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Everything posted by npope

  1. Of course these guys are incredible wrestlers and can do things most humans could never think of doing. That said, after all of the subtle back-and-forth in the match, I was surprised to see that DT got the takedown with Yazdani caught on his heels with a straight shot double leg right to his butt. Nothing super fancy; nothing incredibly awe-inspiring; just a textbook double leg to the opponent's butt. Its simplicity was a thing of beauty.
  2. I agree that it is indeed a big deal to the athletes - just as the annual world cup events are. But the Olympics are now in the hands of marketing wizards - wizards who can convince a normal typical American housewife (with no specific interest in sports in general) that she cares about how an Algerian man whom she has never met does in skeet shooting. Those marketing guys are the ones USA wrestling should hire to promote our sport.
  3. I would like to think that we are all experienced enough to understand that the Olympics are now just a shell event to make money for the TV networks. If money weren't involved, Olympic results would be relegated to a three inch article in the second page of the newspaper sports section. There are better minds than mine at work trying to figure out the best combination of sports for inclusion and presentation on TV. They do an incredible job at marketing (I mean, how many of you would otherwise tune in for synchronized diving?). but it is ALL ABOUT MONEY now - it is not about the actual sports. Whatever mix brings in the most viewers is what is going to be included in the Olympics - period.
  4. npope


