January 2013

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Page 44 of 62

Street: A Measuring Stick on How the Game Should Be Played By George Wine Editor's Note: The following piece was written in 1998 by George Wine, sports information director at the University of Iowa from 1968-93. Wine passed away July 5, 2012. T hat evening started for me with a drive toward Iowa City for my weekly bridge game with the boys. I live north of town about 10 miles and often use Highway 1, as I did on this trip. As I neared the city limits I was stopped on the highway by a line of cars backed up about half a mile. The line was barely moving and I grumbled to myself that this was going to make me late for my card game. The guys would wonder what was keeping me. About 10 minutes later I walked into my office at Carver-Hawkeye Arena as the phones were ringing. They kept ringing and ringing and ringing. For hours. Lots of other people couldn't believe it either. That happened five years ago. The date was Jan. 19, 1993. The accident report says the collision between the car Street was driving and a Johnson County dump truck/snowplow occurred at 6:49 p.m. The coroner's report says Street died instantly when his car was turned upside down and sent hurtling down the highway. News of one of the most tragic incidents in Hawkeye history (Coach Buck O'Connor's death in a 1958 car accident is another) spread We crept along for 10 or 15 minutes before I across the state like wildfire. Shocked, stunned noticed the flashing red lights of several police cars and disbelieving Iowans — whether they were and ambulances. Then I saw a car turned upside Hawkeye fans or not — struggled to make sense of down on the highway with a lot of people milling this awful news. around. I recall thinking: Somebody might have been killed in that accident. My own reaction was: How can a vibrant, dynamic, super-energetic young man like Chris When I arrived late to the bridge game I explained Street be with us one moment and gone the next? that an accident had traffic tied up out by the Five years have passed and I have yet to find the Highlander. I said it looked pretty bad. Thirty answer. minutes later the phone rang and the call was for me. Bob Bowlsby was on the line. The sudden loss of any Iowa athlete, especially a basketball player whose every game is televised, "Chris Street has been killed in a car accident," he would create a strong reaction, but the news of said. I leaned against the wall, took a deep breath Street's death seemed to tear the guys out of an and asked him to repeat that. I couldn't believe entire state and had a powerful impact beyond what he was saying. our borders. It was the top story on ESPN's SportsCenter that night. 45

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