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May 29, 2017

My buddy, John Perseo, whom I have known for over 25 years, died on Saturday.

I can simply tell you, that if you wanted a real friend in life, John Perseo was your guy. He would go out of his way and do anything for you.

John was an incredibly passionate person. He could talk to you about a variety of topics and you would hear his passion in his voice.

He could discuss politics, going over issues of the conservatives and the liberals. You talk about getting fired up!

If you wanted to talk about college football, all you had to do is mention Penn State, where he attended school. His eyes would light up when talking proudly about the Nittany Lions. He could tell you everything about Penn State’s coaches and players.

John also loved to have conversations about food. He had a role in a number of Italian restaurants over the years. His passion was unreal, especially over Italian food.

His biggest passion was the love of his life, his wife Janet. She is a special woman, who teams up with Mary Kenealy to form the vital dream team working to make the Dick Vitale gala a success.

Janet’s work ethic and passion are so special. I cannot express it enough in describing the love John had for Janet.

John was also a fighter. Earlier in his life, he beat cancer. He led a productive and positive life.

John was a special person who made so many friends in the Bradenton, Sarasota-Lakewood Ranch area. He was loyal and caring. He was there for you when you needed him. You could always count on him.

I am sure he is up in heaven now. He will be missed, but never forgotten. His passion will live on forever.

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May 22, 2017

Always Dreaming saw its Triple Crown hopes disappear on Saturday at Pimlico.

It was a close race, but the Kentucky Derby winner faded down the stretch. It was Cloud Computing that scored the upset victory.

Cloud Computing was a lightly raced horse. Horses that ran at the Kentucky Derby were pushed on Saturday and did not fare well. They had something taken out of them in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

No Triple Crown this year.

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May 15, 2017

Sarasota was the sports capital of the world on May 12th. It was a special night as as we raised over $3.1 million for pediatric cancer research at the Dickie V. gala.

Over 870 people were in attendance at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota as the Jimmy V Foundation was the beneficiary of major generosity.

We honored Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins, and ESPN’s Chris Berman, who was unable to attend following he tragic passing of his wife, Kathy.

The sports world was well represented. Everywhere you turned, there was another celebrity and I cannot thank them enough for their support.

College football had Kelly, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and former Georgia coach Vince Dooley. There were many former Notre Dame players in attendance, including Ron Pawlus, Autry Denson, Willie Clark and Marc Edwards to name a few.

College basketball’s coaching fratenity came out big time. Besides Huggins, there was South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Georgia Tech’s Josh Pastne, Memphis coach Tubby Smith, Miami’s Jim Larranaga, Floride State’s Leonard Hamilton, Florida’s Mike White and former Indiana coach Tom Crean.

The NBA had former Cavaliers star Austin Carr and former coaches Mike Fratello and Richie Adubato.

The real stars of the night were the young boys and girls that have fought hard against the dreaded disease. I introduced my All-Courageous team. These youngsters have proven that the dollars work to help.

We also gave special grants in the name of my buddy, former ESPN announcer John Saunders. His daughters Jenna and Aliyah came on-stage and accepted the grants.

In the 12 years of the Dickie V. gala, we have now raised over $21 million. My friends, it is not enough. We have to keep fighting to beat the disease that affects so many lives.I will work hard until my last breath on earth, begging and pleading for support. Only four cents of every dollar for cancer research goes to pediatrics and there is something very wrong with that.

Kids should be able to go play outside instead of suffering through tough times.

We will keep going. Next year, we will honor Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, ESPN’s Mike Grenberg and Florida State’s Hamilton.

 

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May 8, 2017

King James and the Cavaliers swept the Raptors. That was vital for Cleveland as they get some rest before facing the Celtics-Wizards winner in the Eastern Conference final

Toronto was shorthanded with Kyle Lowery injured. The Cavs looked much better on defense the last few games. This was a one-sided series compared to the competitive series vs. the Pacers.

Kyrie Irving was a major factor too. Cleveland looks like it can make it to the NBA Finals again the way they are playing.

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May 1, 2017

The NFL draft was exciting for the fans and players alike. Philadelphia looked like a great city to host it

I was impressed by a number of teams. The Browns helped their cause with Myles Garrett and Deshone Kizer leading the way. Seattle traded down to add a number of picks and helped their secondary. Arizona and Tampa Bay made several nice picks.

There were some surprises. The NFL could have sent a message by not drafting Joe Mixon after his off-field problem. The Bengals went for the Oklahoma running back.

It will take some time to evaluate the draft.

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Quote of the Week

“The University of Virginia dealt with a painful week with three football players killed. The basketball team beat Baylor and Illinois."
-Dick Vitale