(still the only Doyle that matters)

Presumably, CBS Sportsline’s Gregg Doyel isn’t quite finished with controversial editorials entitled “Child Abuse : I’m Not Having It” and “Abolish Slavery Now”, instead concentrating on one dubbed “Vitale In Hoops Hall of Fame : Over My Dead Body”. Like such a thing couldn’t be arranged!

I’d call him a sycophant, but the dictionary defines sycophant as “a servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.” Dick Vitale isn’t trying to flatter coaches; he’s titillating them through the television set. It’s gross.

When he’s working a game, I mute the volume. Whatever thrill comes from watching Duke play North Carolina or Kansas play Texas is tainted by the idiot in the booth who sees Kevin Durant drain a 3-pointer and tries to tell me the shot proves Rick Barnes’ genius.

Witness that recent incident from a Florida restaurant, where he told a fellow diner some damaging remarks UF coach Billy Donovan had made to Vitale “in confidence.” As if that weren’t enough, Vitale didn’t realize his cell phone was on, that he was talking to a live radio audience in Knoxville, Tenn. Truth is, that was most insightful thing Vitale has said in years. If it was anyone but Vitale, I’d have felt bad for the guy. Because it was Vitale, I just felt like laughing.

If I sound resentful, well, you’re damn right. I resent the fact that I can’t watch marquee games on ESPN without having to endure his inanity or mute the sound. Those are the only options. Close-captioning doesn’t work, because a transcript of the disjointed nonsense coming from Vitale’s mouth might cause blindness.

Dick Vitale? In the Hall of Fame? This is a cause worth fighting. The Hall is sacred and mystical, like an ancient redwood. When one of those gets threatened, some guy comes along and chains himself to the tree.

Today, I’m that guy. The Hall of Fame is that tree. Dick Vitale is the chainsaw. Only harder on my ears.

I’ve visited the Basketball Hall Of Fame in Springfield, MA, before and after the museum’s expansion, and the only thing sacred and mystical about the place is the precise method behind the production of a Fribble at the Friendly’s down the street. Not that I’d deny Doyle any opportunity to declare publicly that Dickie V. Sux Donkey Dick, but that’s about as big a newsflash as announcing Sportsline makes browsers crash.