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Everything posted by OldGrappler

  1. Jack has been very tough for a long time. Being from CT, there is not a lot of natural competition for him, and he's had to go to Eastern States and the summer stuff at Super 32 to get exposure to the upper level kids. It was always impressive to me that, even when he lost to kids from NY or PA, none of them could run over him. They all had some serious trouble with him, and that was despite the fact that, IMO, he was physically not mature.....which I think he still is. Flo has some old video of him, and you can see that his style is still the same. He has a mat presence that reminds me some of Coleman Scott. He's long, and he does a good job of keeping the other guy from running over him, and he has a remarkably quick low single shot that he seems to have a terrific instinct about when to shoot. Jack only cracked the NCState lineup in the last three duals, and he beat two ranked wrestlers then. This kind of a run can only bring a smile to your face.
  2. They say running is the oldest sport. But it isn't. The first runner was running from a wrestler.
  3. Well, they don't care about it. That's not their reason for making the movie. I haven't seen it yet, and don't know if I will. But I agree with this comment. Its modern day hetero-phobia, and anti-masculinity. Its not going away. It comes from a similar mindset that hates football, and is on the attack against it. As to the mystery of the motive. I read the book written by the Philly Inquirer reporters not long after the incident, and concluded that DuPont was certifiably mentally ill....as in paranoid schizophrenia or some comparable diagnosis. I wonder how much of that came through in the movie. It probably was too much to expect the director and the audience to resist the idea of a creepy rich jerk enabled by his inherited wealth as opposed to a mentally ill "victim" himself.
  4. And, one of our problems in the wrestling community is that that camp is not small. I guess I'll get to see the movie in December. When the book about the murder came out years ago, I bought it and read it, but don't remember much other than that it seemed clear in hindsight that duPont was certifiably mentally disturbed. How clear it was at the time to those involved is hard to gauge, given what happened. The book is available on Amazon...its called Fatal Match. I'd recommend it to people who are interested in the story, and I think I'll dig it out and read it again.
  5. That was twenty years ago, although it ushered in a period of struggle that continued up through Greg Parker's two-time AA career ten years ago. Things are different now.
  6. Agreed.... but I didn't suggest seeking their support.
  7. I'm waiting to see it, but I'm hoping that it isn't just one more variation on the rich-people-are-evil rant that pervades the news these days. Or the "wrestlers-are-odd, who-would-want-to-do-that-or-watch-it" perception. For instance, the phrase "ego-maniacal lunatic" might apply to anyone who was compulsive and ultra-determined to reach some goal. But in duPont's case, you're actually, in fact, dealing with someone who was clinically mentally ill in a certifiable way. Regrettably, it ended in a murder. That has been the case more recently with any number of mentally-ill people ranging from the Connecticut grade school shootings to the California shootings last year. Its hardly specific to wrestling. sports in general, or rich people. My great fear is that it will further marginalize our sport. We all know and accept the wrestling for what it is....hand-to-hand combat with an audience (sometimes). We like that, but the anti-masculinity camp already hates it. We don't need for them to imagine other reasons to dislike it.
  8. Going back several decades, when many of these programs were dropped, the landscape was different. My guess is that at the time most of the D1 programs were dropped, they were staffed by people who were not from the area, and the rosters had people not from the area. If they did have people from their region, they probably weren't very competitive. Things have changed. Coaching in the South has improved, the wrestling is better, and there is more national level competition. I think this will continue. But dropping the programs probably happened because of a need to shed costs, and the wrestling program being the minor sport that offended people most. Or that had the least enthusiastic constituency among administrators.
  9. Heartbreaking. Water is much more dangerous than it might appear. Decades ago, in about 1968 or so John Imrie of Harvard, a top wrestler from Illinois, perished in a rafting accident....I believe on the Colorado river. It got my attention, because if anyone could have survived a physical challenge, it was Imrie. Young men, use caution, and watch out for your buddies.
  10. The jury is out until I see it. The reviews have me wondering. It seems that at least some of this movie's "appeal" to the reviewers comes because they get to vilify rich people, and because they think part of DuPont's problem was that he was "repressing" something. Just great. The movie ought to be about the danger of hanging around with someone who is mentally ill. I read an interview with the director a little while back that said that they didn't really understand why the things in the movie had happened and weren't trying to steer people to an explanation. But the reviewers certainly think that that is not the case. I hope it doesn't hurt the sport. I'm not optimistic so far, based on what I'm reading.
