File this under Sowing the Seeds of Discord.
So the Tuesday Night Feature this week? The Abomination Returns. Sort of a big game, what with Tennessee riding a modest winning streak and the mighty Gators having lost its last two road games. It must be a big game because ESPN is sending Dick Vitale, who is in all pertinent particulars Lee Corso in a gymnasium, to do the broadcast with Brad Nessler. He's coming . . . to our cit-ay!
As with Lee Corso arriving on campus, the mere anticipation of Vitale in the Vicinity spawns oddities. This morning, for instance, Knoxville News Sentinel sports writers Mike Griffith and John Adams were to interview Dickie V. on their radio show. They previewed the game, introduced Vitale, opened up a direct line to Vitale's cell phone, and then, well then, something weird happened:
Here's a transcript of the pertinent part, starting at the 57 second mark:
You know who told me that in confidence? Billy Donovan grabbed me all alone and said the pro scouts are making a mistake. He said there's no way [to] take Noah over . . . he said he would never say that publicly . . . over Horford.
Okay, then. Florida head coach Billy Donovan told Dick Vitale in confidence that Al Horford would make a better NBA player than Joakim Noah.
Let's play Lessons Learned!
Lesson No. 1: No more multi-tasking for Dick Vitale. (He was apparently trying to do the show while also signing autographs and meeting with fans or something.)
Lesson No. 2: If you have a secret, don't tell somebody who has spent their entire career fostering a reputation for being a loud mouth.
But here's what I really want to know. What signs should we Vol fans be taking to Thompson-Boling Arena tomorrow night? Leave your ideas below.
Update [2007-2-26 23:12:23 by Joel]: You can hear, at what I believe is a free area of the Knoxville News Sentinel's site, the entire interview, including the "overheard" portion, and a more-than-slightly miffed Vitale's follow up call to the radio show. Both audio links are in the upper
left right [!] hand corner of the page.
Update [2007-2-26 23:36:39 by Joel]: II. Donovan, on today's SEC teleconference (audio link, at about the 16:10 mark), denied ever saying this and refused to comment on it.
Update [2007-2-27 0:47:42 by Joel]: There is a lot of discussion on Vol message boards regarding whether the radio show producer should have cut away from Vitale's sound when they realized he was engaged in another conversation. In defense of the station, they were trying to get his attention, and while I guess the screener or the guy who books the interviews could have done this off air, it didn't strike me as being underhanded in any way. Also, I think it's important to note that Griffith was filling in for Dave Hooker, who normally hosts the show and who might have handled it differently.