    Is Grello to OU a done deal? I haven't seen any formal announcements as of yet.
  5. I would like to take a moment to thank you for helping me understand the structure and purpose of the educational system here in the US. You are providing a great service to many.
  6. Some on here were suggesting that Brandon was doing its wrestlers a disservice in that it "burned them out" before they got to college, as if college wrestling is some sort of obvious destination. My point is that wrestling at the K-12 level is an experience unto itself - stopping after the K-12 experience is perfectly fine - no matter the abilities of a kid. Talented wrestlers who go on to college to simply wrestle and who really aren't cut out for college, is a disservice to the kid. Accusations of Brandon "burning out" its kids is a flawed assumption. Now - I will get off my soap box and allow you to step back up on it.
  7. Oh yeah - Madison is seriously a great place...as long as you don't catch it on the wrong day in the winter.
  8. His twin brother, Zander, came to Madison at the same time recently graduated from UW. Zander had to retire from wrestling a few years back due to physical issues. Evan Wick indeed has one more year of eligibility available - red shirts and COVID and Olympic redshirts all contributed to an extended eligibility.
  9. You folks are defining the "success" or "flop" of a young man's life solely in terms of his success on the mat. I ask whether it is possible that knowing, fewer than a mere handful of young people will ever compete beyond high school, much less at the DI level, that the goals for the young people is something other that success at the collegiate level? Did you know that less than 60% of the adult population ever completes a college degree? Geeezz, maybe, just maybe, the high school athletic experience is an end unto itself. Maybe it teaches its lessons without expectation of a "next" level. Maybe those lessons have to do with doing one's very best at whatever their next step may be in life. I think all of the posters debating whether a given wrestler met athletic expectations at the "next level" are myopic and misguided; presuming that a given kid's entire life's trajectory is predicated on their success on the mat, at whatever level. The point is, a lot of kids aren't cut out for college and going to college just for wrestling is often an ill-fated journey. Very successful high school wrestlers go to college just for wrestling and aren't prepared for the academic rigor; they shouldn't be there....despite their wrestling ability. Athletics are included in the K-12 public school system because it is intended to teach broader values, not simply athletic success. Discipline; tenacity; comradery; etc. Those values may have been successfully instilled whether the kid ever goes to college; the "lesson" may have been already learned - any endeavor in college may be suplurfluous. So get your heads out of your butt and realize that a given school's education program might be about more than being an NCAA champ. I can't believe this thread has reached five pages.
  10. Yes, historically, Japan has been very xenophobic; there is an unwritten pecking order in terms of races and Japan perceives itself at the top of that order; as a generalized statement, they believe themselves to be the "chosen" race (of course, you can find any number of Japanese who disavow that notion, but they will also be able to tell you about the basis for that deep seeded belief that has to do with the legends as to the "birth of Japan"). But being Japanese comes with a price tag. I often felt sad for my Japanese friends because of the social and familial demands put upon them. If Grandpa says that you are coming over for dinner on Sunday then you are going to dinner on Sunday - period. Who you marry is not solely your choice - the family (traditionally) has a say in it. Being Japanese comes with all sorts of obscure obligations - it is not a party to which I would want to be invited. Indeed, as a white foreigner I was sometimes refused service in restaurants - not because I was white but rather, because I wasn't Japanese. Sometimes at a local bar my price for a beer was double that of a more familiar local. Certainly it mattered that I wasn't Japanese, but it was more about that I wasn't part of the familiar local group - I was infringing on the "warm intimate familiarity" they shared with one another. Japan is heavily predicated on the notion of the "in" and the "out." At the highest levels, in and out are decided by race. Even Japanese-born Koreans experience subtle degrees of racial bias because their "blood isn't Japanese." They might look Japanese, but the card they carry reveals they aren't "wareware" (we, the Japanese). It is like a series of concentric circles - the "in" group and the "out" group. The ultimate "in" group is immediate family and a Japanese person owes ultimate loyalty and responsibility to that group and lesser degrees of loyalty to friends with whom they may have gone to school. It's all part of a parsing and ranking process the Japanese go through when sizing you up so that they can better understand how they should deal with you. One time I was drinking at a bar and an older Japanese gentleman opened a conversation with me (speaking to an unknown foreigner would be a really rare event in Japan, but he was a little drunk so...). He asked me why us white Americans treated Blacks so badly in the US (this was 30 years ago, mind you). I explained to him that while his observation wasn't necessarily incorrect, many white Americans would also agree that such treatment is not appropriate or fair. And then I turned the table on him and asked "How about you Japanese - why do the Japanese treat the Koreans so badly here in Japan?" His response: "That's different - we really are better than them." I could only shake my head. I could write a book on the mistakes I made when I was trying to date Japanese girls - if you think reading women in our own culture is hard, try to date a Japanese girl - you'll never get it right! I can only laugh about it now.
  11. No doubt CA has a similar issue. Only 33% of Japan is habitable. That would suggest that you take half the population of the US and put it in about one-third of California and then you have what it's like to live in Japan.
