Where did all this UNI purple come from?

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

From the Sports Casualties blog, UNI players and 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?


3 thoughts on “Where did all this UNI purple come from?

  1. Thanks a lot for the link, Paul! Sports Casualties still maintains that Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas, but we’d be inclined to change our minds should your Panthers pull another upset. We’re pulling hard for you guys today. Good luck.


  2. Yeager, Virg’s jacket actually pre-dates Rima; it’s circa the Claire Rampton (who, sadly, passed away about 10 years ago) and Joel McCrae (yes, the WHO-radio GM) era, back when UNI men’s basketball was broadcast on KWLO 1330. It’s a classic McCrae idea from about 1990.

    I know the jacket was not a part of the inaugural NCAA Tournament trip in 1990. Claire couldn’t make that trip – he’d committed to PA at the UNI-Dome Sports Show. Since Bob Brooks didn’t own a purple sport coat, Virg wasn’t going to be the only dude in the arena walking around in THAT for the win over Missouri and the 3-point, second-round loss to Minnesota!

  3. Lis, I remember when UNI was on 1330, with Claire, your dad, and Scott Petersen. Joel was a reporter for 1330, Bob Bakken did high school sports and the morning news, and Paul Michaels did the morning drive.

    One time when Claire was under the weather or had a conflict, the late great Ray Scott filled in for two football games. Scott was the legendary pbp for the Packers!

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