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  1. If you read Taylor’s post in its entirety, it is apparent he isn’t saying Downey was “gifted” the spot in that Taylor handed it to him (even though it’s true) but rather that any chance to represent your country involves an alignment of the stars for which competitors should be grateful. Read the paragraph preceding the quote.
  2. Rewatching the finals, I think we may have witnessed something unusual in the Nolf and Nickal finals, where they deliberately avoided running up the score in deference to, and respect for, their opponents. In Nolf’s case, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering why Nolf basically stopped trying to score halfway through, content to just ride Berger out with the major locked up. Any other match, I’d expect Nolf to go for the pin or tech. But what was the first thing Nold said in his post match interview? He didn’t even get asked about Berger’s Twitter comments, but it was obviously foremost on Nolf’s mind, as he proceeded to defend Berger as a great wrestler whose comments merely showed he was passionate. Watching the second half of the match again through that lens, you can basically see Berger ... I won’t say “break,” but realize he won’t win and dials it back. And Nolf senses that and respects it, taking the rideout for the win. To me, it was a conscious decision not to rub up the score as he usually does, driven by a sense that doing so would humilite Berger and break his spirit in an unnecessary way. Nickal gave me a similar sense at the end. Like Berger, Moore sufferered only 2 losses on the season going into the finals, both at the hands of the PSU 2x champ. Once Nickal locked up the cradle, and all of us watching were waiting for Nickal to at least try to drive it over (see Nickal-Moore 1st match), it seemed like Nickal sensed that Moore stopped contesting the bout at that point, and was resigned to lose — and Nickal seemingly made the calculation that, with his title and the team title locked up, and this being his last match, the more sportsmanlike thing to do would be to just let the match end there. As though he, like Nolf, didn’t really feel the need to add an exclamation point at the expense of a thrice-defeated opponent who was now resigned to lose. For both, I think it was an exercise in humility. And watching it a second time, in context, rather than being frustrated at them for not “putting on a show” with an over-the-top dominant performance, I find myself with newfound respect for what they did and how they conducted themselves. Not that holding back is ordinarily sportsmanlike conduct — it isn’t — but here I think both made a judgment that, in context, it was the right thing to do. And to me, it puts an entirely different spin in finals matches that i thought at the time were a bit lackluster. Your interpretation may differ, but rewatch those matches through that lens and see what you think.
  3. Οι παλαιστές είναι πολύ μορφωμένοι.
  4. Haven't read all the comments, but what is striking to me about the article is how off base the author's "Icarus" comments are. The author's perception seemed limited to what he saw before him in Paris: The diminutive Sadulaev challenging the massive Snyder, trying to somehow topple this mammoth being like David against Goliath. I suppose that's understandable, as Snyder was indeed bigger, and the author admits he had only recently started following international wrestling. But that wasn't the reality. Going into that match, the wrestling community viewed Sadulaev as a god, whereas Snyder was world-class but beatable. I'd venture that well over 75% of the international wrestling community would've ranked Sadulaev the best pound-for-pound wrester in the world. Maybe over 90%. He hadn't lost in forever, and scarcely anyone had been able to score on him. Snyder, by contrast, had taken his share of losses over the prior couple years, but had been able to win when it counts at Worlds/Olympics in 2015 and 16. Very few people would've considered him the best pound for pound wrestler in the world. Even on these USAW boards, it would definitely have been a minority view. So when Sadulaev went up a weight, nearly everyone figured Snyder to be the underdog. The question wasn't really whether Sadulaev was the better wrestler, but whether he'd be a full-sized 97kg or if there'd still be enough of a size difference to give Snyder a shot. (Turns out there was, and a conditioning difference to boot.) The author also seizes on Snyder's social media posts, apparently inferring that he's destined for a downfall. But there's really nothing boastful in Snyder's posts or interview comments; just confidence. And I highly doubt Snyder's confidence was any higher than Sadulaev's, who was clearly shocked to have lost, along with the entire Russian delegation. The author didn't seem to get that Snyder's pleasure at seeing Sadulaev move up was more about Snyder's love of competing against the best, win or lose; indeed, that's clearly why Snyder competes so frequently. Snyder never presented himself as unbeatable -- nor could he, as he'd taken various losses (World Cup, Yarygin) in the preceding couple years. Most of us in the wrestling community viewed him as beatable as well. (And even post-Sadulaev, I don't think anyone views Snyder as an unbeatable god; a favorite for sure, but against top competition, his matches remain close.) If anyone deserved a comparison to Icarus, it'd be Sadulaev, as it was immensely bold of him to think he could bump up a weight -- without physically filing out, and without being in peak cardiovascular condition -- and knock off Snyder, likely viewing Snyder as insufficiently technical to compete with him despite Snyder's size and strength advantage. As it turns out, it was Sadulaev who flew too close to the sun.
