Bucs superfan Dick Vitale thanks Belichick for setting Brady free


Basketball legend Dick Vitale was proudly waving the jolly roger after his beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers bounced the rival New Orleans Saints from the NFL playoffs on Sunday.

Vitale, a longtime ESPN college hoops announcer, has long been one of the Bucs' most notable celebrity fans, and is apparently thrilled with the team's postseason run -- not to mention the play of superstar quarterback Tom Brady.

The 81-year-old broadcaster took to social media to post a video moments after the Bucs closed out the Saints on Sunday, flashing the frenzied energy and enthusiasm that defined his broadcasting -- and even throwing a little shade at Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

"Hi everybody, Dick Vitale baby!" Vitale says in front of a large TV, apparently in his living room. "Hey hey, Tom Brady -- thank you, Mr. Belichick, thank you so much for not keeping him in New England!"

Brady's high-profile departure from New England has been the subject of intense scrutiny since last offseason, and is seeing renewed interest now that he's delivered on leading the Bucs to the NFC title game.

The move further fueled speculation that Brady and Belichick had not been seeing eye to eye about the Patriots' long-term direction in Brady's final years in New England.

Vitale then goes on to stir the pot regarding the NFL's "GOAT" debate.

"He's the greatest of all time," Vitale said of Brady. "Not even debatable! Yessiree, let's go Bucs! Next on the agenda? The Green Bay Packers, baby. Let's go Bucs! Come on Tom, touchdown baby. Come on buddy. And the defense was unbelievable!"

Vitale then paused his flag-waving to send a kind word to Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who was reported to be retiring upon the conclusion of his team's season.

"Drew Brees is a classy guy, though, classy -- what a tremendous person. But I'm telling you, today belongs to the Bucs. Yessiree, Tom Brady, the greatest of all time. Let's go Bucs!"

Vitale, a New Jersey native who lives in Florida, has long been a supporter of Tampa-area sports, and is one of the most prominent fans of the Tampa Bay Rays.

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