To say that the state of Iowa is seeing purple is an understatement.
Panther-Mania is everywhere
Earlier this week I wrote about a battle in the Erickson household. Father Virg, now that’s funny to see in print, was the color analyst for the UNI Panther’s Men’s basketball team for years. He gave up the job around the turn of the century. Daughter Lis, worked for UNI’s Sports Information for a time and later at Michigan State. The two aren’t speaking to each other leading up to Friday’s game.
But, they do know how to exchange pictures.
This is the purple coat Virg had from his radio days working with Gary Rima. You know, Kaboom Rima? Thanks to our source for the picture. Those who know Virg, which goes beyond his Wartburg, Waterloo Columbus and Denver networks are enjoying this shot.
—UPDATE— Check the comments from Lis about the coat. The story goes WAY back into Panther radio history. Good stuff, Lis.
–Further update– The picture of the purple coat may be gone, but we still haven’t forgotten. Maybe someday he’ll retire and we’ll publish the photo again, but knowing Virg, he’ll work until the pine box arrives.
What pajamas does Superman wear?
Of course, the UNI Panther story is everywhere. And when the public radio folks do a story on you, that’s when you know you’ve made it as a sports story. During the National Public Radio show “All Things Considered” on Thursday, the UNI story was shared with the NPR audience. The story was reported by my former radio production teacher Pat Blank of Iowa Public Radio. Most of the story you know, but it is the last part of the piece you need to hear. It is a take on a classic Superman joke and Ali Farokhmanesh. Here’s Pat’s story.
Panther Nation grabs attention with their big heads
And finally I got a comment after the last Panther Post about the SI cover jinx. Robbie at Sports Casualties wanted me to know about the Sports Casualties jinx. He called his piece the Cinderella Series: Dancing Panthers. This is a view from outside of Iowa and may be a little critical of the Panthers in spots, but overall is a fun read and different perspective on the team. There’s also a fun link you need to click into. Let’s say it is close to the picture of Leon Costello, from rival HS Wapsie Valley. If you like the Iowa State Fair, you may like the link that’s written about in the piece. Enjoy.
Game time is Friday night. Will be writing about this story on Saturday?