He began another game in a life of games with an emotion he never showed.
“I can’t believe I’m sitting here,’’ Dick Vitale said Tuesday night.
He was crying, the tears falling, his face a mudslide of emotion.
“I’m sorry,’’ he said.
The ESPN voice of college basketball choked up then, before the start of another big game, No. 1 Gonzaga versus No. 2 UCLA, in a manner that didn’t need apologizing.
“Let’s get this game going and talk some basketball,’’ he said.
Dickie V has cancer. He turned to sports for what the doctors, the chemotherapy, the regimen of pills and tests and medical charts can’t provide. Happiness. Diversion.
“The medicine of basketball,’’ he said at one point on the telecast.
Isn’t that it? Doesn’t what surrounds our games often tell more of their impact than what’s in them?
A Dolphins fan from Illinois was buried with a Dan Marino jersey this year for the happiness the former quarterback brought to his life. A 9-year-old in Utah suffering himself from brain cancer asked to put NFL quarterback Tom Brady’s highlight video on for inspiration at the hospital.