30. April 2012 · Comments Off on U-M Media Grudge Match · Categories: 2011

This morning on WTKA’s Michigan Insider Ira and Sam mentioned that Free Press writer Michael Rosenberg is leaving the paper to take a full time gig at Sports Illustrated.  After resetting his concerns about the quality of Rosey’s work, in particular the practicegate story,  Ira took it a step further by challenging him to a charity boxing match.   LOL


Certainly this won’t happen but if it did, rest assured I’d be ringside.  (And it’s not that I don’t like Rosenberg FWIW—he’s always been good to me.)

A man can dream, so if we can get these two together in the squared circle they’ll need an undercard.  Sticking with the media vs. media theme I have a few suggestions.   Remember we’re raising money for charity fergodsakes (you have a problem with that?) so this is for fun:

Sam Webb (GoBlueWolverine/Scout.com
Chris Balas (
The Wolverine/Rivals.com)

OVERVIEW:  If you don’t know, ask somebody.   Naturally there’s an organic competitive tension between the two major U-M recruiting networks but call it a gut feeling, I’m guessing these guys won’t be sharing a Twosie anytime soon.   In our 2010 interview Webb made it clear there’s no love lost between their crews.  The message board minions would flock in droves to get a glimpse of this action, as long as their moms let them borrow the van.
EDGE:   Neither man is physically imposing but I have a hunch that Sam’s the type of guy who doesn’t quit until the job is done.  While Balas appears to be in good shape, Sam’s been spending a lot of time with Skip at Body Specs and crushing salads (hold the bacon bits) for lunch.  Webb by TKO.

(P.S. If this doesn’t work out Webb vs. Valenti would put many an ass in the seats.)


Frank Beckmann (WJR, U-M radio
Mitch Albom (WJR, Detroit Free Press, Oprah Book Club

OVERVIEW:  It must get a little awkward up in the golden tower of the Fisher Building when these two are in the house.  Their heated 2011 debate on Beckmann’s show was harsh and got weird & personal real quick.   Clearly these guys can’t stand each other.  Private jets would roll into Willow Run to see this one (and I’m not talking about the handful that Mitch keeps there).
EDGE:   While Albom is certainly better conditioned (assuming he stopped lighting cigars with $100 bills), Beckmann has a sizeable height and reach advantage as I know he’s a pretty big guy.  I just can’t see Mitch landing a blow on Frank’s sizeable dome.   Gotta give it to Beckmann as long as he can end it in the first couple rounds.

Bob ‘Wojo’ Wojnowski (Detroit News, 97.1 The Ticket
Pat Caputo (Oakland Press/97.1 The Ticket

OVERVIEW:  I wish I knew of some grudge between these two but we need a heavyweight brawl–this is about as close as we’re going to get.   Caputo is probably not wild that Wojo bumped him from his slot in the evenings on 97.1 so perhaps there’s something there.  If that doesn’t get them started, if we offered the winner a pack of Nutter Butters you can be sure Wojo would send some fists flying with bad intentions. 
EDGE:   I really don’t know either man but Wojo just seems too nice and heck, he turned 50 last year.  No one is exactly sure how old Caputo is and Pat strikes me as the type of guy who would fight dirty if backed into a corner.  Caputo in a TKO.


Bill ‘Huge’ Simonson (The Huge Show
Jim Carty (Ann Arbor News (formerly)/New York Times

OVERVIEW: Do you remember?  Yes, there was a spell a few years back when Huge was regularly teeing off on Carty on his radio show (which used to air live in Ann Arbor).   According to Carty it started after he declined to go on air with Huge because he didn’t care for the style of the show.  Despite an olive branch from Huge when Carty retired from regular journalism, I’m guessing each man still has a few things to get off their respective chests. 
EDGE:   Carty strikes me as a lawyer, not a fighter, and I’ve run into Huge a couple times—he’s a pretty big dude.  Sorry JC, Huge by KO.


Lauren (Fox Sports Detroit
Allison (Fox Sports Detroit

OVERVIEW:  Foxy boxing is a must on any charity boxing undercard so we’d have to pit the two Fox Sports Girls, Lauren (M hat) and Allison.  I’m going volunteer to referee this one just to keep it fair.
EDGE:  Even.  Probably makes sense to starting planning a rematch.

[Ed. Updates May 1 ]

  • Funny, got a few pings from present and former media members, a couple noting that Balas is not just in good shape, he’s ripped.   To those guys – take a cold shower.  I still give Sam the edge.
  • Mike Rothstein of ESPN didn’t make the undercard but it probably wouldn’t be too tough to find a fellow or two to step up the challenge.  Consider Rothstein vs. Mark Snyder (of the Freep) on standby.
  • I paired Wojo and Caputo as heavyweights and it probably makes sense to add a couple lighter-weights.   How about a triple flyweight cage match between past and present mgo-correspondents Tom VanHaaren (ESPN), Ace Anbender (mgoblog) and Tim Sullivan (Rivals)?

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