Ndukwe Kalu, ’02

As I was trying to find a picture of Jim Meador yesterday, one of the places I looked was a big thick file called “Old Football.” It’s filled with things that don’t necessarily have a logical home elsewhere–lots of action shots of unidentifiable games and very old images. This type of thing, mostly:

Football action 1923

In the entire folder there were only two images in color, so of course they caught my eye. Here’s the first one:Ndukwe Kalu nd Old Football

I was a bit surprised by it. I realize this is college rather than the NFL, but 1 is still an unexpected jersey number for our defender there. I flipped it over and was delighted to find it labeled: “Ndukwe Kalu.” (The picture isn’t dated, by the way and I also don’t know who we’re playing here. Anybody?)

One of the things most people probably would not guess about me is that I’m a serious devotee of sports talk radio. It’s the only thing I can listen to in the car that doesn’t end up with me filled with rage. I just get a kick out of it—the juvenile banter, the endless arcana, lunatic callers with bizarre axes to grind, statistics. And don’t even get me started on the commercials! I find the commercials absolutely riveting, a glimpse into the male psyche that’s hard to find anywhere else: ads for testosterone enhancers, weapon storage, hot wings and beer. I’m not even going to get into the terrible pathos of the ads for Valentine’s Day presents for wives and girlfriends. Anyway, my very favorite sports talk show, “In the Trenches,” is hosted by former Packer tackle Greg Koch, (who, sadly, is an Arkansas graduate)–and none other than N.D. Kalu! (Here’s his website.) Rare is the day I don’t hear at least twenty minutes of these guys and they are, for better or worse, entirely responsible for my growing appreciation of play at the line of scrimmage.


As I said to Mr. Rice History Corner just last night, you gotta love a man with a big cigar.

Bonus: This, by the way, is the other color picture from the folder.

Rice 19 UT 17

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10 Responses to Ndukwe Kalu, ’02

  1. James Medford says:

    I was at that Rice-Texas game in ’94. It was on a Sunday night. I was late to work the next morning.

  2. Dan McCormack says:

    The other team in the photo is Tulane.

    Does anyone remember whether 19-17 was the game that got Akers fired, or Mackovic fired?

  3. Matt Schreck says:

    I, too, was at that game, and was so fired up about the victory I stayed up way way too late that night. I have a framed Chronicle sports section headline in my office. Great night! I believe Mackovic was the coach at the time.

  4. Jeremy Mills '97 says:

    Tulane uniform has a Conference USA patch on it, which suggests that this is from the 1996 game since that was their first year in the conference. But since it looks like a home game (Rice in dark uniforms), I’d guess they started wearing the patch a year early and this is from the 1995 game in Houston.

    N.D. was in my O Week group at Baker in 1993, and I still remember him towering over everyone else!

  5. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

    Excuse me, Melissa, your confused me with this posting.

    Are the words after the first comma all used in apposition to the first word —
    “… testosterone enhancers, weapon storage systems, hot wings and beer.”?

  6. Barney L. McCoy says:

    This picture of ND Kalu is from the Sept 14,1996 game in New Orleans. The Tulane QB is Robert Merck. (www.fanbase.com/photo/1145022). My former law partner Stanley W. Crawford were at the 1994 UT game together with our wive, in the rain until the end. Stanley was a diehard Teasip and was calling for Mackovic’s resignation by early in the 3rd quarter.
    Barney L. McCoy Hanszen 67

  7. Grungy says:

    Begging your pardon, but the Superdome has neither bleachers nor white walls, yet every reference to the games and the player says the game was played there.
    My search efforts have been unable to uncover what Aley Demarest’s jersey number might have been, but I suspect he is the QB in this picture.

  8. Joe Welsh says:

    Current Rice assistant baseball coach, Patrick Hallmark, was the guy who climbed up on the goal posts crossbar after the 19 – 17 Rice win. Patrick graduated from Rice in 2002. + Joe Welsh

  9. almadenmike says:

    Tulane didn’t play a Conference USA football schedule until 1996, but the basketball team started in fall 1995. (http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/tul/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2011-12/misc_non_event/201112mediaguide.pdf – p. 46)

    I think Jeremy & Grungy are correct that the photo was taken at Rice stadium, which would make it the Owls’ 17-15 loss to the Greenies. Demarest, a transfer from Georgetown, was Tulane’s QB, but I could also not find his jersey number. He threw for 110 yards in this game, but was injured in Tulane’s next game, versus Southern Miss.

    Here’s a link to the Thresher story on this game: http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth246518/m1/16/?q=Demarest It has a photo, but it doesn’t show the front of any Tulane players, so I can’t see if the Conference USA patch is there.

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