Play-by-play man Mario Impemba and color commentator Rod Allen have been calling Tigers games on Fox Sports Detroit together for over a decade—and they make a great on-screen duo, for what it’s worth. But apparently, putting two men together in a small box and forcing them to talk for several hours 162 games a year for 15 seasons can lead to some tensions, and that’s showed this week.
According to a report from The Athletic, Impemba and Allen had some sort of physical altercation following the Tigers’ game against the White Sox on Tuesday, which The Athletic is calling an “attack.”*
Multiple sources told The Athletic that neither Impemba nor Allen were part of Wednesday’s broadcast due to a physical altercation between the two television personalities following Tuesday’s game in Chicago against the White Sox. It is not immediately clear what prompted the attack.
According to the accounts of those sources, there has been simmering tension between both Impemba and Allen and the clash of personalities ultimately boiled over on Tuesday night.
The Athletic credited the tension to a difference in broadcasting styles and personalities, which the two find harder to smooth over off air. Impemba and Allen did not broadcast the Tigers game on Wednesday, and according to the report, they had separate travel arrangements back to Detroit.
When contacted by The Athletic, Fox Sports Detroit’s general manager did not deny that the altercation happened, saying, “My only comment is this we are addressing an internal matter and we will not have any further comment at this time.”
*Update (3:46 p.m. ET): The Athletic has since changed their wording to describe the physical altercation as an “incident” rather than an “attack.”
Update (5:20 p.m. ET): WDIV in Detroit is reporting that the physical altercation involved Allen choking Impemba from behind. Allen did this “because of a disagreement over a chair in the booth,” according to the report.