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Press Box fights or screaming matches

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Double Down, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    The old story 21 dug up about Mariotti and Telender threatening to come to blows in the press box got me thinking. How common is this? And is Rick's quote right on, or a bunch of unprofessional bull?

    "In all honesty," says Telander, "anybody who's ever written deadline journalism who hasn't gotten in a fight in the press box is somebody I wouldn't want to hire. People who aren't there don't know what it's like. People don't know the incredible pressures and tensions. People melt down all the time."

    Have you ever gotten into a confrontation in a press box?

    Once, on a 100-degree night in a press box with no AC, I was covering a college football game that ended in overtime 3 minutes before deadline. The team I was covering was ranked in the top 25, and is a fairly successful program from a BCS conference. They had just been upset in the season opener by an upstart, unranked program on the road. (Tiny town, awful press box, perhaps one of the worst Division I boxes I'd ever been in, but a huge deal to this school, which had never beaten a Top 25 team.) The Upstart Program's PR staff had been acting upprofessional all game -- cheering in the pressbox, cheering over the internal PA, using nicknames instead of real names on big plays by their team -- and after the game, some of them were singing the schools fight song and yuking it up quite loud. Stressing hard to get something better for the second edition, I somewhat rudely asked them to please be quiet, and was ignored. At that point, something in me snapped, and I yelled, loud and angry, "Would you please shut the fuck up? There are people here trying to do their jobs!"

    I'm sure they thought I was big-city scribe, acting like a big-city asshole, and I felt bad about it later, but they piped down, and the other guys who covered my team thought I was a hero. That's the closest I've ever come to a "press box fight," but I'd be interested in hearing some of your stories, with or without names.
  2. flaming_mo

    flaming_mo Guest

    Never been in a fight in the press box. Guess Telander will never hire me.
  3. schrdp2002

    schrdp2002 Member

    I've been in one shouting match...didn't come to blows though.
  4. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Tell us about Castle/Jauss, '85 . . .
  5. Was it Akron or Kent St.?

    I would also guess OU, it has AC.
  6. Moland Spring

    Moland Spring Member

    Damn. I'm not gonna get a job from Telander, either. I don't think this whole fighting in the press box thing is good or professional. It's like if people think coaches are just allowed to scream at reporters after bad losses. Regardless, it still looks bad.
    Of course, I'm worse. I'm usually the guy laughing at the guy melting down...
  7. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    And one has to ask, where were the Cub PR people to break it up?
  8. jay_christley

    jay_christley Member

    Maybe Gee can help me out with the details on this one, but I'm pretty sure Borges was involved in a scuffle at a boxing press conference.

    I found this when I googled Borges and brawl. Not sure who gets the credit for writing it, although I believe it was swiped from the Boston Herald.

    A simmering dispute led two boxing writers who work for the same newspaper company - Ron Borges of The Boston Globe and Michael Katz of The New York Times - to get in a knockdown brawl themselves while they were in Las Vegas to cover title matches.

    Borges and Katz traded punches before being separated during an interview session with boxing promoter Bob Arum on Thursday at the MGM Grand.

    Borges reportedly attacked Katz after Katz accused him of being a shill for boxing promoter Don King. Earlier this year, Katz called Borges ``a vomit-smelling sleaze'' in an article Katz wrote for the Web site, Maxboxing.com.

    The Boston Globe is owned by The New York Times Co.

    According to sources, Katz was interviewing Arum on Thursday in the MGM Grand press room when Borges walked over and asked Arum a question.

    Katz reportedly took exception to the interruption and told Borges to take a hike. Borges claimed he had every right to be there, prompting Katz to call him a shill.

    Borges said something to the effect of, ``One of these days your mouth is going to get you into trouble.''

    Katz responded with something like, ``Take your best shot.'' An enraged Borges allegedly lunged across the table and hit Katz across the back of his head with an open-hand slap, knocking his eyeglasses and beret to the floor.

    The two writers traded blows before Arum and his aide, Lee Samuels, dragged them apart. Both Arum and Samuels ended up on the floor, and Samuels reportedly injured his shoulder.
  9. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member


    Have known Jauss for decades, and love him to death.
  10. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member


    He should have hit him just for that.
  11. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Ron would benefit from a serious anger-management course.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    When writing on deadline, I could always tune out just about everything, so I was less likely to get into a fight when pressure is high in the press box.

    I have given plenty of PR folks crap when they couldn't/wouldn't do their jobs, though.
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