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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/02/2021 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    drag it

    Gable documentary on Flo

    It's New Years Day, there is ice everywhere, it's a quarantine, and I don't like football much. So here is a long boring post. The new/old Gable documentary is up on Flo (behind the paywall). https://www.flowrestling.org/collections/6839009-the-life-of-dan-gable?playing=6848834. I don't think I've seen anyone comment on it here, so here's a thread starter for those interested. Flo apparently bought this from HBO or someone, I guess it was originally aired 1999ish. The filmmakers got access during Gable's famous last year in 1997. It's interesting because there is a book on that season where the author had the same access -- Zavoral's A Season on the Mat. I liked the book, which I've read several times, a lot more. Beyond the fact that a good book is better than a film version 90% of the time, I think the book is more for wrestling people, the film more for a general audience. On the latter point, one thing that I'll compliment the film for doing well is capture how Gable was unique among wrestlers in his appeal to the public. They show tons of huge newspaper headlines on the front page and on the front page of the sports section. They show him on national TV as THE attraction for the NCAAs/Wide World of Sports and Olympic coverage. They show him on Dick Cavett. Etc. Beyond the obligatory John Irving interviews, they also show thoughtful explanations by Nancy Schultz and Al Franken talking about how almost all of the interest in wrestling is usually from wrestlers, and how Gable broke through that. The film also did a nice job of vividly bringing out the role of Gable's murdered sister in his life, both before and after the crime, and informing his entire wrestling career. The interviews with him on it drive home how deeply personal this was and how conflicted he was about the conversation he had with the killer that, with 100% hindsight, was a warning. This has been covered before but I thought was done well here. But I found the film mostly plodding. It followed him in his last coaching season with his record setting team, with the adversity of his hip replacement in the middle of the season. But it seemed like they spent more time on his competitive career than on his coaching. They would show him coaching and then would cut in with flashbacks to lengthy tapes and descriptions of him competing which I thought were pretty clumsy and didn't really relate to the coaching tape they had just shown. I just don't think they used all this access and film they must have shot in nearly as productive way as they could have to demonstrate his coaching greatness. The book nicely captured his skill and intelligence as a coach, and added a lot to the common belief that he just worked worked worked worked the athletes. For instance, the book describes Gable navigating a very tricky complicated personal and medical issue with McIlravy, his father, and the team trainer, something that required some subtlety and nuance. And the key coaching decision he makes during the year is a conscious change in the training schedule at the end to back off. The film actually shows some tape of the result of this (the wrestlers wrapped in sheets and laying on the mats), but doesn’t let the viewer understand that this was part of a very significant strategic decision and that it went with a general downthrottling in the workout levels. His wrestlers are not drawn out at all as characters in the documentary. I don’t think they interviewed any of the wrestlers on the team (I think only Penrith as a former wrestler), they don’t interview (or I think even identify) his assistant coaches, and barely even identify the wrestlers by name (only when Gable or a TV announcer says their names), etc. Also there is just a lot of clumsy stuff in there. They talk about Gable cutting weight as a sophomore I think, to 95, but don’t really elaborate if this was a career-long issue for him. They show the wrestlers in the sauna but don’t really document any of their tough cuts (the book has some incredible scenes with Gable and Tom Brands and some of the wrestlers, particularly one with Mena). It’s still well worth watching. There isn’t much mainstream stuff out there on wrestling. Gable of course is always compelling. And they do have some memorable behind the scenes film. For instance, Joe Williams gassing out and then restarting a buddy carry up the Carver steps. And a compelling (and hilarious) scene where an exhausted McIlravy starts shouting at Gable when he makes them run an extra sprint because someone lagged on the last one, and rather than shout back, Gable deftly deflects him and says, in a faux helpless voice something like, What can I do? He’s part of the team. There is also some very sharp footage mat level at the NCAAs, including a terrific shot of the sea of a crowd going absolutely bonkers as Whitmer celebrates his semifinal win over Teague Moore, as well as the Brands coaching (with Tom having to calm Terry down in a foreshadowing of later years) and the pain in Gable's eyes and body language after a tough loss. Beyond the comparison with the book, it’s also interesting to compare this to the ESPN The Season documentary from the early 2000s, which of course is on youtube and I thought was more engrossing. For instance, in watching Gable in 1997 in the Flo film with Zalesky in the background as assistant, you can see how Zalesky as coach in The Season struggled to find his own identity. This happens a lot when someone is a disciple of an extraordinary leader, they end up imitating the original leader to sometimes embarrassing extremes and of course fail because no one can duplicate the original. Zalesky’s yelling at the team in The Season is a straight imitation of Gable, the same gestures and intonation and chopped diction, and it just doesn’t work, because it’s Gable, not him. I figure that it didn’t matter as much those first three seasons after Gable retired and they won NCAAs, since the team would have still included some Gable guys, but was probably a bigger problem the further out he got (as the results got worse). OK enough of my meaningless meanderings. Happy New Year everyone.
  2. 2 points

