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Meet the Staff of TheWolverine.com
Welcome to our new staff page for TheWolverine.com. This is your chance to get to know us a little better, see what we look like and how to reach us if you need to.
Name: John Borton
Title: Editor, The Wolverine
Job Description: Columnist, feature writer for Michigan football and basketball, explosives disabler.
Years at TheWolverine.com: 1991-present
How to Reach Me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hobbies/Interests: Golf, kayaking, travel.
Top Five Players You've Covered: Charles Woodson, Tom Brady, Desmond Howard, Steve Hutchinson and Jake Long.
Most Memorable Interview: I sat on the floor with Desmond Howard, in the little greeting office at Schembechler Hall, in the fall of '91. He was explaining that nationally, not too many people knew his name then, but he hoped they would by the end of the year. By the end of the year (his Heisman year), you couldn't interview him without being part of a nationwide teleconference. I'll always remember Gary Moeller peeking in on his way out of the building (Ft. Schembechler was a little different back then) and saying, "You alright, Desmond?" and Howard saying yes and cutting loose with the classic grin.
Top Five Games You've Covered: 1998 Rose Bowl, when Michigan sealed the national championship; 2001 Orange Bowl, Michigan over Alabama; 1993 Rose Bowl, Tyrone Wheatley running wild on Washington; Michigan 13, Ohio State 9 in the Horseshoe in 1996; Michigan 20, Ohio State 14 in 1997 to seal an undefeated regular season.
What Position Would You Play if You Were On The Team: Cornerback, with plenty of help over the top.
Could You Make A 30-Yard Field Goal: Without a doubt. It would involve months of training with Remy Hamilton, Jay Feely, and Aaron Wellman, wise words from Brady (The Kicker Whisperer) Hoke, and a well-placed hurricane, but yeah, why not?
Favorite Restaurant in Ann Arbor: The Chop House.
Best Pizza in Ann Arbor: Pizza House
Football Saturday Tradition: Driving to the game with my not-so-little guy (20 now) and giving him the bear hug at the media entrance before he heads to the stands and dad goes to work. Eleven years and counting
Name: Chris Balas
Title: Senior Editor
Job Description: Manage TheWolverine.com operations, cover football, basketball and recruiting for TheWolverine.com and The Wolverine magazine.
Years at TheWolverine.com: (2002-present)
How To Reach Me: email@example.com
Hobbies/Interests: Exercising, spending time with my kids.
Top Five Players You've Covered: Charles Woodson (one great year), Trey Burke, Mike Hart, Braylon Edwards and Chris Perry.
Most Memorable Interview: Interviewing the great Al Wistert in his kitchen before his death. A down to earth guy who gave me banana bread and brought the 40s to life for me.
Top Five Games You've Covered: Michigan - Michigan State 2004; Michigan - Kansas basketball 2013; Michigan - Minnesota 2003; Michigan - Michigan State basketball 2012; Michigan - Ohio State football 2006.
What Position Would You Play If You Were On The Team: Holder.
Could You Make A 30-Yard Field Goal: My biggest moment in Michigan Stadium was making a 45-yard field goal during college. I retired after that. So I have no idea.
Best Pizza in Ann Arbor: Pizza House.
Football Saturday Tradition: Tailgating with my family, finishing with a toast.
Name: Michael Spath
Title: Managing Editor
Job Description: Responsible for the editorial content of TheWolverine.com and The Wolverine magazine, also a columnist/feature writer for football and beat writer for hockey.
Years at TheWolverine.com: (2002-present)
How to Reach Me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hobbies/Interests: Cross fit, running, pick-up hoops (anything active), cooking, coaching and volunteering at my church.
Top Five Players You've Covered: Chris Perry, Braylon Edwards, Mike Hart, Jake Long and Brandon Graham.
(And for hockey): Jeff Tambellini, Jack Johnson, Kevin Porter, Carl Hagelin and Shawn Hunwick.
Most Memorable Interview: Was actually an interview with Michael Woodford from the hockey team. He was having a late surge in his senior year and he revealed just how difficult life was the past few because of an ongoing battle with his alcoholic father. It was heartbreaking stuff and yet he was holding his family together as best he could. We're not supposed to "root" for anyone in this business, but I rooted for that kid.
Top Five Games You've Covered: Washington 2002 (was my first game working for The Wolverine and I stood under the uprights as Phil Brabbs' kick sailed through); Ohio State 2003 (when U-M captured the Big Ten title, validating John Navarre's career); Michigan State 2004 (triple OT, 'nuff said); Appalachian State 2007 (like it or not, biggest upset in college football history); Notre Dame 2011 (can this night be topped?)
What Position Would You Play If You Were On The Team: Tight end. I'm tall (6-3) and could carry 230 (or more), have good hands and would like to muck it up with an opponent on the line of scrimmage.
