Dake comes across as a fake tough guy. JB says what’s up Kyle and right away Dake comes across like a punk. He may well be right, JB just may be too old, but if it comes down to a battle of mental toughness, I’ll take JB all day.
The smell of the wrestling mat, you all know it. That familiar combination of Polyethylene foam, disinfectant, human sweat. Laced with the smell of athletic tape and the aroma of popcorn. I'm about to step onto the mat against a salty opponent, but I'm not nervous at all, I'm calm/at peace...he's really good, but I'm better. I feel loose, bouncing lightly on the balls of my feet, doing the wrestler's version of the Twist dance. The crowd is making noise and birds are chirping, but then, that doesn't make sense, birds in the gymnasium? I hear a dog bark once, and the gym scene narrows and fades into a fog.
I am slowly waking from a dream, still feeling good, ready to wrestle...my brain is rebooting from dream to reality with the speed of a Commodore 64...first I realize I'm not in the gym, but laying in bed, but that's ok because I can still get up and wrestle. But then my mind tells me it's not 1983, not even '93 when I was 36 and could still roll around... years click forward, through the 90's, 2000's, 2010's, like frames of film, until I reach the humble realization that it is 2020 and I'm 62 years old, not bouncing on deck at a wrestling meet.
A notion sparks, that I could get back in shape! I've still got eligibility! Until my Commodore pulls up inventory: a knee that hurts every day, a busted shoulder, a wrist that hardly bends and broken, arthritic fingers, AND 25 pounds of emergency rations in a roll of fat around my belly. The spark is snuffed out. The sad fact settles in, that I'll never, ever, compete again.
I've had vivid wrestling dreams where a guy shoots in and I'm countering so fast that my reaction beats the thought to my brain. I can do moves I've never done, like Vincenzo or Chandler, stuff I was never any good at.
But then I wake up, spend a full minute working the pins and needles out of my left arm and limp to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. I rub my eyes, but can't clear the glaucoma.
Sometimes they are anxiety dreams, where they call my name to the mat and I can't find my head gear, or my shoes anywhere. In those dreams I never get to step onto the mat. But after all my wrestling dreams I am left with one comforting thought; because of wrestling, I'm tough and resilient....and pretty sure I could still pin WillieBoy.
As a Buckeye fan, all you can do is applaud White for gutting out an obvious injury, hanging tough and finding a way to lead his team to a win. Smith's decision to take an ill advised shot obviously didn't help. But Nebraska eked out wins at 133 and 174. Winning the close ones and then White's heroics....kudos to Nebraska.