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Everything posted by DocRevue

  1. You're right. Let's just stop crowning a team champ at all. Not to mention further downplaying the team aspect of wrestling just provides AD's another reason to consider why their institution even sponsors this sport. If it's an individual sport, then why do we need a wrestling team and all the overhead that goes with it? Pretty much everything wrestle09, who apparently considers himself a big wrestling fan and supporter, posts is really an argument for eliminating wrestling from college sports entirely. I mean, a producer at ESPN would just be dumbfounded if he or she met with a wrestling supporter about the sport and was told that the team aspect of the sport doesn't matter, that duals are "just for fun" and that wrestling people don't really take them seriously, that this sport is just confusing and boring even to its fans and can't be marketed, that there are really only a handful of programs that anyone cares anything about and that even wrestling fans have no interest in watching the other 65 or so programs wrestle, and that putting this sport on TV will alienate your advertisers because not even fans of the sport will watch it. Their reaction would, appropriately, be, "Then why the hell have you been badgering us to televise more of it for the past 20 years?" Unfortunately, a lot of wrestling people think very much like wrestle09.
  2. [ Basically, not meaning to discount the commitment, skills, athleticism, focus and training evidenced by these Winter Olympic athletes, an aspect of their competition which most disturbs me is the apparent almost TOTAL absence of any requirement for any really significant STRATEGY. Yes, there are decisions to be made about which flips, spins, twists, somersaults and other tricks are to be executed when etc, but for the most part it seems relatively willy-nilly to this observer. While I can enjoy the speed, agility, imminent dangers and potentials for disaster/harm to the individual athletes for the relatively brief times displayed, I simply appreciate more the more profound intricacies inherent to what many refer to as physical chess. Worth underscoring: I have NO knowledge of ANY true wrestling aficionado whose enjoyment of the world’s oldest sport includes deriving ANY pleasure or excitement from the possibility that a participant might “crash.” The same criticism could be made of wrestling by any follower of almost any true team sport, particularly football, or any motorsport. Strategy is very important in any team sport because the actions of several participants must be coordinated. Not to say there isn't strategy in wrestling, and not to say that there is not more strategy involved in wrestling than in slopestyle skiing, but like most individual sports wrestling is really more about execution of tactics than strategy.
  3. You're missing a lot, in my opinion. 1. Match-ups in a dual aren't luck. They're a function of recruiting strength and coaching. 2. What's the problem with a Michigan-Ohio State dual? It was a decent dual this year and Michigan-Ohio State is one of the biggest rivalries in college sports. How is, say, a Penn State-Iowa dual really any better? The idea is to expand interest in wrestling, not to keep it to the same three or four teams. 3. ESPN would still air the individual tournament; its trying to expand its coverage of wrestling. 4. ESPN might know just a little bit about marketing sports. Their track record in that department is slightly better than that of anyone associated with wrestling. 5. A team like Edinboro making a run at a dual tournament title can only be a good thing. Basically, your argument is this: 1. Only Penn State, Iowa, Minny, and Okie State matter. All other programs are second tier and can't be marketed even to hardcore wrestling fans. 2. Duals don't matter and even wrestling people don't think they do. This is an individual sport. 3. There is no room for the underdog in wrestling. 4. You can't market wrestling. It's too hard to understand. Only wrestling people appreciate it and even we only want to watch matches involving the top-ranked guys. Maybe you're right on all those points but if you are the sport is absolutely dead at the college level as opposed to being on life support with ESPN's recent interest providing a ray of hope for survival.
  4. If you want to keep riding in wrestling and you want to increase action, then you have to incentivize getting off the bottom - not punish the top man. The idea is that the threat of being scored upon simply by remaining on bottom will push the bottom man to create action rather than just avoid being turned. I don't like proposals that are going to simply result in catch and release wrestling. Both guys should have some incentive to create action and score NOW rather than fish for stalling calls.
