Iowa color commentator Ed Podolak ‘retired’ last week after unflattering pictures were posted of him from Iowa’s trip to the Outback Bowl against South Carolina. After 20+ years on the air, he is giving it up. Well, maybe the pictures weren’t that unflattering, except the one of him with one eye open. The mustache is definitely unflattering, though. After the pictures appeared, Iowa AD Gary Barta basically forced Podolak out.
Do what? Let me get this correct: A grown ass man, a grown ass woman, plenty of beer, and a late night at the Hilton Steinbrenner on Dale Mabry. Sounds like fun to me. Seriously. He isn’t Larry Eustachy crashing a frat party the night after a loss (don’t even get me started on that one, either). He is the color commentator. For a Big 10 football team. It isn’t like he is asking college aged girls about their undies on air with the grandson of the former AD sitting in the booth with him. That only gets you suspended, right? My only problem with Ed is drinking Corona. Icky stuff, if you ask me.
I know Iowans. They drink beer like Georgians eat pork. They drink to celebrate holidays. They drink to combat boredom. They drink to get out of bed. If we were talking about Wisconsin, the stadium would be Camp Randall-Ed Podolak Stadium already. Not that Wisconsin dudes can score that.
This is a crazy world we live in. Yes, I know the Interweb makes everything public, but Podolak has a prior arrest (from 1997) incurred while ‘sleeping’ on the Iowa pentagram (or whatever). Hell, I have heard about his partying. This isn’t a shock to the Iowa administration. The fact that the pictures ended up on the Net shouldn’t change anything. Now, if Ms. Clairol is suing for harassment, then that is something altogether different, but she doesn’t look too pissed to me. If anything, the pictures on the web should make him a hero to the random person in Davenport.
Sorry I am probably about a week late on this. I have gone back and forth about this post. However, I feel compelled to post it, mainly becasue I am in my living room, enjoying an adult beverage and this story just makes me sad. I’m with Orson, this has more to do with prudish ideas of the AD about drinking than the tarnished ‘image’ of ‘Iowa.’ There ain’t nowhere but up for that to go.