhem bracket challenge comes down to today. If Oklahoma beats Villanova, Buzz Aldrin and I will be tied.

 

Continue reading

March 28th, 2016

The Final Four is set and Houston has four squads with great experience. Each has a solid coach who has been to the Final Four before.

Jay Wright vs. Lon Kruger and Jim Boeheim vs. Roy Williams. There is so much talent on the court. Buddy Hield. Brice Johnson. Ryan Arcidiacono, Malachi Richardson.

I cannot wait to get to Houston. I will be calling a semifinal and the championship game for ESPN International with Sean McDonough.

My pick to cut down the nets: North Carolina over Oklahoma.
Continue reading

March 15th, 2016

I had a great time on Tuesday in Houston, the city that will host the Final Four in a few weeks.

I went up against an American legend, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, in the Allstate March Mayhem Challenge. In past years, they put me up against dolphins, a longhorn and even a groundhog.

My friends, this year's competition will be tough. Buzz Aldrin is a smart man, and he made some great picks. Everybody loves the brackets, baby! You can follow and see who wins by following #MarchMayhem on twitter.com
Continue reading

March 14th, 2016

March Madness is here. I know schools like Monmouth and St. Mary's were disappointed. Congrats to the 68 teams in the dance.

I had a great time in Nashville calling the SEC title game. Kentucky and Big Blue Nation celebrated a win over a game Texas A&M team.

The stars were shining as Tyler Ulis and Danuel House put on a show.

It was a great regular season, but the best is yet to come.

Continue reading

March 7th, 2016

Peyton Manning went out as a winner on Monday, announcing his retirement.

He has been plagued by injuries in recent years. He missed a lot of action this season, but came back to help the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl.

Manning has always been a workaholic who studies and prepares hard. He has been a hero to many, both on and off the field, doing a lot of charity work to help others, while serving as a great teammate.

Next stop for him is Canton, baby!
Continue reading

March 4th 2016

I love this time of year. March Madness is under way. So is Spring Training.

I am lucky to live in Florida. The Orioles are down the road, as are the Pirates. The Rays are in Port Charlotte. It is great to see young players battling for playing time, future stars getting their first taste of the majors.

I am a huge baseball fan. I have season tickets to the Rays. Soon they will be saying Play Ball for real, baby!
Continue reading

February 29th, 2016

We are only a few weeks away from Selection Sunday. It has been a wild college hoop season, and there are plenty of bubble teams and others battling for seeding in Championship Week.

The ACC and SEC are two conferences still very much up for grabs. Kentucky has not even locked up the double-bye in the SEC tournament.

This week we will see a number of teams secure bids into the big dance. You will see lots of celebration for the little guys. Enjoy it!
Continue reading

February 22nd, 2016

I had a great time with the American Frozen Food Institute. I was the keynote speaker at the beautiful Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel in San Diego. I enjoyed going to Dinner with President, Joe clayton, and several board members. It is a tremendous organization and they are so well organzied. I was honored to be their speaker this weekend.
Continue reading

February 21st, 2016

It was another wacky weekend of college basketball.

Eight of the top 25 teams in the AP poll lost. It just shows how much parity exists in college hoops, baby!

You can expect great races in several conferences over the next few weeks, leading up to Championship Week. Selection Sunday will be special, and the big dance will be wild.
Continue reading

February 15th, 2016

Saturday was a great example of why this has been a special college basketball season.

Duke edged Virginia at the buzzer on Grayson Allen's driving shot. Kansas showed why the Big 12 race goes through Lawrence, beating Oklahoma. Wisconsin scored a stunning upset at Maryland. Notre Dame got past Louisville in another thriller. Kentucky showed that it is peaking at a good time, blowing out South Carolina.

It has been a season of unpredictability, so why not see Alabama win at Florida and Texas Tech win at Baylor.

There have been so many great moments and the best is still ahead with Selection Sunday less than a month away.
Continue reading

February 9th, 2016

We had our annual Stars & Cars event to raise money for the V Foundation and pediatric cancer research at Mercedes Benz of Sarasota on Clark Road. The General Manger, Ernie Withers, was so kind and generous and helped us raise dollars.

The event was outstanding as Mary Kenealy and her team did a fantastic job of putting on the show. It was terrific!

We had with us Ryan Hunter-Reay and the car he used to win the Indy 500 in 2014. Also joined with us were celebrities Nic Wallenda, Marcus Liberty ex NBA Player, Jared Ward former Michigan star and NBA player, Tom Niedenfuer who pitched for the Dodgers in the mid 80s and his wife Judy Landers a tv star, Former Boston Redsox star Rico Petrocelli, and Willy Clark who played football at Notre Dame and also 7 years in the NFL.

The night had many local business people join us. It was a great night of networking and sharing insights about helping kids battling cancer.

We were happy to have cancer survivors Erin Kisielewski, Jake Taraska, Kyle Peters, and Cole Eicher join us for this event.


Continue reading

February 8th, 2016

The Denver Broncos are the NFL champions and Peyton Manning was able to celebrate.

My friends, it was the defense that put on a show. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware were outstanding as the pass rush applied a lot of pressure to Cam Newton.

Carolina made too any mistakes in defeat. Newton still was league MVP and had a great season, but Denver got to hold up the trophy as champions.
Continue reading

Quote of the Week

“Brooks Koepka handled the pressure in winning back-to-back U. S. Open championships.”

 -Dick Vitale