SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) Terry Foster had a front-row seat to one of the most memorable rants in sports talk radio history, as co-host of the Valenti & Foster show on 97.1 The Ticket.
And as it was unfolding, Foster was afraid of how it would end.
“Boy, there were a lot of things (going through my mind),” Foster said, recovering at home from a minor stroke until he rejoins the show. “I was scared for him because he was losing his voice and initially tried to stop it, but, you know, it was so good I just gave up. I could see he was passionate about it. He was angry. He was hurt. there were a lot of emotions going on inside of him. It was like a front row seat to something you knew people were going to talk about for awhile.
“After that I said ‘forget it’ and let it go, I just sat back and enjoyed it.”
Many may not remember that Valenti missed the next day of work. Foster said his voice was too far gone to return.
“I could tell he was hurting himself, he was straining his voice and turning red and he was getting really, really, really mad and that’s why I was getting fearful for him… I thought he was going to have some kind of high blood pressure attack.
“I knew, you kind of knew, I didn’t know it was going to be in Sports Illustrated, but you knew you had just witnessed something that was great and if nothing else, you knew the passion he had for Michigan State University and the passion he had for his dad. That’s why that rant happened, everything festered on the way home from the game with his dad.
“That’s Mike. That’s what happens when he lets everything boil inside.”
Scott “Gator” Anderson from the Karsch and Anderson show says the rant pulled him out of a slumber.
“I was really p*** off. I was sleeping and I got a call from the program director saying ‘We need you to come in. Mike’s down.’ And I was like ‘What do you mean Mike’s down? ‘He lost his voice, he’s in bad shape, we need you Gator. We need you to come in.’ And I said ‘OK, yeah, sure, sure.’ So being the team player that I am, I got into my car, I drove to the radio station and I gave two and a half hours of brilliant radio with Terry Foster that day because Mike had to go on the DL,” Anderson recalled.
Doug Karsch believe Valenti went over the top.
“Slightly … He perhaps could have reeled it in just a tad. Most broadcasters don’t literally yell themselves off the air,” Karsch said.
Jamie Samuelsen of the Jamie and Stoney morning show remembers the call to “make plays!” most of all.
“It changed the dynamic of Michigan-Michigan State, it’s the greatest radio rant of all time and it’ll never be matched,” he said.
The best part was that it was “pure, raw emotion,” Samuelsen said.
The worst part? Samuelsen also remembers being “embarrassed for the guy.”
While Samuelsen is full of superlatives, Mike Stone, aka Stoney, remembers asking himself only one thing when he heard about the rant:
“Who is Mike Valenti?”