  5. Man, I hope you guys are just trolling. After beating Chamizo, JB shook hands, embraced, and looked like he said some complimentary words. Did you see the video? Not sure what else you want. As for Iran, its hard to think of any current US wrestler who has been more complimentary of Iran or their fans, or vice-versa -- a mutual affection that seems to have started with the 2012 post-Olympic embrace of Goudarzi and JB. As for the World Cup gift, immediately afterwards JB posted on Twitter: "Iran thank you for honoring our family with a gift before the dual! " See https://twitter.com/alliseeisgold/status/742167279979352064?lang=en Then the joke: "@FloWrestling Turns out the gift from Iran last night was actually a present from Yazdani. He wanted to thank me for not wrestling in LA. " See https://twitter.com/alliseeisgold/status/742488260371435529?lang=en Unless you have absolutely zero sense of humor, there is nothing remotely disrespectful there. JB doesn't hide his confidence -- and yes, on the mat he can sometime push the envelope with his handfighting -- but overall he is a model sportsman, and a great ambassador for the sport and the U.S.
  6. You seem to be under the illusion that wrestling is a selfish meritocracy where the coaches have no say in the matter. It happens ALL THE TIME that the better wrestler will go at a less-than-ideal weight to make room for a talented but lesser wrestler. Maybe the better wrestler makes that decision himself "for the good of the team," maybe its partly a friendship thing to make room for his buddy, maybe its following the request of the coaches who want to assemble the strongest lineup possible. Maybe its a combination of these. Lee is a team-oriented guy and I'm sure he'd want to do what's best for the team. And even if he didn't -- if both Lee and Suriano wanted to go 133, and Lee certified at 125 but Suriano didn't, do you seriously think the coaches wouldn't step in and say "sorry Spencer, we need you at 125"? These situations -- where 2 blue-chip wrestlers occupy 2 weight classes -- typically are resolved informally pre-season, and are settled by wrestle-offs only if they can't find a solution beforehand. I'm not saying this was a determinative factor for Lee -- or even saying it was a negative rather than a positive factor -- but *of course* it was a consideration in his decision.
  7. Oh come on, of course Suriano being at PSU was a factor for Lee. On the plus side, that's a great practice partner. On the downside, he has to know that PSU isn't going to want either of them ride the bench after expending that scholarship money, so they'll expect one to go 125 and one to go 133. And if he thinks they're both career 125s, or both will want to bump to 133, he knows he can expect pressure from the coaching staff to go to a weight that isn't ideal for him. It isn't about being "afraid" of making the lineup, its knowing that coaches recruit to fill particular weights, and will expect two blue-chip recruits to make room for each other.
  8. 125 Lee 133 DeSanto 141 Murin 157 Kemerer 174 Young PA boys all. Not certain all will start, but very plausible. In any case they'll likely have more PA natives than PSU, which may have as few as 2 (Nolf and Joseph.... with other possible starters being Teasdale and Verkleeren). Interesting. My comment: Tom Brands, realizing that he'd have a hard time competing if Cael monopolized all the top PA talent, started recruiting hard in PA to make inroads in Cael's base. In recent years he finally started having success -- especially with Lee. But ironically, much of his recent success in PA is due in part to the fact that PSU has become a top destination for kids outside of PA, resulting in many top PA kids getting left behind as PSU scholarship money and recruiting effort goes to higher-regarded out-of-state kids. Iowa has been snapping them up. And now that there's a critical mass of PA kids there, many of whom know each other, there are pipelines in place that enable Iowa to one-up PSU -- e.g. first Kemerer, then Lee his high school teammate, then DeSanto who knows Lee, and so on. I don't blame Cael for seeking out the nation's best but he needs to tend to the homefront too.
