HOLDING COURT by Dick Vitale


Reflections on the Game I Love
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ESPN and ABC's wildly popular and hyperkinetic hoops maven recreates his TV high jinks in this latest roundball manifesto.

Uh-oh, baby! It's Dickie-Vee back with more slam-bam-jam, dipsy-do, dunkaroo hardwood action! Indeed, few in the TV sports game command as much (self-devised) attention as former-coach- turned-college-basketball-guru Vitale, best known for his unique patois and manic delivery (to Vitale, skilled players who can "draw, drive, and dish the rock'' are "3-D men''). Vitale's well- known enthusiasm translates well to the printed page (with the help of New York Daily News sportswriter Weiss). But without a basketball game to break up the frenetic pace, even Vitale can become monotonous. Throughout, with chapters bearing such titles as "Diaper Dandies and other PTPers'' (which, loosely translated into English, means promising freshmen and established superstars), Vitale serves up little more than page after page of his television patter. Still, he rises on occasion to capably tackle the heavyweight issues: racism in sports and the relative lack of opportunities available to black coaches ("In short, the black coaches were tired of being thought of as merely recruiters''); the changing landscape of college basketball conferences as teams scramble for bigger television paydays--and the pressure placed on coaches and players to win at all costs in order to ensure a steady diet of these windfalls. Curiously, the author's (and his colleagues') role in crating these predicaments, through their tireless promoting of amateur games as big-money spectacles, is one point that consistently eludes the usually perceptive Vitale.

For those who can't get enough of Vitale on TV during college basketball's off season, this book is a slam dunk.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 1-57028-037-1
Page count: 288pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1995


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