Opinion: Story was inaccurate about Jell-O wrestling event at Milan bar
As the owner of Dino’s Dugout Sports Bar & Grille, I feel compelled to comment about inaccuracies and omissions in the AnnArbor.com article regarding our Super Bowl 2010 event. There were no quotes from me in that article, as I made a conscious decision to decline comment to the reporter due to the negative light in which my business was portrayed in previous articles.
Let me first say that we believe in our staff and feel that they always do a great job, including on the night of the Super Bowl event. They are all T.I.P.S. certified, perform their duties well, and we are proud of them.
To set the record straight, we never advertised, nor held, a Jell-O wrestling “tournament” or “competition”. We simply hosted a “Super Bowl party” and asked some volunteers to wrestle to raise funds for a Milan community event.
Our wrestlers were all required to wear some form of shorts, T-shirt, or tank top when wrestling as we are not a strip club. Alcoholic beverages were also not given away for free as was previously alleged. Any drinks that the wrestlers received were purchased. In planning for the event, a shuttle service was arranged, as well as accommodations at the Milan Sleep Inn, so that none of the participants would have to worry about a ride home. All wrestlers were informed of these arrangements when they signed up to participate.
Unfortunately, one of the wrestlers misled us, saying she was going to “grab a change of clothes from her car,” then disappeared. It was later discovered that she had been picked up by the Milan Police. She did not appear to be intoxicated to us. She was not stumbling, slurring her speech, nor were her eyes bloodshot. She claimed to have had asthma and was seen using an inhaler multiple times. From the time she left the bar until the time she was pulled over, we do not know what took place.
Subsequently, a total six allegations were made against us, of which we were cited for just three. Two of the citations were simply clerical errors on our part and have since been corrected. The third citation was “sale to an intoxicated person”. This has been the toughest one to accept since we felt we had a strong case against it. Due to lack of funding for defense costs however, we chose to not challenge this allegation in court. It made more sense financially to simply pay the fine.
Just a side note, there has been only one other liquor license violation in our long history, a returned check over six years ago that was immediately rectified. This whole situation has been personally upsetting to me because in 33 years of business my family has hosted and/or sponsored many organizations here in Milan. We have always endeavored to be a positive force within the community and feel that we were unfairly judged before all the facts were in.
I would like to finish by saying that there are people that thrive on other people’s misfortune and like to point their finger and talk down about them, especially when presented with an unbalanced or uninformed point of view. We all need to keep in mind that unfortunate things happen to everyone and it is up to us as individuals to be objective and think about what it would be like if the shoe was on the other foot.
Dino Koukoumtzis Milan