    Mizzou Lineup

    I'm less high on him as I believe the weight will be a crapshoot in the 8-20 range and aside for Clay Lautt(sp) there aren't any real high HP elite gents at 174 that would fall in that range that would just horse him about. Add in that I believe Lautt is actually going 184 and I do think he'd be fine, as long as he stays healthy.
  3. 1 point
    Schultz wins 2-0 at 285 lbs. Final score of the dual meet is ASU 39 - Little Rock 3 Announcers said they will take a 30 minute break and then be back for "about 19" more matches.
  4. 1 point
    ASU's Lipari wins 3-0 at 141 lbs - ASU leads 10-0 after first three matches.
  5. 1 point
    McGee wins at 133 lbs by MD (10-2) over Bianchi. ASU leads 7-0 after first two matches.
  6. 1 point

    Hofstra vs Lehigh today...WTF

    Cancelled due to a positive COVID test among Hofstra personnel. This is going well.
  7. 1 point


    Great, you've listed an example of a sport where male athletes are significantly more popular. Others include football, baseball, and hockey-the sports with professional leagues with huge built up brands. Sports where women are more or equally as popular in the united states as the male counterparts: Tennis, Figure Skating, volleyball, swimming, Soccer, gymnastics. All of those women's sports are more popular than men's wrestling (except volleyball, which I know nothing about but probably gets more olympic air time). If you want an example that's most similar to wrestling, why don't we just use MMA? In MMA, the women fighters sell a significant number of PPVs, and Ronda Rousey was as big of a star as anybody other than Conor and Lesnar. If women's wrestling is supported through marketing by outlets like flo and financially by USAW, it could prove to be a great way to draw new fans to the sport.
  8. 1 point


    I believe Coach_J is saying that sometimes when you invest time, energy and marketing effort to expose the ‘product’ ... demand appears and you can build on that. But if you don’t invest and keep the product somewhat unexposed, it is a lot harder to find an audience. All fair. The market argument still applies in my mind but like most things, you need to find an investor to help promote it early on and take the risk that the investment will pay off. I think many on here are saying that taking that risk seems like a good idea.
  9. 1 point

    Little Rock's 2021 wrestling schedule

    https://lrtrojans.com/sports/wrestling/schedule Cal Poly, Cal State Bakersfield and Stanford still have not yet released their schedules for their 2021 wrestling teams.
  10. 1 point

    Gable documentary on Flo

    Given all the hype by Flo, I was disappointed. I was expecting some fresh material. I don’t feel it lived up to what we saw with Metcalf, Brands, Kolat, etc. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  11. 1 point
    Interesting. I've honestly never really looked at the Track rosters in all my years following wrestling, so I didn't know if it was some technical thing with the software that they needed to enter, or if it was actually legit tied to things like academic eligibility.
  12. 1 point

    Campbell @ UNC on Friday

    @Housebuye I hear ya.
  13. 1 point
    Le duke

    B1G schedule

    Over on Rivals/BWI there’s some speculation, founded or not, that teams might bring their entire lineups and do what HS teams do. Get everyone out there. Varsity would be the televised event, but I could definitely envision coaches wanting to get their guys some reps. It would be kind of funny to see Tom Brands or Jake Varner in a ref shirt. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. 1 point
    that has changed. they are trying to get him in to school now.
  15. 1 point


    When it comes to stipends or prize money paid by USA Wrestling, I think they should be the same. But when it comes to the types of PPV events we've been having, whether it is dual meet style or tournament, then there is no other way to go than what the market demands in terms of opportunity and pay. You can't force Flo to hold a card with a women's headliner match and pay to match that of JB/Taylor (whatever that amount may be). It just wouldn't be financially feasible. I am glad they are getting women's matches on some of these cards, which will help with exposure and may lead to more interest. All that said, if all of the wrestlers want to start a union to demand equal pay and opportunity for these types of matches, that would be their right. But you won't see the top names willing to take a hit to their bank accounts to force that kind of move. There is just not enough money in wrestling to go around like that.
  16. 1 point


    On that note...
  17. 1 point

    Suriano to Arizona

    Burned bridges at NLWC and NJRTC, and refuses to be anywhere that has a competitive 57kg. That doesn't leave too many options.
  18. 1 point

    Wrestling from space: JO

    So, are you guys differentiating throws from trips? In my book, a throw is not a trip or a sweep. Trips and sweeps are far less risky. Or are you all treating them as one and the same?
  19. 1 point

    Lehigh Schedule is out

    Because the Ivies are actually in the Ivy League and Lehigh isn't.
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