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  1. #1
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    Remembering Pete Taylor

    The anniversery of Pete's untimely death has come again. I think some of the "Clone" in me died that day too. I spent countless hours listening to Pete and Eric on the radio, and something has seemed to be missing for me ever since he passed. Or perhaps it's just because we have really struggled in football and basketball since he left. (Even more than usual). Anyway maybe some of you could share some of your favorite memories of Pete. I listened to Pete for most of his 33 years so I'll probably remember most of your memories. RIP PETE.



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    Last edited by ISUFan22; 03-04-2008 at 03:15 PM.

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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    I was 11 in '86 when the Cyclones were in the NCAA Tourney. I was grounded for 2 weeks and wasn't allowed to watch TV during my punishment. I wore out my nerf basketball hoop in my room listening to the Miami(Ohio), Michigan, and NC State games on the radio. That first weekend is still one of the greatest 3-day stretches of my life as a Cyclone fan. After that, now I listen to games on the radio all the time. I regularly turn down the TV and listen to the radio guys.



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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    I think the highest moment for me (and arguable for ISU athletics) was after the Elite 8 Michigan State game. After the loss no other person could have made it as close to 'OK' as Pete Taylor when he said "Those guys played their ***** off." And he was right. He capped off that season so well. Ironically, I have a similar feeling today with the news that Brett Farve is retiring. It's funny when you get to 'know' a person you've never met and suddenly you're never going to get an opportunity to see that person do what you know them for again, as has been said, you die a little inside. RIP Pete...


    "I think that people are responding to someone standing up and saying this is what we want to do and let's not be afraid to go for it,'' Pollard said. "I think Iowa State has a very conservative, modest background. We never pound our chest and say `Let's do it.' It's OK to set a goal. You can't do it if you don't say what you want to do. You should be proud of it.''

    Jamie Pollard, 6/2/2006

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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    i get goosebums everytime i hear The Run from Pete..


    Iowa State: Anyone who's a true college basketball fan needs to see a game at Hilton Coliseum. Nice is in the DNA of Iowans and the fans here are particularly gracious -- even when the home team loses but gives a great effort, they are appreciative.

    ESPN.com picked Hilton Coliseum as the "Hot Arena" in the Big 12...coaches in the league noted that, "regardless of talent, the Cyclones have a home court like no other."

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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    I know I posted the links, but I'm going to copy the text of those 2 articles here in the event they become invalid. These are must reads - the SI article is just fantastic.


    Pete Taylor had no "Oh, my!" or "Whoa, Nellie!" no "Holy cow!" or "How about that!" His football broadcasts were bereft of boo-yah's, his basketball broadcasts en fuego-free. "He had no catchphrases, no signature lines, nothing like that," says his daughter, Jill. "God, no. He deplored that kind of thing."

    As a broadcaster Taylor had it all wrong. "He never wanted to be the story, he just wanted to describe the games," says Eric Heft, Taylor's color analyst for 24 years. "Pete appreciated the talent of a Jim Rome, but that confrontational style just wasn't him."

    While colleagues, as if on a rope ladder to a rescue helicopter, frantically climbed toward larger media markets, Taylor took root in Ames, Iowa. "Never occurred to him to leave for more money or a bigger market or a better team," says his son, David. "He stayed at Iowa State for 33 years, and that's the way it was always going to be. A few others have stayed put like that: Jack Buck, Johnny Most, Chick Hearn. And my dad, in Iowa, had that same scale of recognition."

    Strange, isn't it? The more he tried to shrink, the larger Taylor grew. In wanting to make stars of the Cyclones, he became the star. In 33 years Iowa State University had five athletic directors, seven football coaches, seven basketball coaches, 675 losses in those two sports combined and one -- one -- radio play-by-play announcer for football and basketball. Says current athletic director Bruce Van De Velde, "To many, many people in Iowa and beyond, Pete was Iowa State athletics."

    And so, in the hours after Taylor died last week -- unexpectedly, at 57, of complications from a stroke -- the Cyclones' athletic department received e-mails from disconsolate Internet-radio listeners in Houston; Atlanta; Phoenix; Virginia Beach; Dallas; Albuquerque; Hershey, Pa.; Oceanside, Calif.; and innumerable other, un-Iowan places. "He has been our ears and our eyes, carrying images to faithful fans all over the world," wrote Charles Doo from ... Singapore?

    How, exactly, did this happen? Taylor wrote -- as a high school freshman, in an English-class report -- that a broadcaster "needs an honest voice, a voice which becomes to the listener that of a trusted friend. A voice that smiles, that is warm and pleasant to listen to, and is welcome in any home in the country. A voice that has not become distorted by artificial theatrical training." Honest, pleasant, untheatrical? Taylor was, by current broadcast standards, Van Earl Wrong.