  5. Brands complaining about boring wrestlers is ironic, as he coaches a lineup that includes some of the most plain vanilla wrestlers in college wrestling - Gilman, Dziewa, Moore, Lofthouse, Burak and Telford. It seems as if he is in a position to directly impact "boring" wrestling. Parity, better overall conditioning, better overall technique, and tighter weight cutting restrictions have all impacted college wrestling - for better and for worse. I don't think it's really that the wrestlers are all so good that every match is a chess match (otherwise Taylor and Ruth would be challenged more) but there are probably more even matches than there used to be. And guys tend to keep better position and get less sloppy late in matches - which is partly a function of better overall conditioning and partly a function of fewer wrestlers cutting a lot of weight. I don't have much in the way of answers except: 1. We should remember that action and scoring are not synonymous. Tweaking rules to increase scoring are not necessarily going to increase action. 2. Freestyle probably isn't the answer. College wrestling has a small but very dedicated following, and they show up for nationals and are watching it on ESPN, which is out there promoting the sport. The percentage of that fanbase that is really interested in freestyle is not high. 3. I'm not really sure more stalling calls is the answer. Subjective calls by officials that impact every match are not going to help the sport. If we want more "stalling," we should just make more tactics that constitute stalling objectively illegal - dropping to an ankle, for example. Just eliminate it as an option. 4. I really don't think getting rid of riding is the answer for at least two reasons. First, it's part of the sport. Second, a big part of wrestling's appeal in MMA circles is the ability of wrestlers to control the bottom man. I personally know a lot of BJJ players who have gravitated toward wrestling, and now watch it, for that reason. That said, riding time as it now operates is not ideal because it now creates situations where the wrestlers can be on the mat for :59 seconds, the bottom man can escape and is the precise same situation he would have been in (except for the amount of time left) had he escaped in three seconds. It's not good for the sport, and moreover it is not fair to the top guy. Riding is hard work. I wonder if instead of punishing riding, we should be rewarding it MORE - say rewarding one point (that cannot be erased) for every 30 seconds of riding time. This would give the bottom man an incentive to get neutral (every escape becomes a short-term two point swing) and it eliminates the situation where a guy is forced to ride an entire period to erase a riding time point.
  6. Doesn't seem new to me. Lots of guys did it in the '90's, and I'm sure before that. It's easier to run and drill to cut weight without your sweats dragging on the floor.
  7. I think you're pretty much spot on. Anyone who says a wrestler can't dominate with armbars anymore isn't watching Logan Stieber or David Taylor very much. I think a lot of people judge the quality of '70's college wrestling by the Owings-Gable NCAA final. It is the ICONIC college wrestling match. And it's also a terrible wrestling match. Sizing up '70's college wrestling (and Gable) by that match alone is like sizing up '90's college wrestling (and Lincoln McIlravy) by the Marianetti-McIlravy NCAA final.
  8. Because so long as the broadcast crews are subpar, it's fringe sport status for us. The good news is that the quality and consistency are getting better all the time. The bad news is we are not quite there yet. The bar is not really that high - most college football crews are awful, for example, as are most college basketball crews. Wrestling's biggest problem is there are presently few play by play guys with sufficient knowledge to call a match, and there is a much smaller pool of qualified color guys than there is in football or basketball.
  9. Sparks's interviews are consistently terrible to pretty bad. But he did well on the play-by-play. Gibbons is not great, but he's not as bad as people seem to think. The pool of people with wrestling knowledge who are capable of being a good color guy is pretty small. Ever heard Gable in the broadcast booth? Awful.
  10. One thing I pointed out is there are outliers. On the other hand, Caldwell was nowhere near as dominant as Ruth (although it's difficult to account for how much his injuries impacted that). How much better might Caldwell have been coming out of, say, today's PSU room? That's precisely the point being made. One edge I would say Caldwell had over his competition was that he was not intimidated by Metcalf. And that went a long way in that weight class at that time.
