Reporter's Notebook: What The Hell is Rough And Rowdy?

For the last four years, as a USA Today sports host and reporter, my job was to cover big sporting events; set the scene, tell stories, interview athletes and provide pregame and postgame context and commentary.

In my time there, we got to see it all. I covered two World Series’, Three College Football Playoffs (including the National Championship), three Super Bowls, three Final Four’s, two NFL Drafts, two NBA Finals, the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and two NBA Summer League’s.

As you might imagine, the fanfare is epic. The volume is through the roof. The anticipation that has been building all year is now in overdrive. And the feels. The elation of victory and the drastic let down of defeat. The burning smell of champagne wafting in the air. The squishy, wet carpet from said champagne. And confetti. There is always LOTS of confetti.

But in all of my time covering these big events, I can truly say that these experiences will pale in comparison to what I’m about to see next. Rough and Rowdy 10.

When I got to Barstool I had never heard of this event. No clue. Everyone at the office kept referencing it. Friends from DC asked me if I was going to cover “it”. I had no idea what “it” was.

So what the fuck is Rough and Rowdy?

According to what I could gather, Rough and Rowdy is an amateur fighting event. Locals from the area can sign up (as long as their not professional fighters) to enter a single elimination tournament to compete in refereed boxing matches. Most of the fighters are untrained and if you watch tape, some of the fighters look like they came straight from working in the coal mines. Washington Post called it the event “where the forgotten town dukes it out once a year”. WOW. Love it.

THAT got me interested.

I then dug a little deeper. I watched the promo video, some clips of prior fights, sideline reports… you know, all standard sports fare. Only, this was not like anything I’d ever seen before. One man was throwing haymakers in jeans. One person had milk, YES milk, thrown on them. There were Romeo and Juliet style familial feuds that turned into brawls IN THE CROWD!

Another wrinkle on this is that Dave and Big Cat commentate the whole thing, improv style. That’s worth the price of admission alone. Caleb and Rone work the sidelines and interview fighters and folks in the crowd. The spontaneous banter is AMAZING.


I’ve now made it a personal mission to go inside, like the former journalist I am, and get the inside scoop.

This. Should. Be Wild.

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RNR 10