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Everything posted by Ray_Brinzer

  1. I don't know Earl Campbell, or of him, so I can't say on that account. As far as Gable: I have every reason to take what he says at face value; frankly, I think he'd probably take that trade in the opposite direction. And again, I don't want to belittle anyone's priorities. I think Gable's choices were good, because they suited him; they'd be terrible choices for someone else. People genuinely value different things. As I see it: it's just my body. I ride around in this thing. I like it when it works well, and I enjoy playing with it. But it's not me. It does communicate with me, and of course there are levels of pain I could not endure, but avoiding pain still ranks low on my priority list. I'd take it over an equivalent dose of emotional distress any day.
  2. I have various injuries, though they could be worse. As I see it, you have objectives, so you make tradeoffs and take risks. Obviously it's good when you aren't unhappy with your decisions later. When weighing it all, though, you should really keep in mind what you got, as well as what you gave up. Gable's a lot worse off than I am, in terms of injuries. I asked him once if it had been worth it. He laughed and was clearly surprised by the question... of course it was. I doubt he'd change his answer if he lost his legs tomorrow. That doesn't make his answer right, or other people's wrong; we all just value different things.
  3. I am pleased to find that I largely regard my abuses of my body with the sort of indifference I'd anticipated.
  4. Making good wrestlers isn't rocket science. If we need more, we can make more. Who's working on the problem, though? I wrote a much longer response, but I'm going to sit on it for now. In essence: creating good wrestlers is an easy project, if you want to do it as a program. It's just time-consuming, and requires expertise; thus, it's expensive. If you expect the grass roots system to do it, you need to manipulate the economic forces to get different results. Nobody is doing either of these things with the purpose of increasing the supply of good wrestlers to our college ranks. Reducing the demand for high-quality wrestlers, by eliminating programs, probably isn't a good idea. If it had any effect, it would probably lower production. That would lead to the same conclusion again: eliminate more programs, because there aren't enough good wrestlers to fill them. I realize that's far from a air-tight argument, but it's a lot more succinct than a better one.
  5. Thanks, Pamela. I figured it was something like that, but getting someone to step up with facts is better than offering speculation. Yes, I think this sort of thing happens seldom enough that it's less a matter of the NCAA following a policy, and more a matter of their asking, "Well, what do we do about this?" I would expect they'd want to preserve the championship tournament, as it makes money. I am, however, very reluctant to test the waters on things like this. We aren't universally popular in the NCAA, and to a lot of people, we represent atavistic violence and "poisonous masculinity". Those who aren't against us tend not to be especially for us, and I think it pays to be conservative in such an environment. At one point, I asked a fellow who had been in some fairly high-level NCAA committees why we had 9.9 scholarships when we have 10 weights. Turns out, we'd had 11, and the schools agreed to a 10% across-the-board reduction in small-sport scholarship caps. "Okay," I said, "but really... 9.9? We couldn't just get 10?" "Go ahead and ask for it," I was told (rhetorically; I wasn't in a position to ask). "Next thing you know, we'll have 9." That's my basic view of how our fortunes tend when things change. So yeah, I don't think it would be the end of all things, but I'd be surprised if we came out of the deal without losing anything important (aside from the programs themselves).
  6. Not even half; there are 16 men's gymnastics programs in the NCAA altogether. Here's a source for the 50 figure; the text is: I don't want to overstate what I know, here. Men's Gymnastics does have a championship, and it appears to be for all divisions (15 of the 16 are DI). I've gathered, in conversation, that falling below 50 would be a Very Bad Thingtm for us, but I wasn't particularly thorough about finding out what would happen.
  7. FYI, the minimum number of programs to be an NCAA Division I championship sport is 50.
  8. What if we... I don't know... increased the number of high-quality wrestlers coming out of high school? Or is that just crazy? On a totally unrelated note, I'm kind of short on money this summer. Wondering how to pay for camps, vacations, and such. I was thinking maybe I'd look for a way to make extra money, but... nah. I'll just put my kids up for adoption.
  9. "Accessibility" is one aspect of this. "Being welcome" is another. It's not just that we don't have programs geared toward adults who want to learn wrestling; we send a clear message of "WTF are you doing here?" when they walk in the door. This is like the controversy over girls' wrestling, where we puzzle over the problem, "Should we exclude half our potential customers right off the bat?"
  10. I didn't listen... but that doesn't mean it wasn't irritating having them tell me. Incidentally, one of the most interesting things about having children was discovering that "pain in the ass" is a congenital condition. So apparently it wasn't my fault; I am a victim of biology.
