The article in the Press-Citizen yesterday about Lou Banach brought back many memories of the charismatic heavyweight. However, one event stands out as one of the most dramatic finishes in University of Iowa athletics history.

In the early 80's the Iowa-Iowa State meet was THE rivalry in collegiate wrestling. Although Iowa always wins lately, it was more evenly matched at that time. Both Lou and his twin brother Ed were ranked #1 in the nation at there respective weights. Since the meets then were in ascending order of weight, Ed and Lou were in the last two matches. Ed was a prohibitive favorite in his match at 190. However, on this night, he had the misfortune of losing. Iowa State was now in the lead. The announcer on television stated that the only way for Iowa to win the meet would be if Lou were to pin his opponent. Since Banach, at 220, was about 75 pounds lighter than Cole, The ISU heavyweight, a pin was highly unlikely. Friends were calling my house kidding me about the impending loss to the Clones. The callers were foolish and didn't know the anger that Lou would use in avenging his vanquished brother.

Lou sprinted from the dressing room after Ed lost, shoving guys out of his way. He grabbed his headgear from Gable and pushed Dan also, signalling "Let me at at him." Cole had no chance.

Next, while I was talking to the most adversarial of my friends, there was a loud SLAP as the referee signaled that Lou had indeed pinned the much larger man.

At that instant, Lou Banach raised his arms above his head, flexed his biceps and vented his spleen. A picture of this scene was above the fold on the front page of the Des Moines Sunday Register the following day.

Obviously incoming freshman Steve Mocco is a very talented heavyweight wrestler. However, he has a long ways to go before he matches the charisma of the man that was known in the Iowa Fieldhouse as LOOOOOOUUUUUU!!!!!

That's my take, but what do I know?

The Shadow


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