  11. Every wrestler has been familiar with the risk of a defensive fall from the time they first learned to leg wrestle. And every wrestler has understood that the rules were that you can't earn near fall points from a neutral or non-control position. At least I though everybody knew that. You can argue about it, but that's the rule. If you're in a position of control in a crab ride, or whatever, then you should have no trouble keeping your shoulders off the mat for a fraction of a second during any one second interval. I don't think its a surprise to the wrestler who is pinned that he was on his back. It is, I would concede, a surprise to those who get pinned when their shoulders touch for .4 or .5 seconds, but that's the same issue that I have with falls being called too quickly in normal circumstances. The ref's get excited and its over. I do think that without the defensive fall you'll see a completely different type of leg wrestling. A number of the reversal moves work because you're threatening to pin the riding guy in a defensive fall. Take that possibility away and you'll see fewer reversals and escapes, and more leech-type riding. Of course you don't see as much today of the bridge-backs because the ref will throw up a five count on you as you try to pin the offensive wrestler. I think that rule ought to be changed, or enforced, since I don't think nearfall points are supposed to be awarded if the defensive wrestler is bridging back onto the offensive guy attempting to pin him. If I have any gripes with refs, its certainly not the defensive fall. Its more the cheap tilts where points are awarded for breaking 90 degrees for a second and a half. To equate some of the scoring maneuvers that are rewarded today with the two points you get for a takedown is what's laughable.
  12. :) One of my favorite Jeff Foxworthy items: "If the roof of your vehicle is higher than the roof of your dwelling.........you may be a redneck". Not sure about Johnny's dwelling roof height.
  13. I think the key to it is to understand it as a "block" of the far knee by hooking it with your hand. By itself, that doesn't do anything. But the reason it works its that you're "running" the opponent over the blocked knee with your own shoulder and leg movement, and he can't move the only foot he has for support because of the block. You're not really trying to pull the knee in....you're just keeping your fishhook grip on it and keeping it blocked. There are some guys who can do this move from an underhook with their right arm and block the far knee with their left, and then "run" the guy like mad. That technique requires some mat space, but the guy will go down if its done correctly.
  14. Surprised no one has mentioned Jack Cuvo, who was, I believe, a cross country all american. One thing about wrestlers who have superior conditioning is that they have to be coached to get the action moving early and keep the calorie burning pace up, as opposed to being too deliberate. Gable's tactic was to bring his opponents' fatigue point into the timespan of the match. Being in better shape doesn't help you the way it should unless you bring the other guy's fatigue point into the match.
  15. I only saw Mills once in person. Looking at some old match tapes, and having read a lot, its clear that part of Mills greatness was shared with Gable. He didn't fear getting tired, and he thought his conditioning was superior to almost everyone, which it turned out to be. So he wasn't afraid of having points scored on him as long as enough calories were expended in doing it. Some of his matches were pure donnybrooks. As it relates to the half nelson ride, it appears he just decided he was going to ride with it, learn to avoid the wing and step-over,(which he did) and roll around that way until the other guy screwed up and stuck himself (which he often/usually did). I find Mills clinic tapes to be a complete hoot. What a funny guy. Its as though he's looking back on his career and subtly saying "Damn, it was fun to be that good." :)
  16. The most important quality that any coach can have is the ability to cause his athletes to believe that they can achieve something great if they work hard and prepare diligently. The almost-there coaches cause their athletes to believe that the best they can do is 5th or 6th, and that there is a "bum" inside them trying to thwart their preparation. The great coaches cause their athletes to believe that they are champions and all they have to do is do the hard work. Doing this requires that some other qualities be in place, but ultimately its like the Tug McGraw motto: Ya Gotta Believe. Because that's what give the energy for hard work.
  17. I agree with the footwork aspect of boxing. And I'll throw you a curve here. I think that skateboarding, snowboarding and skiing have great body awareness and balance traits to them. I've known several very good wrestlers who were skateboarders, one from years ago who was a Pa runner-up from a school with a weak program, who took Don Rohn into overtime in the state finals. The idea of keeping control of your "whole self" while being able to keep the right pressure where it needs to be (through your feet in the case of these other sports) is something that is very useful in the top position.
