• Craig Hunter

PT - Banacek - 011 - Let's hear it for a living legend

Updated: Jan 26

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Show Notes


Welcome everyone to The Predictably Treacherous podcast. Today's episode is Banacek "Let's Hear it for a living legend". This is episode one of season one. This episode was directed by JackSmight and written by Del Reisman. The original air date was September 13th, 1972.

Let's get right to the episode summary.

A high profile professional football player disappears on the field in front of 30,000 fans and a live tv audience. With a 2 million dollar policy and a non-performance clause at stake, Banacek is tasked to find out who is responsible for the disappearance.

Banacek Intro and Crime

Banacek is on the couch watching a football game. He's drinking champaigne and smoking a cigar. He's apparently visiting an attractive female friend in Phily and he's in her living room. She is being very sexually suggestive and at one point she says she used to know what impresses him and then she kneels down on the floor in front of him facing him.

In the game, the Boston quarterback takes the snap, fakes the hand off to the dive and hands the ball to Ives on an end around. The defense is ready for it and the play is strung out to the right sideline where Ives is gang tackled by four Philadelphia defensive players. When the pile of players gets up off the ground, Hank Ives is missing and only his helmet remains.

The play-by-play and color commentator notice and we get a replay with detailed explanation just like the newscast of the armored car robbery in the pilot. Let's listen, (clip 01)

Actually, it's a good opening. Now, let's take a look at the investigation phase and some of the tropes that happen.

Jay's Bogus Theory

After the opening theme plays we are shown Jay picking up Banacek from the airport. Jay has a bogus theory about the disappearance, let's listen to it (clip 2)

Now Banacek is in the office of the owner. His sexretary is extremely attractive. A guy is there who knows Banacek. He is some kind of an adviser from Boston Casualty (an insurance company). He was in a Columbo episode "Requiem for a falling star" season 2. He informs us that Boston Casualty is not going to pay the million dollar life policy on Ives or on a non-performance clause and he makes it clear that his company believes it's just a publicity stunt.

Jerry calls Banacek into his office. He tells him that it's not a publicity stunt, and he's not trying to commit insurance fraud. Banacek suggests that Ives "cooked" it up himself. Jerry thinks that's not Ives' style and that Ives had some recent threats on his life and it's possible that he was kidnapped. They leave the office and Ives' ex-wife is in the office dodging questions from reporters. She is very attractive.

Next he speaks with the Philadelphia Cougars players who gang tackled Ives. A big guy with a gruff voice tells Banacek that no one liked Ives and he was arrogant. Two of the guys leave for a team meeting and Joe Fabian, played by ex-NFL player Deacon Jones, stays behind to soak his foot. Banacek seems to think Fabian knows something he's not telling.

Deacon Jones, incidentally, coined the term "sack" for a quarterback sack. He said that "sack" was like when you sack a city

Ladies Man

Now Banacek is at home with Ives' ex watching a taped interview that Hank Ives gave on a talk show when he came to Boston. Ives is really stiff. Mrs Ives says she told him not to do it. Banacek asks her about their relationship. She tells him that Hank couldn't handle any type of relationship. That's also why she thought Hank couldn't be conspiring...he wouldn't be able to work with anyone to perform a stunt like this. Banacek asks her to have dinner and she accepts.

Now Banacek is at the Boston stadium speaking with some of the players. A half back named Clayton tells Banacek that Hank was intolerable to be around since he lost his good luck charm dog tags. Later that day Ives' ex confirms that they meant a lot to Hank.

Polish Proverb

Now in the television studio, Banacek and an engineer are reviewing the film of the game. They see a shot of the sideline and Ives is in it, talking with the quarterback Mulligan. Banacek asks the engineer if he can blow up the shot. The engineer asks why and he gives him a polish proverb. Are you ready? "If you're not sure whats in the potato borscht, there could be orphans working in the mines." The engineer is confounded and Banacek explains that "What you don't know could hurt you."