  11. Yeah, "never force kids to do anything" is simple-minded, and not apt to produce good results. "Be careful about forcing kids to do things, because it can go badly wrong," is much better advice. Unfortunately, that advice works best for people who don't need it: people with good judgement. You can't get around the fact that you need to look at what you're doing with your kids, and see if it's actually producing the results you want.
  12. I take one of my kids to a soccer game, and in two hours we leave. That includes a 1-hour practice before the game, and the game itself, where my kids spend most of their time playing. I take my son to a hockey game, and again, I'm out in about two hours. We often have to be there at the break of dawn; we haul a huge bag of gear; and a good deal of time is spent putting on the gear. Still, he gets to play for most of an hour. I take my kids to a wrestling tournament, we're there all day if it goes well, and about half of the day if it doesn't. When things go well, you may get 20 minutes of mat time. When they go badly, it can be very, very brief. When I was growing up, I accepted this without question. It didn't bother me to spend all day in a gym on Saturday, and then do it again in another gym on Sunday. I didn't feel I was sacrificing, because I wasn't going to do anything more interesting if I didn't go. I loved the freedom of tournaments; nobody told me what to do all day long. As a parent, who values his own time and his kids', I realize how awful it is. I'm about as devoted to the sport as anyone I know, and I love sharing it with my kids, but I really have to weigh what we're getting versus what we're giving up. And the frustrating thing is, it's unnecessary. Time spent wrestling is great, but time wasted so you can spend time wrestling is just time wasted. We need to do better than this.
  13. It's not an issue with the school that I coach. Naturally, different schools and states will have different policies... and the parents can potentially influence those, if they have reason to. But yes, sure, as with most things this advantage probably isn't equally advantageous everywhere.
  14. I took this as the original poster kicking around ideas. I hope no one actually wants to pass a rule with zero proof-of-concept work done. I think mat-side weigh-ins can be made to work well, but you just don't change everything because you have an idea that seems good in your head.
  15. I wasn't thinking of school-based high school tournaments, which are a small minority of the tournaments run. I probably should have been, though, as this is the "High School" section. Taking up that angle, though: you are correct about the athletes' travel to the tournament; it would be silly to even try. Travel from the tournament is another matter, though, as parents often take their kids home, rather than letting them take the bus. This means some percentage of athletes can leave early. And the advantage of being able to tell parents when to show up in order to see their kid(s) compete is worth considering. On the flip side of that: idle athletes tend to cause problems. Athletes who know they have nothing to do for hours are probably a liability. And having all the athletes of certain weights leave early would undermine the team aspect of these things. It's not an entirely natural fit for school-based high school tournaments. I think it's the direction we need to take for open tournaments, though. Possibly. I don't think we should wave away the burden of implementing any mechanism. On the other hand, eliminating the traditional weigh-in is a mitigating factor (though you'd still need a skin check). Assuming one scale serving two mats, an eight-mat tournament might need four people to sit around, with one simple thing to do every several minutes. This doesn't spell "disaster" to my mind, but people do have a knack for making a mess of things. The fact that the system is burdensome and (I believe) expensive? No doubt, we should stick with a proven system until we have a proven alternative. Mat-side weigh-ins should build up some kind of track record in open tournaments, probably at the youth level, before they're even considered for the high school season.
  16. This is certainly true. Reducing the amount of time athletes and parents waste in gyms should be a top priority. This assumes that the table will wait until one match ends before weighing in the next match. That really would be stupid. Any reasonable scheme would have next match weigh in while the previous one was still running. This would oblige the athletes to show up early and check in at the table... which is exactly what should be happening to minimize downtime anyway. The logistical implications of this can be debated, but mat downtime and longer tournaments don't seem to be valid drawbacks. In fact, consider how we might actually solve the wasted time problem. If I'm going to wrestle five matches to win a tournament, the ideal case might be that I got in and out in two and a half hours (perhaps; adjust to taste). This can be done; perhaps my weight class is scheduled to compete at 2 in the afternoon, and run until 5:30. I certainly don't want to show up for an 8am weigh-in, then. And keeping the weigh-in area open throughout the day would be a nuisance. Mat-side weigh-ins work well in such a scheme. I should like to see zero overly aggressive ones, and as few sensible ones as will get the job done adequately. I'm interested in eliminating administrative chores, or replacing them with lighter ones, not adding more.
