Vitale addresses local media, journalism students at press conference
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
Prior to the Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Schools on Oct. 9, Dick Vitale, the keynote speaker for the dinner, answered questions during a press conference.
“It is a pleasure to be here today,” said Vitale. “Certainly this function is very vital to people here in terms of raising dollars for a good, fundamental education. I am really proud to have the opportunity to speak here today.”
He introduced his wife, Lorraine, saying, “She is a hall-of-famer in her own way.” He pointed out that both of his daughters attended Notre Dame for their undergraduate and graduate.
“I felt the University of Notre Dame stood for everything we believe in,” said Vitale. “My daughters loved it so much.”
Vitale joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season, just after the network’s September 1979 launch, following a college and pro coaching career.
Journalism students from Spalding Catholic High School in Granville were present for the press conference and asked Vitale a few questions. One question was about the catch phrases he uses and where they originated. The other was about how he balanced family life and being an announcer.
“I always found time. Family is the number one priority,” said Vitale. During his daughters’ years at Notre Dame, he said he never missed a home football weekend. “There is nothing greater than family and faith. They intertwine with each other.”
Other media asked Vitale his opinion about players and teams for the upcoming basketball season, especially those from Iowa and Nebraska.
One person asked why it is important to have faith, whether it be in life or sports.
“To me faith is life, it’s very important. I couldn’t tell you the last time I missed Mass,” said Vitale. “That doesn’t make me better than the next person, but somehow, someway, if I can do a game on Saturday night, I can find a way to be in church on Sunday morning.”
Following the press conference, Vitale took time to autograph basketballs.
Throughout the day on Oct. 9, he posted comments on Twitter about being in Sioux City and speaking at the Bishop’s Dinner.
“I have a lot of fun on Twitter,” he said. “If you want to follow me on Twitter, it is Twitter/dickiev.”
Vitale posted on his blog on Oct. 11 that he had been the guest speaker in Sioux City. He also posted pictures of himself and his wife at the dinner.
“What a terrific group of people I had the opportunity to meet and share time with,” wrote Vitale. “I can’t thank everyone involved with the event enough for making my wife and I feel so welcome.”
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