    "He didn't have those freakish meltdowns they replay on SportsCenter," says David Taylor. He did wear his heart on both sleeves and a sandwich board. Says Pete's friend Kevin Cooney, news anchor at KCCI-TV in Des Moines, "You could tell -- within five seconds of turning on the radio, just by the tone of his voice -- whether the Cyclones were winning or losing."

    Yet his calls were truer than plane geometry. Often too true. It was not unusual to hear Taylor, unaware that a station break was over, profanely lamenting the Cyclones' ineptitude. "You'd think that after three decades on the radio he'd know when a microphone was on," says Jill Taylor. "But no, there were several instances of profanity on the air."

    Naturally, this only made him more beloved. Last football season, after consecutive losses to Oklahoma and Texas, Taylor idly remarked to Heft that he envied network announcers because "they never have to care who wins or loses." The following Saturday, after a win over Missouri, Taylor idly remarked to Heft that he pitied network announcers because they never get to care who wins or loses.

    Which isn't to say that sports were his life. Life was. Taylor loved books and crosswords and Audrey Hepburn in Wait until Dark. (When it came on TV, at 11 o'clock on a school night, he woke his young children and forced them to watch it.) In music stores all over the Big 12, he indulged his fetish -- mercifully rare among white, middle-aged Iowans -- for '70s funk and '80s rap. "I was the only girl in Des Moines," says Jill, "whose father introduced her to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five."

    When Taylor died, The Des Moines Register ran four stories, and The Tribune in Ames four more, and listener Tim Frisch of Stillwater, Minn., wrote the Cyclones' athletic department to say, "I have never shed a tear over the passing of someone I didn't know. Until today."

    "I'm world-famous all over Canada," says a character in a novel by Mordecai Richler. Taylor was like that: world-famous all over Iowa. Heft, distraught, was physically incapable of broadcasting last week's game against Missouri. Grizzled reporters, with armadillo-thick skin, found themselves sobbing. "I cried like a baby," says anchorman Cooney, part of a daisy chain of Iowa broadcasters that goes all the way back to Ronald Reagan.

    "It's funny," Cooney adds after a pause. "The guy without the catchphrase lasted the longest here, and became the best loved." It is funny. And instructive. A humble, private, professional man was, it turns out, the Best Damn Sports Show, Period.

    Issue date: March 17, 2003




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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    More than 3,000 people paid tribute to veteran sportscaster Pete Taylor at Hilton Coliseum Sunday. Many of them left with smiles on their faces, which is the way it often was when Pete was alive, head football coach Dan McCarney said.

    "You'd always walk away from Pete with a smile on your face," McCarney said.

    Taylor passed away Wednesday in Iowa City after a brain hemorrhage following surgery to treat complications from a stroke. He was 57.

    A flower arrangement sat where Taylor called play-by-play for ISU basketball for 33 years. He also did radio broadcasts for ISU football during that time span and was known as the "voice of the Cyclones."

    Kevin Cooney, who knew Taylor from his time at KCCI-TV Channel 8 in Des Moines, where Taylor was sports director for 22 years, spoke about the competitiveness that was always running through Taylor's blood. He said Taylor helped invent matchbook tabletop football at the station. That evolved into various other contests Taylor had devised, including one to see who could start and stop a stopwatch the fastest.

    "Being a friend of Pete's was not an exclusive club," Cooney said. "Today is an example of that. Thousands of us were friends of Pete."

    Cooney said the last few days have been tough for all of those who knew Taylor, but set the tone for a celebration of Taylor's life -- rather than a grieving session.

    "After the initial shock, sadness and tears ... the stories started," Cooney said.

    Many applauded and laughed after ISU head basketball coach Larry Eustachy shared two of his best memories of Taylor. Eustachy apologized for calling the Taylor home so many times, but said he'll never forget those conversations.

    On one occasion, Eustachy called Taylor and began by asking him how he was doing. Taylor told him their dog had just swallowed a bar of soap and his wife Judy was holding the dog down trying to get it out.

    "If we don't get it out, there are going to be soap bubbles coming out of his ***," Taylor told Eustachy.

    "So you're saying it's a bad time to talk," Eustachy responded.

    Even before Eustachy began his second story, he had to control his own laughter. He said he and Taylor were working out together once with Taylor on the treadmill.

    "He'd set it for a half-mile in about an hour," Eustachy recalled.