  11. I would be willing to bet that he was nowhere near the least hard worker in the ASU room, though.
  12. There are people, wrestlers and non wrestlers who give it their absolute all and work a lot harder in life and fail, than others who don't work as hard and succeed. It's what the saying, "Life isn't fair" is all about. He can have all the knowledge in the world that he wants. It is a fact, that sometimes in life people work extremely hard and fail. If you don't like it, tough. I'm not going to sit here and abide to someone who preaches that hard work always ends in success. It doesn't. For him to point a finger at every college kid that ever didn't win an NCAA title, or didn't AA, and narrow it strictly down to "they didn't work hard enough" and then to not assume but "know" that everyone who did get a title or an AA, "Worked harder than they did" is an insult not only to them but to the way life often is. I have first hand knowledge of this myself as well as observational knowledge. You never knew a guy in school that could get A's without studying or putting in any extra time beyond class, while other kids would study and study and study and go to study groups just to get by with a C? Whether you knew any of them or not, they exist. According to Olddirty those types of things don't happen. Well, I have knowledge on things that they do and can back up my opinion that they do, because I've seen them, I see them and I will continue to see them. You're missing the point of what Holt is telling you. You are defining "hard work" differently than he is. He's talking about a select group of eight or fewer D.1 wrestlers in a given weight class. Any edge that any one of those guys has over the other guys in that group, especially in the present environment where most of the top teams condition similarly and there is nearly unlimited easy access to resources on technique, is likely very small. Hard work in the sense of running, lifting, wrestling, putting in the time, etc., is a given. Dedication is a given. Mastery of wrestling fundamentals is a given. Natural ability of at least a certain level is a given. There are outliers, of course, but as a general rule this is true. All Holt is saying is that Ruth's particular edge, or at least his greatest edge, lies in the quality of the program around him. When Ruth goes to practice, he has to be just a split second quicker every time. He has to be just a little more inventive in every situation. He can't go to the same move over and over. He's surrounded by guys who are, for the lack of a better word, pros of very high caliber. The intensity and rigor in that room, at that weight, is simply the best situation in the nation right now. Put Ruth in a different program and he's still an outstanding wrestler with huge natural ability, but he's probably not the wrestler we've seen at PSU. He'd still be sprinting as "hard," lifting as "hard," wrestling as "hard," but the edge he has through the rigor and intensity supplied by his particular training partners and environment would be smaller or perhaps gone altogether. Your high school example is an irrelevant, apples and oranges comparison. High school is not comprised of an elite group of people with similar baselines of work ethic, conditioning, ability, dedication, etc. It's a melting pot of people who vary greatly in those respects, so the "edge" of any particular student over his or her classmates in terms of any of those factors is potentially HUGE.
  13. Baseball, to a limited extent, and men's golf, to a very limited extent.
  14. Not at all surprised that one of the most bizarre wrestling matches I have ever seen involved Eric Grajales. What's amazing is that Grajales was not the reason the match was bizarre. To steal from another thread - if Pat Fitzgerald ever was "unanimously" the worst ref in college wrestling, he's not anymore. And A. Alton - what the hell? I have never seen a D.1 wrestler that gassed. I know he's just coming off an injury but he's had some matches. And he was wrestling Grajales, not Mark Ironside. I used to think he just didn't work very hard, or that he maybe drank a little too much, but now I'm really wondering if something is really wrong with him. Lots of D.1 wrestlers dog it a bit or overindulge, and I've never seen anyone look that bad. Somebody above referenced Adam Frey and there are some similarities there. Frey would come out like a ball of fire and then just have nothing. I hope it's nothing like that.