  12. Japanese culture is predicated on Confucian ethics that require respect of age and status. These principles permeate all aspects of their culture - at home, at work, at play, at school, etc. That doesn't mean that everyone always exemplifies those ideals, but it is the foundation on which Japanese society operates. When a cluster of unacquainted Japanese meet in the business world the first thing they do is to exchange and read each others' business cards so that, in large part, they can immediately understand the social hierarchy that dictates how they treat/act toward one another; the aged, those with higher rank, etc., are accorded more deference. As Americans, we tend to want to offer deference to those we perceive to have "accomplished" relatively more, as opposed to focusing on age, etc. Just a nuanced difference. And too, what we consider to be deference may differ from what the Japanese might consider deference. Anyway, I digress. I am sure that anyone going to Japan for the Olympics will be perplexed on any number of occasions as they make their way around the country. While the pandemic may impose some distortions on typical Japanese behavior, one aspect of their culture for which they take great pride is not showing their emotions, especially negative emotions. If you offend them while you are there they will likely chalk it up to you being an unwitting foreigner and likely never change their facial expression to give you any suspicion that you've done something wrong. Best wishes for safe travels to all who might go - shame that we still have this pandemic hanging over us.
  13. Not nuts. Depending on the situation, approaching someone not on your "level" can be considered impolite. It doesn't mean that you can NEVER approach someone on a different level but rather, you have to use good judgement as to when it might be appropriate, i.e. the difference in social strata isn't too great. We have a similar structure here in the US, albeit perhaps not so rigid. Consider for example in the US if you worked for a large corporation and you were a relatively low level employee who happened to step on the elevator with the CEO. Are you going to tell me that striking up a conversation with the CEO out of the blue is the norm here in the US? The Japanese would think long and hard about doing anything other than offering a quick respectful bow to acknowledge the senior person's presence.
  14. Oh, I wholly agree - being Japanese and living in Japan comes with all sorts of social expectations that would certainly wear me down. That said, I am a white guy so I am easily differentiable from the locals. The Japanese are very aware of their race and do differentiate based on it - they even have a word for "we, the Japanese" when talking about how they might be different from other cultures/races. As a foreigner in Japan I was forgiven for my many clumsy social transgressions, e.g. forgetting to bow, bowing inappropriately, trying to start a conversation with someone "above my status," etc. The culture possesses all sorts of social rules and expectations but they cut me slack because there was an expectation that I was ignorant of the nuances and well, because I simply wasn't as cultured as the Japanese. But overall, the people treated my very kindly and I very much enjoyed the refined culture the Japanese possess. I am sure that, if foreigners were going to Japan at sometime other than during a pandemic they would have a unique and largely positive experience. During a pandemic...I suspect the Japanese might be even a bit more "phobic" than usual.
  15. While I "have no dog in this fight," I have lived in Japan and love the culture and people. One framework of comparison of Japan and the US that always helped me understand a seminal difference in the living conditions is that while Japan is roughly the land mass of California, Japan has about half of the population of the US. And too, Japan has a lot of mountains that are not inhabitable and thus, the population is further condensed into yet an even smaller area. Suffice to say, the Japanese culture reflects those realities - they are typically a very cooperative group and take orders well.
  16. Thanks. The participant numbers look a little thin - is this a unique, down, year?
  17. Where can we go to see the Pan Am results?
  18. I am an academic. The content of your comment leads me to believe that you must also travel in similar circles. Here's a riddle for you. What similar attributes do data and a prisoner share? The answer? Both will tell you exactly what you want to hear if you torture either of them long enough.
  19. Okay. But Amos isn't coming off a red-shirt year but rather, he simply has deferred enrollment until this coming year - he has his complete eligibility still intact. While Amos has great upside and is a tremendous "get" for Wisconsin, he has yet to step on the mat for Bucky and the path to success is littered with guys who "couldn't miss." So, I don't think the Badgers need a "replacement" star for Wick but rather, Wisconsin was looking to "make a move" this year with a loaded lineup...and I think they are (now) still two new bodies away from fulfilling that promise; still too many holes now that Wick is leaving town.
  20. Sorry, but there is no one on the Badger squad coming off redshirt that will out-perform Wick as a 2X AA at 165. Are you sure you are thinking of the right team?
  21. While Zander was forced out of wrestling a couple of years back because of injuries, he continued his education at Wisconsin and just graduated this spring.
  22. Is that something he got put into the contract? ; )
  23. Sorry, but he was a once time placer (fifth) in a three class system (Class A) while in high school. While great at greco, he was not a terror as a high school folkstyle wresler.
  24. npope

    Lee Kemp

    I was also fortunate enough to be at the US Olympic trials in 1984 when Schultz beat out Kemp for the spot on the team (won in two straight matches). Terribly bitter sweet, especially because of the US boycott of the 1980 Olympics. While Schultz was certainly coming into his own and was hard not to like, 1984 was going to be Kemp's last hurrah and his last chance to win an Olympic medal (Kemp wasn't quite "prime time" at the time of the 1976 Olympics).
  25. npope

    Lee Kemp

    I was one of the little guys and coach wouldn't turn me loose on Kemp [his delicate ego and all ; ) ]. Besides, there were plenty of other guys available to beat on me, e.g. Jim Haines (national champ and Olympian), Jack Reinwand (national champ and bronze medalist in the World Games, etc.). It was a tough room to emerge from with your wrestling ego in tact.
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