PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Former Multnomah Greyhound Park announcer Eric Anderson is the Chief Operating Officer for Game Day - a sports marketing group.Eric Anderson had the voice that made Multnomah Greyhound Park come alive on summer nights before it closed after the 2004 season.

Anderson spent almost 10 years at the track as its marketing director and announcer with his well-known “Here comes Rusty” to open each race.

“People want me to say that all the time, but nope, I'm retired,” Anderson said with a laugh.

He remembers calling races for C.J. Pepto Geno during his track record streak of 16 straight wins, culminating in front of a packed house on Derby Night.

“It gave people a great feeling — it was a magical night,” Anderson said.

He remembers lingering around the stadium a bit longer on that final night — the last person out the door around 1 a.m.

“That last night, we all took a little longer leaving — we knew it was the last time we would see that place,” he said. “It was time for it to go, but there are some great memories.”

He remains in touch with many of his former co-workers from the track, whether it's gathering over lunch or playing 18 holes on a local golf course. But life has moved on for Anderson, who took on a few radio jobs and sales ventures before landing with Game Day Sports Marketing in 2008.

It's been a perfect fit.

Game Day produces publications for a variety of pro teams, from the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Wild to the Green Bay Packers and his favorite team — the Minnesota Vikings. That typically takes on the form of team yearbooks, but also branches out into player publications. He remembers producing a cook book for defensive standout Jared Allen — "The Quarterback Killers Cookbook" — that included hunting stories along with gourmet recipes for anything from fish to rattlesnake.

“If it's happening with one of our publications, I'm overseeing it,” said Anderson, who chief operating officer for the media company. “There's never a dull moment. I'm working in professional sports, I create my own schedule, and I get a lot of family time. It's a lot of things that people take for granted. It's fun to have a job that allows you to apply for Super Bowl credentials.”

His job has opened doors for a behind-the-scenes look at the NFL, highlighted last season when he shook hands with Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant.

Travel takes him around the country, absorbing the atmosphere across the NFL's cities. Wherever he goes, he wears Viking purple close to his heart.

“I'll wear a Vikings shirt under everything. You can't see it, but I know it's there,” he said.

Probably a safe move, especially when he makes his favorite stop at Green Bay's Lambeau Field, where neighbors open their yards for parking and barbecue, the tailgating is legendary and the fans are the most passionate in the league.

“The people just go nuts — it's genuine, it's real,” Anderson said. “Everyone who is a football fan has to go there at least once.”

A few years back, he gave 50-yard-line tickets at Lambeau as a wedding gift. All was fine, until the bride got cold feet — on the legitimacy of the gift.

“What's a guy in Troutdale doing with tickets at Lambeau?” Anderson said, laughing. “I really had to convince her that they were real — and they had a fantastic time.”

His most difficult battle came 18 months ago, when he took his teenage daughter Jordan to the doctor to have bruises on her legs diagnosed.

It wasn't as simple as it looked.

Jordan had an aggressive form of leukemia. She spent the next six months in cancer treatment, determined to get healthy and to walk with her graduating class that June.

“She made up her mind that she was going to beat it, and that she was going to graduate, and she did — I'm so proud of her,” Anderson said. “She puts her mind to something, and she gets it done.”

Jordan, who just completed her freshman year at the University of Oregon, is in remission, with a year's worth of clean tests. She is studying sports business and law with an eye to working as a sports agent.

Anderson has served on the Troutdale City Council since 2011.PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Eric Anderson stands outside the former Multnomah Greyhound Park. He would like to see it sold and a monument erected to celebrate the track's history.

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