  15. I guess I'm that guy but what you are saying I said is not what I said. I said that wrestling fans tend to want to remove the human element from wrestling, which is the precise opposite of how sports are marketed and particularly how sports with large followings are marketed. I never said complaining about the refs was a problem - complaining about the refs is part of sports. I also said that this is one, but certainly NOT THE ONLY, reason wrestling struggles to attract a broader fan base. Baseball, football and basketball do have larger pools of participants than wrestling, but (1) wrestling is actually quite a popular participation sport at the junior high and high school level, and (2) most baseball, basketball and football fans have never played any of those sports at anything other than the peewee or rec league level. I'd venture to guess a significant number of baseball and football fans have never played either sport at an organized level AT ALL. MMA and boxing further demonstrate the point - what's the participation level in either sport relative to their fan bases? It's miniscule. You're saying that international wrestling is boring - well, that's exactly the POINT. Wrestling can be very boring - partly because of the rules and partly because the wrestling community tends to squelch the human interest behind the sport. MMA, boxing - you have two guys who obviously want to beat the hell out of one another - and millions of people pay $50.00 a pop to watch it on PPV. They'll pay that for fights even that, objectively, they know will likely be garbage or one-sided (Mayweather-Canelo, for example). But you have a Minnesota-Iowa dual where two guys obviously want to beat the hell out of one another -which actually makes their boring, poorly wrestled match interesting - and the wrestling community wrings its hands.
  16. Lkwdsteve - I hope it's obvious this is not personal. I respect your opinion, and I don't profess to speak for you as an individual. That said, you are misunderstanding my point just a little bit. My point is that many, if not most, wrestling fans see things the way you do. They don't want to see emotion, they just want to see technically perfect matches between unemotional wrestlers. And the corollary to that point is that this attitude is contrary to the attitude of most sports fan bases and one, although certainly not the only, reason that the sport does not have broader appeal. In other words, the discouragement of the human element - emotion - in the sport of wrestling hurts its appeal to a broader fan base. I'm about to venture into territory that may get me burned as a heretic here, but, oh, well. The truth is that a lot of college wrestling, like a lot of college football, basketball, baseball, etc., isn't really that great. Don't get me wrong, the athletes are great. They work incredibly hard. Most are doing their very best. But very few of the athletes are world class with world class technique and skill. And the season is long and hard. Most dual meets are necessarily going to feature matches between guys who simply are not great technicians or at least not capable of out-techniqueing another technically solid wrestler. And the result is matches like Dardanes-Dziewa. I'm not dumping on either guy. I like Chris Dardanes and I actually like the way Dziewa wrestles most of the time. But that was a terrible wrestling match. Terrible and absolutely emotionless. Show that match to a non-wrestling fan and you have a non-wrestling fan for life. Contrast that to Storley-Evans, which was not a much better match but did feature an emotional element that made the match interesting. There was a feeling both guys wanted to win that match even though neither was wrestling particularly well. There was a feeling that it was a bit, or maybe a lot, personal. It was compelling. Show that match to a non-wrestling fan and you may pique their interest. You may not, but you may. It would be great for college wrestling if every match was a Dake-Taylor or Stieber-Maple kind of match. Wrestling needs more of those, certainly. But there just aren't that many matchups like that. So, as to the rest, a few more Storley-Evans type matches and a lot fewer Dardanes-Dziewa type matches can only be good for the sport. I'm not advocating headbutting. I'm just advocating emotion. I'm advocating mixing it up and getting the fans into the match. One more point - I guess it's debatable but in my opinion there is very little question that, at this point in their careers, Logan Storley is a better wrestling technician than Mike Evans. No disrespect to Evans, but if he's going to win big matches in this weight class he's going to have to brawl a little bit. Not throw headbutts and elbows, but brawl and make a match a bit of an emotional battle rather than a purely technical one. And I think Evans knows that and embraces that. And even though I'm a Minnesota fan, it was nice to see a guy overcome his technical shortcomings and win that way.
