ARCHIVE 1/5/09: When Vince McMahon Stole Frank Deford’s Shoes

Published May 20th, 2009, Uncategorized

When Vince McMahon Stole Frank Deford’s Shoes

Monday, January 5th, 2009

One of the stranger passages in Vince McMahon’s interview by Congressional investigators is where he’s asked about Frank Deford’s piece praising a study of early deaths in wrestling by Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer. (In a National Public Radio commentary, Deford called Meltzer “the most accomplished reporter in sports journalism.”)

McMahon says, “Look, I borrowed one of Frank Deford’s shoes one night. He doesn’t like me.”

The staffer on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee follows up: “Are you familiar with [Deford’s commentary]?” and the transcript proceeds:

A No. Other than Frank Deford wrote something derogatory. But, you know, he has no sense of humor and he doesn’t like me. We were bowling one night and I borrowed one of his shoes and he never found it. And so he had to walk home in a bowling shoe and one of his others, and he was upset about that I understand. Mr. Leviss. I’m going to have to note that would be upsetting too. Mr. O’Neil. Now we know the rest of the story. Mr. McDevitt. [Jerry McDevitt, McMahon’s lawyer] You’re hearing something for the first time, too. I never heard that one. Mr. McMahon. Well, actually I also borrowed one of his wife’s shoes, too. Mr. McDevitt. That’s a whole different story. Mr. McMahon. I left that part out.

Mr. Leviss. I take it she was not your size.
In an email, Deford confirms the story:

“I’m rather amazed that McMahon would bring this up, but it’s a pretty accurate account of him acting like a horse’s ass. We were at a birthday party for John Filipelli, who was running Mc’s TV at the time. We were at a bowling alley at a country club and McMahon and his buddy, Pat Patterson [former wrestler and long-time right-hand man], thought it was hilarious to steal — yes, steal, since we never got them back — one of my shoes and one of my wife’s shoes. Really weird.”

Irv Muchnick