During Minnesota’s home Big Ten win over Indiana on Saturday, you could clearly see Louisville head coach Rick Pitino sitting behind the Minnesota bench while his son, Richard, coached the Golden Gophers to victory as a first-year coach at the school.
The elder Pitino is a familiar face and a national-title winning coach, but you probably noticed him on television, behind the Minnesota bench, because his other son, Ryan, was wearing a chicken suit next to his father in support of his brother Richard.
Commentators on the Big Ten Network broadcast quickly questioned the chicken suit and asked if someone had lost a bet, but Ryan Pitino explained the rational for his decision in an interview with ESPN 680’s “The Deener Show”.
“If you’re going to ‘The Barn,’ why not wear a chicken suit?” Ryan Pitino told Deener.
Ryan arranged to wear the chicken suit through Walker Price, a former Louisville video manager that now works at Minnesota as Richard Pitino’s recruiting and operations coordinator. Ryan Pitino picked up the suit and drew the ire of his father, who wasn’t prepared for the chicken suit.
Richard wasn’t exactly all-for the idea either, but Ryan would not be dissuaded by his family:
“I go, ‘I’ve got a chicken suit I’m going to wear. Just don’t worry about it,’ ” Ryan told ESPN 680. “He goes, ‘No you’re not. You can’t do that.’ So I did it, and it turned out to be a pretty funny thing.”
Ryan added: “He noticed right when he walked out for the National Anthem. He gave me a little head nod like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ He enjoyed it after the win, of course.”
The chicken suit may have been semi-controversial in the Pitino household, but Minnesota got the win and Ryan is happy with the joke that he played, so all’s well that ends well.
(H/T: The Courier-Journal)