  9. 2 time PA champ. But point taken -- tOSU does have a long history of failing to develop multi-time PA champs. Maybe Courts would have been better off elsewhere.
  10. I think if you read the full context of his comments, it is pretty clear that Courts attributes his weight difficulties to his own failings, not having grown out of the weight. For example: All of it was self-inflicted, Courts said. He showed up on campus too heavy, spent an entire season worrying too much about his weight and took for granted all the little things that made a difference in the end. Courts beat himself. “My senior year, I came in 30 pounds over weight,” Courts said. “The whole year, I wasn’t worried about getting better at wrestling, it was about making weight. My biggest opponent was making weight. I couldn’t beat myself first, so that was always my biggest problem. “My discipline outside the room, my social life, management, discipline, I didn’t give my all,” Courts said. “Sometimes, talent really makes you believe you don’t have to follow all the rules. You get away with some things.” Source: http://highschoolsports.pennlive.com/news/article/3525134740482105210/central-dauphin-grad-kenny-courts-bursts-onto-the-international-wrestling-scene-after-2-year-hiatus/ I hear what you are saying; I think most folks here can sympathize with a rough weight cut. But I see no need to foist excuses on Courts where he isn't making any. Lets just applaud his candor and root for him to make a comeback. The truth is he is massively talented, and his ceiling is way higher than what he achieved at tOSU.
  11. You do realize that Oliver is undefeated in freestyle against the entire 65kg field, don't you? If Metcalf wanted to wrestle at WTTs and had a legit reason for missing the US Open, I'd say he is a strong candidate for a wildcard too. Yes, everyone must follow the same qualifying procedures. The point is: Change the qualifying procedures, so everyone has a chance to petition in if they can't compete in the Open. It would be a very high bar (so as not to discourage participation at the Open), but a smart way to ensure you have the best guys possible at WTTs. Are you really that violently opposed to having the best world team possible?
  12. Not to pile on, but when I read the topic of this thread, I expected to find out that Courts had some sort of medical condition or his brother died that year or some extenuating circumstance. Instead, I find out that its pretty much what people likely assumed when they "blasted" Courts -- waning motivation and poor weight management. If anything, the article gives legitimacy to the views of Courts' senior-year critics. From the sounds of it, even Courts himself would agree. That said, I've always liked the guy, and hope he competes and makes some noise this weekend.
  13. I don't think anyone is saying you just hand him a wild card berth while forbidding others from requesting one. You establish neutral criteria that enables deserving candidates who were unable to attend Nationals to submit a petition to USA Wrestling, and USA Wrestling decides if that person (a) had a legitimate reason for not being at Nationals, and (b) has a strong enough resume to merit inclusion at WTTs despite not earning a top 8 finish at Nationals. Honestly this would be a good idea even without the Oliver situation, since apparently USA Wrestling is dispensing with the last chance qualifier. What if one of our top guys has a last-minute injury or is violently ill that day or their mom got badly injured the day before or... whatever. USA Wrestling has strong incentive to assemble the best team possible, and recognizing this, has previously seen fit to give wrestlers two bites at the apple to qualify for WTTs. If they aren't going to let the guys wrestle at a last chance qualifier, then at least create a petition-in process as a substitute.
  14. But WillieBoy is still right -- the effect is to convert Oliver's one-year infraction into a two-year infraction, which is unfair to him. Yes he can compete in other events, but the idea behind a one-year penalty is that you lose the ability to compete in your sport's world championships for a year. It would take a far more serious infraction to be barred from world championship events for two years. Yet that's what JO is getting. I don't know if the responsibility for that falls on USA Wrestling or USADA, but if they are really going to do away with a last chance qualifier, USA Wrestling should replace it with a "petition-in" process (e.g. for former world team members who couldn't attend Nationals) so Oliver can make his case.
  15. I guess that explains why the university went so far as to terminate Roberts. Still, its odd that Roberts didn't mention it in the article. If the university used the trainer's claims as a reason to fire him without even hearing Roberts' side of the story, that's a really crappy thing to do -- even if there was some legitimacy in what the trainer was saying.
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