Ponch visits Indy

It’s a slow weekend for IU sports. Without a football or a men’s basketball game to cover on Saturday, I hardly know what to do with myself.

So when John Decker, editor of HoosierNation.com, asked me if I could pick him up at the Indianapolis airport tonight, I was glad to do it. Sure, I could have been a little bitter that John had been in Hawaii for the previous 10 days “working” on the stats crew at the Maui Invitational, but I’m way above that kind of pettiness. I mean way above it …. and I knew the ride back from the airport would be my chance to rub it in that I’ll be going to the big game at Duke Tuesday and John will be stuck in Bloomington.

I was waiting at the Delta baggage claim for John to arrive and I noticed that the guy standing next to me was Ponch. For those of you under 35, Ponch is not the power forward you’ve been hoping Sampson would land to replace D.J. White in a year or two and he’s not a JUCO lineman. No, I’m not writing about a recruit. Ponch is Erik Estrada, the late 70s-early 80s teen idol from the cop show, CHiPs.

As I watched Ponch, with his perpetual smile, start hauling large suitcases off the conveyor belt, I saw a couple of other familiar faces. There with Estrada was the dwarf from the show Jackass, Wee Man, and nearby was a thin woman wearing a fur shawl. I didn’t know who she was until somebody told me it was La Toya Jackson.

I wondered what the celebrities were doing in Indianapolis so when I got home, I did some research. Here’s the deal: CBS is putting together a reality show with — get this — celebrities working as cops in Muncie. The Star-Press in Muncie reported last week that it’s been rumored that Estrada, Wee Man and Jack Osbourne will be on the show, but their agents refused to confirm it. It appears we now have that confirmation, plus the news that the older sister of Michael Jackson will also apparently be on the show.

At the airport, a woman in a wheelchair asked Estrada to pose with her for a picture. He was very friendly and it looked like it made her night as he squatted next to her with a big smile while her friend took the picture.


  1. You get Decker and Wee-Man on the same flight and it’s Mardi Gras at 25,000 feet! Check out Wee-Man on YouTube at wee-man.com. He’s one crazy little man. I’m surprised he doesn’t have a regular seat on IU’s press row. He’d fit right in.

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