WIN Magazine

February and March 2017 Appearances

Thursday, February 9th, 2017 | Book Signing, Books, Speaking, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

February 10, 2017 – The inaugural class for the Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted prior to the Jefferson basketball game and Mike has been asked to represent Larry and Ted Lawrence, who are both deceased. There will be a social in the Jefferson Cafeteria at 4:30 p.m., with a hall of fame ceremony to follow at 5:15 p.m.

There will also be a brief presentation between the girls and boys varsity basketball games in the gymnasium and then a social and greeting time back in the cafeteria.

Larry Lawrence was an all-state football and basketball player at Jefferson and went on to become a star quarterback at Iowa for two seasons. He also played two seasons each in the Canadian Football League and the NFL. Larry died of heart problems in 2012 at the age of 63. Mike and Larry became good friends when Mike was sports editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette in the years 1978 to 1984 and they even co-hosted the Mr. Iowa contest in 1983, when Larry owned Ra Power Fitness Center. They remained in close contact until Larry’s death. His father, Ted, was a legendary high school coach at Jefferson for many years.
March 1, 2017 – Mike is producing a documentary on Bill Smith, one of the most important figures in American wrestling history. Bill was 1952 Olympic wrestling champion, an undefeated, 2-time NCAA champion in college and coach of the San Francisco Olympic Club team, leading it to 7 national team tiles in the 1960s. In this documentary, you will see many rare photos of Bill’s illustrious career, and be with Bill as the University of Northern Iowa dedicates its official mat in his honor in 2013. Then Bill reminisces about his 70 years in the Sport of Wrestling. Coming in March of 2017.

March 16-18, 2017 – As a guest of the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mike will be signing many of his 28 published books and will have the new Bill Smith DVD documentary available. Dale Anderson, two-time NCAA champion for Michigan State in the 1960s, will be with Mike and selling copies of his new book, “A Spartan Journey: Michigan State’s 1967 Miracle on the Mat”. Mike wrote the introduction to the book and Dan Gable wrote the foreword. The WIN Memorabilia Show is free and open to the public.

March 29, 2017 – Mike will be the featured speaker at Flag Day held at the Knoxville Library. He will give a talk on “Iowans of Impact”, based on his book of the same name, and on his book “Triumph and Tragedy” which tells the stories of football heroes Fred Becker and Nile Kinnick, who lost heir lives while serving in World War I and World War II, respectively. The talk begins at I p.m. and is open to the public. Contact the Knoxville Library for further details.

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2014 WIN Memorabilia Show

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 | WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

March 20-22 – For the 25th straight year Mike and Bev will be participating in the WIN Memorabilia Show during the NCAA Wrestling Championships, this time in Oklahoma City. The show features over 40 exhibitors and many Olympic and World wrestling champions. Mike’s special guests at his tables will be Dan Hodge, undefeated three-time NCAA champion and the man the Dan Hodge Trophy is named for, and Wayne Baughman, winner of 16 national titles and a member of three Olympic teams and eight World Games teams. Also with Mike and Bev will be Don Huff, co-author with Mike of the book SIDDENS, about legendary West Waterloo High School (Iowa) wrestling coach Bob Siddens. The WIN Show will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday between sessions – at the NCAA Fan Festival, in the Cox Convention Center. Among the special guests at the show will be Olympic champions Dan Gable, Bruce Baumgartner, and John and Ben Peterson, and many other top guests.

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Upcoming Speeches and Appearances

Sunday, February 10th, 2013 | Book Signing, Iowa History Journal, Speaking, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

February 20 — Mike will be talking to the Knoxville Rotary Club on Wednesday, February 20, at noon at the Swamp Fox Pub and Grille in Knoxville. His speech is about famous Iowans and Iowa History Journal.

March 21-23 – Mike and Bev will be appearing at the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines on March 21-23. Mike and Bev created the WIN show 23 years ago and they will be greeting wrestling fans and showing memorabilia, as well as selling books, posters and videos. Numerous Olympic champions will be the special guests and an estimated 10,000 wrestling fans are expected to attend the WIN show. It will be located inside of the NCAA Fan Festival in the HY-Vee Hall. There is no charge to attend the WIN show.

July 9 – Mike will be giving a speech on the life and legacy of Frank Gotch, former world heavyweight wrestling champion, on Tuesday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m., at Joe Sheldon County Park in Humboldt. The talk is being sponsored by Project AWARE, which is a volunteer weeklong river cleanup. Each year, hundreds of Iowans join together for a week in canoes to remove trash from 80-90 miles of a different river. To date, more than 2,500 AWARE volunteers from across the state have cleaned up over 780 river miles, removing more than 250 tons of trash (70% of which has been recycled) from rivers all across Iowa. This year’s event will be held July 6-13 on the Des Moines River from Algona down through Humboldt and Fort Dodge.The event is open to the public.