  17. Disapprove all you like. The wrestling community's disapproval of the human element of its own sport is a significant part of why the sport is on its knees begging for survival before the IOC and college boards while more violent, dangerous sports - football, hockey, MMA and boxing, for example - are all gigantic industries with huge, passionate fan bases and well-paid athletes. The average Giants-Dodgers game has more of an edge to it than the Minny-Iowa dual did, with the exception of Storley-Evans and maybe Brancale-Gilman. And major league baseball is a non-contact sport played by professionals with no club loyalty. I'm not advocating hurting anyone or letting anyone get hurt. I'm just saying Evans and Storley are both big boys. They're elite Division 1 wrestlers who've been wrestling for 15 years or more. They have thousands of matches under their belts. They go through intense physical practices every day with teammates who want their spot and who don't necessariliy like them. They know what they're doing and how to protect themselves. Matches with a little bad blood are good for the sport, and a bad match (and aside from the chippiness, this was one) with a little bad blood can still make for an entertaining match. Is Evans a jerk for trying to headbutt Storley? Sure. Was it illegal? Probably, although in real time Fitzgerald may not have felt he could make that call in a big match between two physical guys who were pushing and shoving. Would it have been a different story had Evans connected? Sure. I'm a Minnesota fan, and I liked the match. I like to see two guys who obviously do not like each other go at it. Sure, I wish Evans had more offense and that Storley would open up and wrestle more aggressively on his feet and solidly from the bottom, but that didn't happen. But even so it sure beat the hell out of watching C. Dardanes and Dziewa dance for seven minutes with no passion whatsoever.
  18. Much ado about not very much. Evans was chippy, Storley was chippy, Evans escalated the chippiness and Storley gave him a shove. At that point Fitzgerald told them both to settle down, and from then on it was just wrestling. If Evans was just bullying some third-rate kid rather than wrestling, Fitzgerald (correctly)would have handled it differently. But Storley can take care of himself and did. Hell, Evans couldn't hurt Storley if he hit him with a two-by-four. Fans claim to want to promote wrestling but seem to want to remove all elements from it that make it entertaining. People want to see two guys mix it up. They want to see a little chippiness. They want to see some genuine emotion. You had all that between Evans and Storley yesterday and it turned a boring match between a guy with no offense (Evans) and a guy who wouldn't commit to his offense and just wanted to trap his opponent off bottom (Storley) into something compelling and interesting to watch. Now we're whining that the ref didn't enforce technicalities but rather let the wrestlers sort it out for themselves. It's silly.
  19. I think it's still there - St. John, Ramos, Moore, Brooks are all very much "Iowa Style" wrestlers. That said, this isn't one of the great Iowa teams and I think there have been changes in wrestling that have mitigated the effectiveness of the style. 1- The great Iowa teams always had a few superstars - the McIlravys, Williamses, etc. who could just flat out score and probably would have had great success anywhere. The rest of those teams were built on highly conditioned kids who maybe didn't have that kind of talent (but were still very talented) but kept coming and coming, doing a lot of pushing and shoving and pressuring that resulted in "cheap" takedowns and scores late in matches. This didn't always translate to tons of takedowns, but it did translate to tons of winning takedowns. 2- Talking particularly about today's dual - you're just not going to horse this Minnesota lineup around. You may beat them, but you're not going to go into a dual figuring to physically dominate the Dardanes, Storley, Steinhaus, Schiller or Nelson. 3- Personally I think funk wrestling has mitigated the effectiveness of the old Iowa offense, which emphasized getting in on your opponent's legs more than he got in on yours. I think half shots are punished more (in general, not necessarily between truly elite wrestlers) than they used to be, and that there are more wrestlers who are very comfortable defensively in the positions created by those types of shots. 4- Iowa's conditioning edge has eroded. Iowa used to have a substantial conditioning edge. All the top teams seem to train more or less similarly now. Iowa still has great conditioning but no longer has that big edge. 5- Regulation of weightcutting. The great Iowa teams often featured guys who were real big for a weight class, particularly at the lower weights. There were exceptions, of course, but take a look back at guys like Barry Davis, Chad Zaputil, Mena, and Jesse Whitmer. There just weren't many guys in their weightclass who were going to push any of those guys around. In the age of regulated weightcutting it's tougher to pick up an edge by fielding the "bigger" guy in the weight class. 6- Elite high school wrestling has gotten more physical, and kids are seeing better competition earlier and earlier. This translates to greater parity and better preparation for facing a physical college style. 7- Gable isn't there. Tom Brands is intense. He's a very good coach and gets very good results. But Dan Gable was a force of nature. He was simply one of the great motivators in the history of sports.
