I came in late to the Norm Ellenberger saga. Very late.
In the 1970s when the bawdy, bell-bottomed and perennially tanned Ellenberger held court on the courts where his University of New Mexico basketball team played (and mostly won), I was not yet a Lobo, nor a college hoops fan. I had never attended a game, never saw him in his element, either in The Pit or at Ned’s, a wild watering hole that in its heyday attracted the movers, shakers and snorters of the city.
Ellenberger, flashy and famous, had his own table there, had his own sandwich: the “Stormin’ Norman,” a meaty melange of turkey, ham, pastrami, green chile, Swiss and cheddar.
Stormin’ Norman. That’s what they called him in those days. Think of that. He made the name Norman sound cool.