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Dick Vitale Delivers Passionate Keynote, Dazzles Attendees

Broadcaster discusses determination, work ethic and achieving goals.

Brick City USA. NBN (Nothing But Net). Windex Man. CNS (Can Not Shoot). T.O. Baby (Time Out). Cupcake City. Intimidation City.

Those were just some of the Dickie V.-isms used by famed ESPN basketball announcer Dick Vitale during his energetic keynote address to open EHX Spring on Thursday.

Vitale wrapped a message about determination and work ethic around his own personal story of success, advising integrators to do the same. "The winner wants knowledge. You want the winner's edge on your competition. You have to give yourself the best chance to win. A strong work ethic and passion separates the champs from the chumps -- the winners vs. the losers," he said.

Vitale himself just had a new home theater installed in his Florida home. "I didn't know what the guy [his integrator] was talking about when he described the system to me, but when I got the bill ... man, you guys are expensive," he screamed.

He added that the home theater is the highlight of his house, with ESPN and ESPN2 always on. Vitale also congratulated the audience on attending EHX, saying that the thirst for knowledge and creating networking opportunities (like those that can be found at the show) helped fuel his rise to stardom.

His story is inspirational. He went from being a 6th-grade teacher to the coach of an NBA basketball team in just seven years, even though he never played the game himself. He credits his rise to success to many things, including his parents, his wife, luck and his "4 D's of Life": Desire, dedication, determination and discipline.

That drive moved him from earning just $12,000 per year to his hefty salary today. "I need the cash to pay for my high-definition home theater!" he joked.

Continuing on his message of achievement, he said, "Today is always the most important day." Later he admonished the crowd: "If you think mediocre, you will be mediocre. Don't just write your goals down, but make them happen and have commitment."

Just watching Vitale's rambling speech made me tired -- not because of the message, but because of all the energy he was expending on stage. He was sweating and it seemed he could talk for 3 minutes between each breath. He was pacing back and forth constantly, and re-creating basketball moves, almost appearing like he was dancing at times.

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About the Author

Jason Knott, Editor, CE Pro
Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.


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