  18. There are standard arguments for each position, but I'll throw a wrench in here. Some guys have body proportions that point one way or the other. I always wanted to be able to sit back on my ankles and flatten them out to seal off the ankle-grab. But I just couldn't get it to work....my feet wouldn't flatten that easily, and I think part of the problem was that my overall leg length to upper body was rather short. It was easy to push me forward onto my nose or force my hands out for support. Other guys I've wrestled seemed to have shorter upper bodies and longer legs. This gave them a much better base if they sat back on their ankles, and they could work from there and hand fight until they had some control and then stand up. Its a fine point, but I think it does affect some individual choices.
  19. He apparently got second at the veterans nationals in one of the divisions. I googled around since it looked like he was still competing. There are some videos out there...he looks like a regular competitor, but its a little different if you're up against a teenager. He clearly was simply subduing/getting some control over the kid so he wouldn't get hit again. He probably could have beaten the bejesus out of him, but decided the best thing to do was to stay in the leg lock until the authorities showed up. There appears to be an overwhelming public sentiment in his favor.
  20. Clamping down on the undertook is important, but the critical thing, in my opinion, is that you must not allow the other wrestler to control your chin, or head. Get his hand/fingers off your chin. Obviously all this has to be done while keeping your base underneath you. With what I've seen at youth and high school levels, the cement job/cow catcher works pretty well against those attacking wrestlers who just ignore the position and keep driving in no matter what. Its important for the kids to recognize when there is trouble and to get rid of it first before continuing an attack.
  21. PSU website bio indicates that English holds an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering. This is pretty extremely impressive for a big-time NCAA wrestler.
  22. I may be mistaken, and will be happy to be corrected, but wasn't Peter Blair from Navy a walk-on. Well, actually I found a bio, so you can judge for yourself. It seems to me that if you weren't varsity in high school, you were a walk-on. http://www.navysports.com/sports/m-wres ... 09aab.html
  23. I believe mat wrestling died when cheap tilt points started to rain down in matches where either the bottom man wasn't anywhere near a 45 degree back angle, or where he was scooting or switching or trying to roll and could have abandoned the effort any time, but wound up having 3 back points thrown up on him. The shift towards calling back points like freestyle leads to bottom men defending more like freestyle.....and made worse by having to defend against roll-under tilts, etc. I don't think college wrestling has a problem any more than a lot of other college sports have a problem. And I agree with the earlier comment about stalling. If there is a refusal to engage, then it should be called. Otherwise, the guy who is losing has it incumbent on him to get something going. In football they don't require the team that is ahead to throw the ball. And in basketball they don't shorten the shot clock for the team that's ahead. Most of the concern with stalling is misplaced, I think. I watch a little MMA and I find it very interesting to watch, but its just as "boring" as college wrestling in terms of action. But for some reason that doesn't seem to affect its popularity.
  24. My college coach used to observe that he thought wrestling was 70% recruiting (he was a 3xEIWA, 2X all american, with one championship). I think he was probably about right on that. But, you don't get to pick your wrestlers, you have to recruit them, and get them to pick you. One of the things that I've learned over the years of watching and being around college and hs athletics is that you need to watch out for the "oh poor me" syndrome. That's the feeling of "how can I show what a great coach I am if I have these inferior guys out there screwing up in front of everybody". Without fail, the best coaches persuade/inspire their athletes that there is potential champion inside each of them, and that if they do the right things over time, with enough commitment, they can achieve something important. It's that belief that allows people to do the work that is required to be competitive for the podium at high level events. Part of this is making sure that the kids get the right technical instruction, and part if it is nurturing that belief that the goal is achievable. Its not easy to do, and not everyone is equally good at it. In Bill Parcells NFL HOF induction speech, he thanked the Hastings College AD who gave him his first head coaching job by remembering what the AD said to him: "Bill....our boys are good, hardworking kids who deserve a chance to win. Your job is to make sure they have that chance." The best coaches see that as their job, and they see their wrestlers' shortcomings as their own.
  25. The Ness move is an off-the-back flying cement job. Or you could call it a snake with an elevator if you're a Johnny Thompson fan. Rohn hit this move on Jessman Smith from Iowa in the semis in 2002, although he did it as a takedown counter and didn't get into it from underneath the way that Ness did. I think its a great move if you're behind and need a pin or back points to win. It works in part because the "victim" just doesn't feel like he's in trouble until its too late. He has the opponent on his back, and the "only" thing that's not quite perfect for him is that his head is stuck under the opponents armpit and he can't quite get it out....but heck, the opponent is on his back isn't he? How dangerous could that position be? :)
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