Mike Valenti

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Michael J. Valenti
Born October 24, 1980
Show Valenti & Foster
Station(s) WXYT-FM/AM, Detroit, Michigan
Time slot 2:00 - 6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday
Style Sports radio/general talk
Country United States
Website http://971theticket.com

Mike Valenti (born October 24, 1980) is a radio commentator based in Detroit, Michigan. He is one half of The Valenti and Foster Show (formerly The Sports Inferno). His show can be heard weekday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on WXYT-FM 97.1. His co-host is Terry Foster.

Education and career[edit]

Valenti graduated from Michigan State University in 2002 with a degree in journalism. He first stepped into radio as a producer of Mad Dog & Company and also co-hosted the Spartan Tailgate Show at WVFN 730 AM in Lansing, Michigan. In 2002, Valenti was hired as producer of SportsPage with Jack and Tom on 92.7 WQTX. Valenti would then be hired as co-host of The Sports Inferno alongside Terry Foster, middays on 1270 WXYT in Detroit.

In March, 2009 Valenti caused controversy after reading a couple jokes about Detroit Lions defensive end Corey Smith, who lost at sea and presumed dead. Valenti while on air, read a couple distasteful "ticket texts" poking fun at Smith's disappearance. With the Lions being the team's flagship station, he reluctantly apologized on air the next day. [1]

In December, 2013 Valenti dining at a steakhouse in Birmingham, Michigan, took a "flaming tomahawk" to the face, which caused severe burns. [2]

Valenti appeared on The Ford Lions Report on Sunday Mornings during the NFL regular season, during pro football fantasy team reports, and the Lions pre game show.[3]

The Lions didn’t renew their contract with 97.1 The Ticket for 2016 opting for a 5-year contract with WJR. Valenti’s agent Mort Meisner reported the Lions wanted Valenti fired in order to renew with 97.1 The Ticket.[4]

“It’s absolutely true, 100 percent of it,” Mike Valenti said about allegations the Lions left 97.1 The Ticket because they didn’t like his criticism of the team.[5]

Valenti was re-signed by 97.1 The Ticket to a multi-year deal in April of 2016.[6]

The Rant: "Make Plays!"[edit]

On Monday, September 25, 2006, following a Michigan State University football loss against Notre Dame—a game in which his alma mater blew a sixteen-point fourth-quarter lead—Valenti went off on a twelve-minute[7] on-air tirade ripping into the Spartans for their poor showing. Highlights of the rant featured Valenti saying the Spartans "choked on applesauce", and his plea to then-head coach John L. Smith to recognize that "timeouts are not like cell phone minutes — they don't carry over!" Valenti also included scathing criticism of offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin's decision to have Drew Stanton "run the option in Hurricane Katrina," and a desire for defensive coordinator Chris Smeland to be replaced by H. R. Pufnstuf with Teddy Ruxpin as his assistant.[8][9]

The meltdown was covered in an article in Sports Illustrated where it was deemed "the single finest rant ever heard on sports talk radio".[7]

It is widely accepted that Valenti considered this the turning point in his career.[citation needed] Valenti began to use "rants" as part of his on-air shtick.[citation needed]


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