  20. I'm almost certain the gaited horses used in the movie were some type of Paso (Peruvians or Finos, depending on who you talk to), not Walkers. I have no doubt there is abuse in the Walker show industry but it's certainly not true that the horses must be abused to gait. I had a Walker gelding who had never been ridden before we got him. We didn't know much about gaited horses but if you took him up to a certain speed he would just start to step out. He would occasionally trot but after a short distance would resume a walking gait. I've never ridden a Paso but I have seen Paso foals who have never been ridden traveling in a gait rather than trotting. If you've ever ridden a horse at a trot for an extended period of time you understand why gaited horses were bred. Anyway, oddest wrestling board convo ever.
  21. JTNo.1 What are you talking about? It's a volunteer assistant position; these guys move every year. There's no risk here, no consideration for UVU to make at all. A (local) two-time AA is willing to be in your room for peanuts to help develop your wrestlers. It's a no-brainer. Cody leaving the head coaching position to be with Cael has no bearing on this, period. I think the entire Utah wrestling community was happy that Cody got the opportunity to move on to coach with Cael. UVU hired Williams and he's done a good job with what he's got. Ruiz is there for the big guys. Having Sanderson in the room can only help the program, whether he's there a week or 10 years.
  22. So long as March is all that matters in this sport, coaches will protect seeds, particularly in the B1G. I have no idea if anyone was sick but clearly wrestling a sick guy in a dual is just idiotic. Just getting a sick kid to weight is stupid. I'm a healthy guy - I caught the flu a few weeks ago, thought I was over it, put in a couple 20-hour workdays, ended up developing bronchitis/pneumonia and am flat on my ass again on bed rest. You have to be very careful with any kind of illness, particularly this time of year. The fact that we go year after year without entire teams of overtrained, underfed kids being down for weeks with disease demonstrate that coaches and trainers are all over this. I'm not a tOSU fan, but it's insane to me that people who are fans of tOSU would bag on Nick Heflin. The kid was obviously a very solid high school wrestler but had nowhere near the resume of Tessari, Camp, and others. Well, Tessari and Camp are gone (without ever realizing their potential), and Heflin's still there - just a two-time AA who killed himself to stay at 174 for the team last year. I don't know Heflin, but I've seen him interviewed and he seems like a very hardworking guy with a whole lot of character and great perspective. His offensive limitations are clear (including to him), yet he keeps finding a way to win matches in March.
  23. Is it just me or does is the U.S. sitting on the most marketable wrestling talent it has ever had? Burroughs, Dake, Taylor are all massively talented and great interviews. I think Coleman Scott and J.O. could also become solid interviews. Then you have Pico - young, ridiculously talented, unknown potential - and if you haven't seen this kid interviewed you should check him out. I can't think of a time when we've had this much personality at the highest levels of U.S. wrestling. I hope we can find a way to capitalize it.
  24. Where is this money going to come from? Most wrestling programs aren't even putting butts in seats. I watched Indiana at Northwestern the other night and the gym was nearly empty. That is terrible when you consider the quality of the Northwestern program AND the support it receives from its administration. There are some programs that could accomplish this - Iowa, Oklahoma State, possibly Penn State, possibly Cornell. But even many major programs - Minny, Oklahoma, Michigan - probably couldn't.
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