WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The most amazing thing just happened.
ESPN's Dick Vitale just walked into the press room before the Duke-Purdue game at Mackey Arena and loudly, cheerfully, made his way around the room, introducing himself to various writers. Maybe you remember my column on Vitale from March 2007, when I said he would get into the Hall of Fame "over my dead body." Well, he made it. And I'm still alive. Anyway ...
When he got around to meeting me in the press room, here's how it went down:
Him, hand extended: "Dick Vitale!"
Me, shaking his hand: "Gregg Doyel."
Him, putting his hands around my neck, jokingly: "You ripped me!"
Me, still being mock-choked: "I did."
Him: "Well, you weren't the first and you won't be the last."
Me: "No, but I was the best."
Him: "Maybe so, but ..."
And then he sat down and talked to me for 10 minutes. It was cordial, it was nice, it was a flabbergasting moment. One of the more impressive things I've ever seen.
I stand by my original column, by the way. But dadgum, Dick Vitale just impressed me.