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  • Writer's pictureDave Barend

Should Dick Vitale Be President?

"Daddy, you should vote for the M&M guy for President."

Welcome to the mind of a little girl.

As an occasionally decent dad, I decided to play along:

"Do you mean the red one, the green one, the yellow . .?"

"No. The bald one."

"Aren't they all bald? In fact, you might want to avoid any that you find with hair."

"But you always say he's your favorite."

"Who’s he?

“You know, Dickie V – the guy who calls his M&Ms, M&M’ers.”

"Oh. Wait. Listen honey, an M&M'er is . . ."

And with that she departed.

Leaving me wondering whether she thinks there's an actual person named Uncle Mo.

I then began wondering if Dick Vitale could actually be President.

Well, he unquestionably has the energy for the job. I'm nearly certain nobody could ever call him "Sleepy" Dickie.

He's also published numerous books without any allegations of plagiarism. Then again, I don't think anyone else in the world could possibly claim to have written a line such as, "Just your average bald, one-eyed basketball wacko who beat the ziggy and became a PTP'er."

Though he has never claimed to have "all the best words", he just may. Heck, he's even come up with new ones. I defy you to find someone in politics who can do better than "dipsy do dunk-a-roo."

While JFK famously said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country," it's devoid of the memorable alliteration of "super scintillating sensational!"

I know people often use FDR's line: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," yet I prefer Dickie V's take on high anxiety situations: "We've got a Maalox masher!"

Regardless, you have to admit that he is the person most responsible for the pervasive use of the word "Awesome!" I'm sure the elitists out there are asking if that's a good thing. Well, I say absolutely - with a capital A.

Given that he doesn't smoke or drink, there's a pretty good chance he never offered anyone a swing of Clorox.

I'm quite sure he knows the difference between a camel and a lion.

He can even go a step further and distinguish a Campbell Fighting Camel from a Penn State Nittany Lion.

I don't see an issue with improper email use, as he seems to put every thought on Twitter. Over 92,000 tweets, and almost all of them are at least as comprehensible as "covfefe."

The closest he's come to a Bay of Pigs fiasco was when he preceded the Arkansas "Pig Sooie" chant with Whoa instead of Woo. Though rumor has it he got a thumbs up from Keith Jackson.

And his only sex scandal stemmed from reports that his wife admitted he uses certain “erotic techniques only during March Madness.” It's probably worth noting that that report appeared in “The Onion.”

To the best of my knowledge, his teeth are not akin to the chompers of George Washington. But his impaired vision puts him in the company of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. And that's only fitting, given Dickie V's expertise on all things Mount Rushmore.

His movie credits actually rival those of Ronald Reagan. Granted, he once shared the stage with Pauly Shore, but the Gipper once did so with Bonzo.

“Uh, Dave, what about the fact that he's 81?

Ok, he's no diaper dandy. He, however, already has plans to do games for ESPN when he's 100. So that gives him more than enough time to fit in a couple terms as Commander in Chief.

"But could he really handle the world of politics?"

Come on. You don't survive over 40 years at ESPN without some serious political savvy. I hear tell that firings occur there only slightly less often than you saw in an episode of The Apprentice.

Or maybe better put, he has that politically necessary quality of being a man of the people. In fact, I may be one of the few people I know who he hasn't met. My wife went to Notre Dame with his daughters, my best friend from high school sat next to him on a plane, and my dad has obtained his autograph, not once, not twice, but a whopping three times.

Most maddening to me was when my sister met him at a St. Bonaventure University sponsored banquet in Binghamton.

Why didn't I go? I was studying for finals at - wait for it - St. Bonaventure University.

"Well then, would he ever take an unpopular stance?"

Are you kidding me? Since about 1979 he's maintained possibly the most unpopular stance: He's pro-Duke!

"How about dealing with adversity?" Seriously, the man spent about seven years in the city of Detroit. And for two of them he did so on the knees of Bob Lanier.

What about his knowledge of international affairs? The man has been everywhere. And if he's in a bind he can always call Fran Fraschilla.

Fundraising abilities? Please - as his pal Bill Walton surely would say. Just ask the folks at the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research.

“Does he have a good story?”

No. He has about a million good stories.

The best part is he doesn't have to let everyone know them, because they already do. Anyone who has ever watched him do a game can pretty much rattle off his biography. I mean, I have no idea what Joe Biden and Donald Trump do for breakfast. But I'm nearly positive that tomorrow morning, Dick Vitale is heading to Another Broken Egg.

And don't worry for a second about how he'll do in debates. Every Selection Sunday he more than holds his own against the double team of Reece Davis and Jay Bilas, attorney at law.

I can also pretty much guarantee that he'll bring the brackets back to the Oval Office. That should sway everyone in the voting block called "Andy Katz."

There is one little problem - Dick Vitale has actually said on national television that he wants nothing to do with running for president. He explained he doesn't want 50% of the country hating him. But that means he'd like to try to help the whole country. Seems like a great trait in a President to me.

And he's said more than a few times that he was raised by two parents who had "doctorates of love." Have to say that what the world needs now is love. Please tell me that I'm not the only one envisioning the inauguration of President Vitale accompanied by the musical stylings of Burt Bacharach.

I even have a couple campaign slogans:

"America - You're Awesome With Two Capital A's."

Or, "Dick Vitale: The E Is Silent But You Know He Won't Be."

Just think about how great his acceptance speech would be:

"Are you serious?! Are you kidding me? Oh! Oh! Oh!

They're celebrating in Jersey tonight, baby. Oh! Oh! Oh!

My heart breaks for the other guy. It's Heartbreak City over there.

But oh! Oh! I can't believe it! Give me a break!. Oh! Oh! Oh!

They're dancing in the isles in Cameron, baby.

Look at the celebration! They're rocking and rolling in the USA.

It's awesome, baby! Unbelievable! Oh it's show time!"

So my daughter returns and says, “Daddy you know what’ll be the best thing about the M&M guy being president?”

I looked down at my seemingly completed column and replied,

“Well at this point, I really kind of hope so. But feel free to enlighten me.”

“l bet he’ll move the White House to Cupcake City.”

And there you have yet another reason why Dick Vitale should be President.


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