As he walked through airports, CBS basketball analyst Bill Raftery said he would find it strange when people would approach him and yell out "with a kiss!” or "mantoman.”
"I'd say what the heck's wrong with that guy,” he said. "Then I found out that was me.”
After coaching stints with Fairleigh Dickinson and Seton Hall, the New Jersey native has found his niche as a college basketball analyst known for his colorful sayings that sometimes are hard to decipher. In his 26th season with CBS, he has the enthusiasm for basketball of Dick Vitale without his corniness.
"You get a great seat and people say hello,” said Raftery, who had a 154-141 record at Seton Hall. "When I coached, I got a great seat, but after the game, very few people said hello. That's why I got into television. There are no losses.”
Raftery, who will be the analyst for Oklahoma's game against St. Joseph's tonight — one of four games from Birmingham, Ala., he is broadcasting today with Verne Lundquist — said some of his expressions evolved from his desire to talk fast and get out of the way of the play-by-play announcer.