Could You Make A 30-Yard Field Goal: I've tried, and the answer is a resounding 'No.'
Favorite Restaurant in Ann Arbor: Grizzly Peak is my go-to place, but I'm a huge foodie so I like Vinology, Melange, Isalita, Sava's and Cafe Felix (Casey's has the best burger, though).
Best Pizza in Ann Arbor: Cafe Felix's Marguerite pizza is pretty darn good.
Football Saturday Tradition: Always there three hours before game time (four or five for 3:30 p.m. games) and I rotate between tailgating with my brother and his friends, and tailgating with the Kasiborkis a block from the stadium. I'm very good at eating other people's food.
Name: Tim Sullivan
Title: Football Recruiting Editor
Job Description: Coordinates coverage of all U-M football recruiting. Reports with video, audio, and print.
Years at TheWolverine.com: (2011-present)
How to Reach Me: email@example.com
Hobbies/Interests: Lacrosse, wakeboarding, snowboarding, cooking, the City of Detroit.
Top Five Players You've Covered: Denard Robinson, Devin Gardner, Mike Hart, Chad Henne, Mario Manningham.
Most Memorable Interview: The first high school player I interviewed in 2008 when I was at a previous job was Devin Gardner. It was memorable because it was a first, and it also really tied together in my mind that these aren't just football players, they're kids.
Top Five Games You've Covered: Penn State 2005 (my first time on the field), Michigan State 2007, Notre Dame 2011, Ohio State 2011 (the first time I ever watched Michigan beat Ohio State live), Notre Dame 2006.
What Position Would You Play If You Were On The Team: Quarterback, lefty style.
Could You Make A 30-Yard Field Goal: With practice, yes. Actually, probably not even then.
Favorite Restaurant in Ann Arbor: Quickie Burger. Doesn't get nearly the credit it deserves.
Best Pizza in Ann Arbor: Cottage Inn (the takeout place, not The Original).
Football Saturday Tradition: It's a very different lifestyle than I lived in the fan days. Now, it's about getting to Ann arbor as early as possible to prepare mentally and watch the recruits arrive on campus.
Name: Andy Reid
Title: Staff writer
Job Description: I'm the utility guy.
Years at TheWolverine.com: (2010-present)
How You Can Reach Me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hobbies/Interests: College football junkie, pulled pork barbeque artist, music festival aficionado.
Top Five Players You've Covered: Trey Burke, Denard Robinson, Kevin Porter, Brandon Graham, Taylor Lewan (Can you tell I haven't been doing this as long as some of these old guys? *ahem* Borton )
Most Memorable Interview: When I once sat down with former Michigan standout Antonio Bass, who was forced to give up football after a horrifying knee injury. We talked for hours about the excruciating rehab, the moment he realized he'd never play again and his determination to graduate from Michigan, with or without football. It was really powerful stuff.
Top Five Games You've Covered: Notre Dame at Michigan, 2011; Northwestern at Michigan, 2012; Ohio State at Michigan, 2011; Wisconsin at Michigan, 2008; Michigan State at Michigan, 2012 (What can I say? I love an exciting finish.)
What Position Would You Play If You Were On The Team: I was an outside linebacker/defensive end in high school, so probably that.
Could You Make A 30-Yard Field Goal: I can confidently say no.
Favorite Restaurant in Ann Arbor: Blue Tractor.
Best Pizza in Ann Arbor: Silvio's.
Football Saturday Tradition: My parents have season tickets, so I hang out with them for a while every Saturday before heading up to the press box.
Name: Doug Skene
Title: Michigan OL 1988-1993 (Rose Bowl champion)
Job Description: Analyst
Years at TheWolverine.com: 2011-present
How to Reach Me: Don't even think about it.
Hobbies/Interests: Golfing, cycling, boating, coaching high school offensive linemen.
Top Five Players I Played With: Steve Everitt, Drew Bledsoe, Corwin Brown, Desmond Howard and Chris Hutchinson.
Most Memorable Interview: Post-game 1993 Rose Bowl, as a champion.
Top Five Games I Played In: 1993 Rose Bowl,
1992 Rose Bowl, 1992 Michigan State at Michigan, 1992 Michigan at Ohio State, 1992 Houston at Michigan (the run and gun don't work).
What Position Would You Play If You Were On The Team: OL- where else is there to play???
Could You Make A 30-Yard Field Goal: Of course I could make a 30 yard field goal! Certainly better than Balas and Spath!
Favorite Restaurant in Ann Arbor: Chop house - Surf and turf baby!!!
Best Pizza in Ann Arbor: Cottage Inn - the original location dine in.
Football Saturday Tradition: Tailgate with friends and teammates, catch the band arrival, watch the OL like a hawk.