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Broadcaster Podolak injured after being hit by a car

[ 13 ] February 21, 2011 |

Longtime Iowa football commentator Ed Podolak suffered serious injuries after being struck by a car in Scottsdale, Ariz., early Sunday morning.

He was in stable condition at a Scottsdale hospital Monday afternoon, according to Podolak’s daughter, Laura.

The story of the accident was first reported on DesMoinesRegister.com.

In a statement to The Des Moines Register, Laura Podolak said:

“University of Iowa football color commentator and former Kansas City Chiefs running back Ed Podolak suffered serious injuries when he was hit by a car outside his hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz. early Sunday morning.

“Podolak suffered major injuries, but is in stable condition at a Scottsdale area hospital.

“Police say alcohol was not a factor.”

Podolak, an Iowa announcer for more than 25 years and an Atlantic native, was in Arizona attending a wedding. He was struck while walking across the street from the hotel in which he was staying.

“His injuries are serious, but non-life threatening,” Laura Podolak said in an e-mail late Monday night.

Gary Dolphin, Podolak’s broadcasting partner, said on basketball coach Fran McCaffery’s radio show Monday that Podolak suffered broken legs and broken ribs. Podolak family members did not immediately respond when asked about the extent of the injuries.

“My initial reaction was one of shock and reiteration of how quickly one’s life can change,” Dolphin said. “There’s no one tougher than Ed Podolak, physically or mentally. He’s been through so much in the last couple years. I just ask everyone to say a prayer for Eddie now.”

Former Iowa broadcaster Jim Zabel, who lives in Scottsdale, didn’t know of the accident until Monday.

“Eddie Podolak is a guy that has nine lives,” Zabel told The Register, “and he’s already survived three to four of them that I know of, including the NFL.

“If anybody can survive something like this, it’s Ed.”

Podolak, a Chiefs Hall of Famer, played for Kansas City from 1969-77 — and is the Chiefs’ second all-time leading rusher with 4,451 yards and 34 touchdowns.

He set an NFL playoff record with 350 yards — 155 on returns, 110 receiving and 85 rushing — against Miami in 1971.

Laura Podolak added in the statement: “The Podolak family appreciates your concern, but requests privacy while Mr. Podolak continues to recover from his injuries.”

Reached later Monday, Laura Podolak told the Register that her father was “stable and alert. My dad is in good spirits and is continuing his recovery.”

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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