Now Banacek speaks with Clay and confirms that Ives lost his dog tags after the Cleveland game. The owner tells Banacek that he and Ives went out for dinner after the game and a girl approached Ives but Jerry left.

Now Banacek is in the restaurant where Ives was having dinner. He talks with the slimy bartender. The bartender says the woman's name was Holly Allencamp and she came in several nights in a row. She was waiting for Ives. Banacek makes a call and leaves.

Now we see Banacek in another bar. He asks the bartender for Holly and he points to her table. Banacek sits with her. She is super flirty. She won't answer any of Banacek's questions. She seems like a hustler. Banacek gets tough with her. He grabs her hand aggressively and tells her he's working on the Ives case and he wants answers. He asks her if she took Hank's dog tags. She did. Who did she give them to. He offers her $200 for the name...Albert Bates. She warns him that Bates is a tough character...used to be in the army.


Now Banacek visits Felix. Felix gives Banacek the army records of Albert Bates. He asks for Jerry's dossier as well. He leaves.

Now at home, he and a woman are watching the clip of Mulligan speaking with Ives. She is a lip reader...very attractive. She confirms that Mulligan said "a blond over there...tags." She flirts with Banacek and leaves.

Now Banacek speaks with Mulligan again. Mulligan remembers that some guy told him that there was a blond waiting for Ives in the tunnel and she had his dog tags.

Then Jay brings Banacek the army records he requested from Felix. He seems to have found something. He phones an answering service. The lovely operator takes a message, "Get here right away, condition bright red." and the name he leaves is Al Bates.

The Get

Now outside at night. We see Mulligan running to a yellow car and peel out. Banacek tells Jay to follow him in his limo and Banacek gets into his car and follows. Mulligan pulls up to a home in the burbs. Mulligan gets out and enters a house. Banacek and Jay pull up behind and Banacek tells Jay to wait on the street for the cops. Banacek approaches the house and a man with a rifle behind him tells him to freeze. They go in the house together.

Inside is Bates, Mulligan, Ives (tied up and blindfolded), and the man with the gun. Moments later the cops arrive outside. Bates says they will use Banacek and Ives as hostages and for Mulligan to cut Ives' ropes. He does and Banacek says "it's forth down and long yardage, what play would you call?" and Ives kicks his legs up knocking Mulligan back. Banacek grabs the rifle from Bates and the cops bust in. The cops take Mulligan, the other guy and Bates away and leave Banacek and Ives. They don't stay on the scene and find evidence or question Banacek or Ives at all. Banacek and Ives just leave.

The Big Reveal

Now on the football field Banacek is explaining to some players, reporters and episode stakeholders, what happened. Let's listen to the clip and I'll recap it afterwords. It's a long one. (clip 04)

- 5 minutes before halftime, Mulligan tells Ives that a woman is waiting for him in the tunnell with his dog tags.

- Ives leaves the field via the tunnel. Bates is waiting with an army car, and Walt Hicks, an ex-CFL player, is dressed as Ives. They hit Ives and put him in the trunk of the car and Bates drives him to the abandoned army barracks. Hicks runs out of the tunnel and onto the field as Ives.

- mulligan calls the end around. "Ives" is tackled by the 4 players who are near the end of their careers and need money. they have been told it's a publicity stunt. the jersey is a tear away with the other team's white jersey underneath. mulligan limps so all eyes in the stadium are on him. the extra white jersey exits the field onto the white team bench.

- Later when Fabian found out that it wasn't a publicity stunt, he was going to tell, so they killed him.

The explanation, as described, seems highly improbably, to say the least. But i love that this episode was based on such a preposterous premise as a player disappearing during a football game on a play when he is carrying the ball!

And of course, after Banacek drops the mic, he walks off the field and leaves via the tunnel and the ex-Mrs Ives is waiting for him. She can't resist him.

Next week , on the Predictably Treacherous Podcast, we will continue with season 1 episode 2 of Banacek, "Project Phoenix"

"Banacek investigates the theft of an expensive concept car from the train that was transporting it."

Tune in next week.

Intro music

Sweeter Vermouth Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/