    Eustachy said somehow Taylor fell, but the treadmill kept going and started pulling Taylor's pants off.

    Eustachy said he acted as if he didn't notice the incident, but was watching out of the corner of his eye.

    He said Taylor wasn't wearing underwear or a jock strap.

    Eustachy said he called Pete's wife, Judy, later that evening to tell her she deserved a medal for having to wake up to what he just saw every morning.

    Video highlights of some of Taylor's humorous and memorable moments were played on the video screen between each speaker.

    McCarney, who was en route to Iowa City when Taylor died, said Taylor was a great friend to him through thick and thin.

    The eighth-year head coach said that, along with his partner Eric Heft, Taylor helped make the sportscasting team one of the best around.

    "I always thought the hell with [former Fox team John] Madden and [Pat] Summerall -- we've got the best here with Taylor and Heft," McCarney said.

    McCarney also announced that "P.T." will be stitched into all of the 2003 ISU football jerseys in memory of Taylor.

    The final person to take the podium was Heft, whose relationship with Taylor blossomed after his first varsity game was also Taylor's first basketball broadcast.

    With a cardinal-and-gold ribbon attached to his lapel, Heft spoke about the first ISU football broadcast he did with Taylor. It was in Iowa City and the opponent was the Hawkeyes.

    After Iowa roared out to a large halftime advantage, Heft looked over to Taylor in the Kinnick Stadium press box.

    "I said, 'Man, what the hell did you get me into,' " Heft said. "And he said, 'Hey, if I have to sit here and watch this blankety-blank crap, then you just sit there and watch it too.' "



  8. #8
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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    The ISU 100 years of Basketball DVD has a special feature on Pete, it is basically a collection of Pete calling some of the greatest sports plays in ISU history, football included. I watched that section last night and it brought a salty fluid to my eyes....

    I recommend this DVD to EVERYONE... it is truly fantastic.


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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    Quote Originally Posted by frontrangeclone View Post
    The ISU 100 years of Basketball DVD has a special feature on Pete, it is basically a collection of Pete calling some of the greatest sports plays in ISU history, football included. I watched that section last night and it brought a salty fluid to my eyes....

    I recommend this DVD to EVERYONE... it is truly fantastic.
    i agree.. if u have the chance to get this dvd do it


    Iowa State: Anyone who's a true college basketball fan needs to see a game at Hilton Coliseum. Nice is in the DNA of Iowans and the fans here are particularly gracious -- even when the home team loses but gives a great effort, they are appreciative.

    ESPN.com picked Hilton Coliseum as the "Hot Arena" in the Big 12...coaches in the league noted that, "regardless of talent, the Cyclones have a home court like no other."

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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    I forgot just how much of a legend and all around good guy he was until I read that. RIP pete Taylor.



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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    Pete Taylor was simply a privelege to listen to. That is in no way a knock on John Walters as he is great too.


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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    Quote Originally Posted by mjones34 View Post
    Pete Taylor was simply a privilege to listen to. That is in no way a knock on John Walters as he is great too.
    I agree, I think John Walter is doing a fantastic job. I think ISU would be much worse off if we hadn't been blessed with great "Voices of the Cyclones"!

    500th post woot!


    "I think that people are responding to someone standing up and saying this is what we want to do and let's not be afraid to go for it,'' Pollard said. "I think Iowa State has a very conservative, modest background. We never pound our chest and say `Let's do it.' It's OK to set a goal. You can't do it if you don't say what you want to do. You should be proud of it.''

    Jamie Pollard, 6/2/2006

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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    My first Pete and Eric memory is the game winning field goal against Iowa by Alex Gifford. I was in my grandparents back yard lining up the kick right along with radio and kicked it right in with Alex. I was 8 years old at the time.

    Everyone has those "Where were you when..." moments, I had just gotten off work driving down I-35 when KXNO came on with news.....Steve D. had a good show that day with all the callers calling in about their favorite Pete Taylor moments.

    RIP PETE, WE MISS YOU!!!


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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    Quote Originally Posted by mjones34 View Post
    Pete Taylor was simply a privelege to listen to. That is in no way a knock on John Walters as he is great too.
    I'd say about the only difference between Taylor and Walters is 30 years. If Walters is still calling ISU games in 2038 he'll be just as much of a legend as Taylor is.


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    Re: Remembering Pete Taylor

    I like John, he does a decent job and is growing on me as the voice of the Clones.

    But he's no Pete. I agree with the above post that a little bit of the Cyclone in me died that day as well.

    Not really John's fault. Unfortunately, he's just the guy who had to follow a legend.



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