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  1. I had the great honor of working with Greg during my two-plus years as director of media relations and communications at USA Wrestling, back in the mid 1980s. My office was right across the hall from Greg's and we spent a lot of time talking about wrestling, and life in general. Also, I was in press row in 1973 at the U. of Washington when he won his first of two NCAA titles and was voted O.W. Greg and his wife Donna and their two daughters and my wife Bev and our three kids got together often to play shuffleboard and Trivia Pursuit in our family room. After Bev and I left USA Wrestling, we exchanged Christmas cards every year.. Greg was always upbeat and enthusiastic and very generous with his time to strangers. He stayed in great shape, working out all the time. We last talked shortly after Donna passed away and he shared an incredibly intimate story that I will always cherish. I say with all sincerity -- Greg Strobel was as nice and as thoughtful a person as he was a great wrestler. What a tremendous loss for the entire wrestling community. -- Mike Chapman
  2. Many years ago, I was touring the Jim Thorpe Home in Yale, OK, just a few miles from Stillwater. There was a friendly lady taking admission at the front door and we started talking. She was Grace Thorpe, Jim's daughter. She asked me where I worked and when I said at the USA Wrestling office in Stillwater, she said that her father loved to wrestle in "the backyard", and against anyone, any rules. She smiled and said "he never lost, ever." Also, George Foreman wrestled in a youth club before taking up boxing and Buck Deadrich, 1972 Olympian in Greco-Roman, was his coach. He said George was very good and could have had a bright future in the sport had he not chosen boxing instead.
  3. Lots of good discussion here with solid points being made. Some of you may want to go to You Tube and pull up the name Curran Jacobs. He was captain of the Michigan State team in 2012 and narrowly missed being an All-American that year. For five years, he has trained in catch-as-catch-can wrestling, the style that was popular in the early 1900s by the real pros, and which allows chokes, submissions and pins. Curran is undefeated in catch and has won 4 major catch events, including two Frank Gotch tournaments in Humboldt, Iowa, the first one by pinning a BJJ standout who came from California with the express purpose of beating Curran and showing BJJ is superior to catch. In 2018, weighing about 195, Curran defeated 3 much larger and very tough competitors in the United World Catch Tournament. He has learned how to avoid submissions and is probably the top catch wrestler in America today, though Josh Barnett is certainly in the same category. Curran has trained with both Josh and Dan Severn. He considers Randy Couture his mentor and is also 5-0 in MMA.
  4. MadMardigain -- Hopefully you can visit New Salem soon. It is a fascinating place for any history buff. When you walk through the main gate you feel like you are back in the 1830s. The village has been recreated to look just like it did when 22-year-old Abe Lincoln strolled down the same path in 1831. And you can stand on the very spot between the Offutt and Clary stores where Abe tangled with Jack Armstrong. Two years ago, I was there with one of my best friends, Mark Johnson (former head coach at Illinois, 1980 Olympian, ass't to Gable at Iowa and 2-time NCAA All-American at Michigan) and Mark said it was a moving experience. I go to New Salem every other year just to feel the history. To listen to an account of the Lincoln-Armstrong match, you can go to "Our American Stories" web site archives and pull up the radio segment that I recorded last week. Also, my booklet "The Sport of Lincoln" describes the encounter, the events leading up to it, and also has numerous photos and artwork about the match. -- Mike Chapman
  5. For those of you who read the first Lincoln wrestling post, I thought you might want to see this beautiful artwork done by noted illustrator Jack Bender some 20 years ago. It shows Abe wrestling Jack Armstrong in New Salem, Illinois, in 1831. the event is an amazing story and was told Friday by author/historian Mike Chapman on the national radio show called Our American Stories, which has an audience estimated at close to 3 million. You can find it by going to the show's web site and searching in the archives.
  6. "Our American Stories" is a popular radio show that is syndicated nationally, with nearly 3 million listeners on a daily basis. Friday, historian/author Mike Chapman presents a program on the truth behind Lincoln as a wrestler. Mike has held 2 seminars on the very spot where Abe's legendary match with Jack Armstrong took place in 1831, and even wrote a booklet called "The Sport of Lincoln". Check your local radio stations if you want to listen in.
  7. How about "The Epic Struggle" showing Doug Blubaugh pinning the 5-time world champion from Iran in the 1960 Olympics in Rome? Awesome photo,.... Doug's arm looked like it was made or iron.
  8. Actually, I wanted it to be an award for domination -- and, of course, pinning is a big part of that. -- Mike Chapman, creator of the Dan Hodge Trophy.
  9. Kyle Snyder is a huge talent and a great heavyweight. But Lou Banach was amazing during his 3 NCAA tournaments. Weighing around 215 pounds, he won 2 titles at hwt and was third as a junior while battling a severe shoulder problem. He was so good on his feet and he never stopped moving, scoring points in bunches in nearly every match. Here are his NCAA tournament scores: Sophomore year (1981) -- pin, 24-6, 12-5, 20-10 and pin (over Bruce Baumgartner, who outweighed Lou by 40 pounds). Junior year (1982) 18-14, pin (over 400-pound Tab Thacker), 12-4, 6-2 and 11-10. He also pinned Steve "Dr. Death" Williams in a dual meet that year, giving up about 45 pounds to the 4-time All-American. Senior year (1983) -- pin, 26-12, pin, 3-1 (over 395-pound Mitch Shelton), pin (over Wayne Cole). He won the award for most falls. I have been to 47 NCAA meets and I feel Lou is the best-moving hwt I ever saw.
  10. Tobus Rex -- your last sentence is right on the mark, good analysis. BTW, I have known Gable for 50 years and have never heard him offer an excuse. I have known Owings for several years and have never heard him brag about the match.
  11. Totally agree with the posts above by D3UC157 and ironmonkey. They both make great points. Folkstyle wrestling evolved from catch-as-catch-can, which has been a part of the American sports culture for nearly 300 years. And from another standpoint, controlling a foe after he has been taken down is an essential part of being a martial art, which wrestling certainly is.
  12. Most stunning -- Lou Banach (who went 1, 3,1 in NCAA) weighing about 215, pinning 400--pound Tab Thacker, pinning 250-pound Bruce Baumgartner, pinning 260-pound Steve "Dr. Death" Williams, beating 395-pound Mitch Shelton, running over much larger Wayne Cole 3 times, and beating highly-favored Greg Gibson in the Olympic trials.
  13. Doc -- thanks. The Chuck Jean stories are part of wrestling folklore, including the infamous deer roasting story. Chuck was a terror on the mat and a nice guy off the mat but could go off the rails from time to time. I have known both Chuck and Ray Brinzer for many years, and communicate with Ray regularly yet today. He is VERY intelligent -- we talk more about philosophy and history than we do wrestling!
  14. Chuck Jean, 2-time NCAA champion at Iowa State who transferred to Adams State and won 2 NAIA titles, would get my vote, with Ray Brinzer second.
  15. Ooops -- gotta add Doug Blubaugh to toughness, for sure! Ask anyone from his era -- like Wayne Baughman and Gray Simons and they will tell you! And BadgerMon has added some great names. AKHunter -- many years ago I was in a national sombo tournament with Wade (different weights) and he breezed into the finals where he faced a legendary black belt in judo. After a wild flurry, the black belt had Wade locked up tight in a behind-the-back arm lock and some were yelling for Wade to tap out. Instead, Wade initiated another wild flurry and suddenly he had the judo expert in the same hold...and made him tap out. It was one of the greatest displays of mental toughness and mat sense I have ever seen. And watching Mark Ironside for 4 years, I agree with Schute all the way.
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