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History of the W.I.N. Memorabilia Show

Sunday, March 7th, 2010 | Columns, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

Mike’s column from the latest issue of WIN Magazine talks about the history of the Memorabilia Show. This show will mark Mike’s 20th and last show.

He writes:

The 1991 NCAA championships in Iowa City stand out in my mind as one of the most memorable ever, for many reasons.

…It was the scene for an experiment I tried with two friends – Mike DeAnna, former Hawkeye star, and Bob Steenlage, Iowa’s first four-time state champion and an All-American at West Point.

We wanted to develop an event that would offer fans a gathering spot between sessions of the tournament. We were tired of trying to meet friends in smoke-filled bars or crowded restaurants, or jammed into motel lobbies. We felt other fans would embrace the concept of a general gathering spot between sessions, as well.

That tournament marks the debut of what has become known as the “WIN Memorabilia Show.”

We hope to see you there this year!

To read the full article, click here…


W.I.N. Memorabilia Show for 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships

Saturday, March 6th, 2010 | WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

On March 18-21, Mike will be appearing at the WIN (Wrestling International Magazine) Memorabilia Show during the 2010 NCAA Wrestling Championships in Omaha, Nebraska, along with many legends from the world of wrestling. Mike and his wife Bev created the show 20 years ago and it has been a tremendous success. Last year, the show drew nearly 8,000 fans over three days.

This year’s show wil be held at the Hilton Omaha (details), right across the street from the Qwest Center, the arena where the wrestling will take place. There is no admission charge and many of Mike’s books and posters will be on sale at greatly reduced prices.

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Jack Brisco Passes Away at Age 68

Friday, March 5th, 2010 | Columns, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

Two WIN Magazine issues ago, I wrote about the passing of Steve “Dr. Death” Williams, who attended the WIN show two years ago in St. Louis. This issue, I am sad to report on the death of Jack Brisco, who was a guest at our WIN show in 2004.

Brisco died February 1 at age 68, from complications of heart surgery two weeks previous. He had been in ill health for the past several months. He was a star of the great Oklahoma State teams of the mid-1960s, winning the NCAA title at 191 pounds in 1965 after finishing second the year before. Jack only lost one match his entire college career and was a three-time state champion at Blackwell High School in Oklahoma.

Jack turned professional in 1965 and eventually became world heavyweight champion. He was a huge star for two decades. He was long retired and living in Tampa, Florida, when he died. Jack loved amateur wrestling and was extremely proud of his career in Oklahoma. He was the subject of a terrific biography written by Bill Murdock, called BRISCO, published in 2003.

Jack Brisco was an engaging, friendly man and a true champion of sport. He will be missed by all who knew him.

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The Day Gable Wrestled ‘Goober’

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 | Columns, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

There have been many great wrestling showdowns through the decades, such as Caruso-Fehrs, Behm- Sanders, Lewis-Smith, Fraser-Houck, Perry-Hendricks. They were all classic matches, to be sure.

But one match that never makes the list is Gable-Goober.

And for good reason. It was a pure mismatch from the outset, and there was nothing important about the match at all.

But it surely was the funniest wrestling match of all time!

Continue reading to see who won…

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Analysing the Brent Metcalf – Darrion Caldwell Match

Friday, April 10th, 2009 | Columns, WIN Magazine | No Comments

This article appeared in the issue of WIN Magazine after the NCAAs:

The Brent Metcalf-Darrion Caldwell showdown on Saturday night, March 21, has generated as much excitement as I have seen in many years. The huge crowd was roaring all the way through the match, and buzzing for an hour afterwards. Since then, the chat rooms are full of chatter, much of it good and some of it way over the line, about the two wrestlers and what transpired.


There has been a ton of analysis. What is indisputable is that North Carolina State’s Caldwell wrestled a brilliant match, both in terms of strategy and execution. It was a marvelous performance by a superb athlete.

What has mystified many is that Metcalf, nearing legendary status for his incredible endurance and conditioning, seemed to tire noticeably as the match wore on. How is that possible, many are asking? How can someone who trains like Brent Metcalf be fatigued?

What I think many people are overlooking is the impact of two key factors:
Expectation anxiety and emotional fatigue!

Both are little known aspects of sports competition. They exist, nonetheless, and stepped to the center mat during the 149-pound bout.

Continue reading…

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