  17. How much more often does the team which wins the flip win the dual meet? It would be nice to have some actual statistics, rather than impressions and anecdotes. If the numbers are skewed heavily in favor of the team which wins the flip, it would be a matter worth considering. If not... not. Assuming there is a problem, flipping before each match to see who sent out first would certainly shake things up, while letting coaches retain their ability to make choices as the meet progressed. This would be a nuisance, of course, but you might make it an option: either coach could request this arrangement before the initial flip. Most of the time they wouldn't, and things would be just like they are now. Matside weigh-ins require more work at the table, which must be accounted for, but they also eliminate the regular weigh-ins, and potentially a lot of bracket changes. They might also reduce the need for bureaucracy with the weight certification process. Eliminating incentives for bad behavior is often easier and more effective than regulating it.
  18. I don't recall seeing anyone else do more than one, and there aren't that many people I've seen do one. I never managed one. So there was a real sense of "WTF am I watching?" as it was going on. I can describe it: ugly. Full range, but ugly. He'd go down and dangle... sometimes rotating awkwardly, sometimes turning a bit sideways, so that his head wasn't pointed up. You'd think that had to be it, and then he'd correct it and hoist himself up again. Some kicking on later ones, if I recall correctly. Chin cleared. The whole thing took quite awhile. It was 17, and I'm not sure he did it more than once. He later told me that it hurt his shoulder. It's a weird story. If people don't believe it, I can't say I blame them, and it doesn't really bother me. From their standpoint, it's one guy's testimony; from mine, I don't get anything out of it either way. But I'm willing to say in public, "I saw this thing."
  19. Come to think of it, there was an assistant track coach at Okie State who could do a one-armed pull-up from a door frame, with his fingertips. He was a big rock-climber... I think he was really just coaching track to pay the bills. Tall guy, skinny as a rail. He'd make a stereotypical "karate chop" hand, with his knuckles (metacarpophalangeal joints) straight, and his fingers fully bent, so that the pads of his fingertips were flush against his fingers. Then he'd put his fingertips atop the door frame, so that the tips were pointed directly down. Then, full hang, and hoist himself up so his chin cleared. Not an wrestler, of course, so that's a bit off-topic, but I found it very interesting. Just got a text back from Mark Yanigihara... he wasn't in the room when Jim did the 17 one-armed pull-ups, but he did watch Jim do 92 two-armed. If any of you talk to Mike Ellsworth, Dave Surofchek, Brian Keck, Mike Uker, Dan Niebur, or Ethan Bosch, ask them about it. I don't quite recall who was in the room at the time, and I'm out of touch with those guys.
  20. For that matter, I watched Dave and Jeff Alexander, a pair of twins on my junior high team, each break 100 pull-ups with good form. They were serious gymnasts, and I think they each weighed around 70 at the time.
  21. I, and a bunch of the other wrestlers at the OTC at the time, watched Jim do 17 consecutive 1-armed pull-ups. It was with his right arm, if I recall correctly. He said it was stronger, and he couldn't do as many with the other.
  22. In a sport where the terminology is different in every town, how can you be sure anything isn't a wrestling term? Witness the bar arm and chancery... or cement mixer... cement job... cow catcher... etc. The only things we agree on are that a "tripod" has four legs, a "seatbelt" goes around your lower back, and every tournament where people come from further than a long walk can be called, " Nationals".
  23. The problem with evaluating this is, the results tend to converge. Really good leg riders tend to look similar, and once you hit "nobody gets out from under this guy" it's very hard to distinguish. Actually turning people would be an important way to differentiate. If you could cross-reference "people who mostly rode legs" with "nearfall points earned", it would be very interesting, but I doubt you'll find good records for nearfall points. You could scan the list of top pinners, and look for leg riders, at least. I'd give style points to someone who was adept with both parallel legs and cross-body legs. It doesn't mean he was more effective overall, but versatility is admirable. From my era, Terry and Troy Steiner deserve mention. At a time when I didn't worry much about getting off bottom in the NCAAs, I knew that if one of those guys got a boot in during practice, I'd be 20 or 30 minutes fighting my way off bottom... and I think they were 3 and 4 weights below me. If you'll excuse me for patting myself on the back, I think I was roughly as good as they were. Our technique was similar, and again, it's really hard to tell who is better after a certain point. (By the way, I felt matwork got easier once I graduated from high school. Pennsylvanians were brutal with this stuff.) Also, Dave Schultz isn't remembered as a leg rider, but he was damned nasty with legs... as with just about everything else on top.
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