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Everything posted by iwrite

  1. NJDAN -- Yes , it is by a vote of selected media members, officials from top organizations, several retired coaches, all past Hodge Trophy winners, and by the fans. A ballot will soon be placed on the WIN website. As the creator of the award over 25 years ago, I get one vote, as does Win publisher Bryan Van Kley -- and no more. -- Mike Chapman
  2. Howard Harris weighed in the 210 range when he pinned his way through the NCAA tournament in 1980, while Lou Banach was around 215 both years he won. Lou pinned two future NCAA champions who were much larger -- Bruce Baumgartner and Tab Thacker (Tab was close to 400 pounds) and beat 390-pound Mitch Shelton, too, then won the Olympics in 1984 at 220.
  3. Dale Anderson, champion at 137 and now an attorney, wrote a fascinating book in 2016 entitled "A Spartan Journey", with the subtitle "Michigan State's 1967 Miracle on the Mat". It was the first official NCAA team title won by a Big Ten school and Dale does a superb job of describing the season. He dedicated the book to Doug Blubaugh, who was the assistant coach to Grady Peninger in 1967. The foreword was written by Dan Gable , who was Anderson's teammate in high school in Waterloo, Iowa, and the introduction was by Mike Chapman, who is also from Waterloo. Anyone wishing more information on the book can contact Dale at daa2000@aol.com
  4. gimpeltf -- In the first book I ever wrote, "Two Guys Named Dan" in 1976, Myron Roderick gave me this quote: "After we made the Olympic team in 1956, we walked into a hardware store and asked the manager if he had a strong pair of pliers and Dan squeezed them and popped the bolt between the halves. The manager said it must have been a weak pair and he gave us another pair and Dan proceeded to do the same thing. As long as I have been in wrestling Dan Hodge has the the most strength in his hands and arms of anyone I have ever seen." Grady Peninger, the longtime coach at Michigan State, said this in the same book: "Dan Hodge was as strong as nine acres of garlic. The tales about him crushing apples and bending the handles of a pair of pliers are certainly not over-exaggerated. Pound for pound, he is the strongest wrestler I have ever witnessed." Dan told me he stopped doing that with the pliers after he broke the handles off a pair and one of them went deep into his palm. Another thing Dan would do is is make a tight fist and then wiggle his fingers very tight together, and it made a weird crunching sound. Gary Kurdelmeier, who was NCAA champion for Iowa at 177 the year after Dan's final season and a very powerful man himself, wrestled Dan twice and was pinned both times. He said each time there were small finger imprints in his arm for hours afterwards-- Mike C.
  5. Dan Hodge's legacy will live on for several reasons -- not only for his total domination on the mat as an Oklahoma Sooner and for the fact that he is the only wrestler to ever appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the only man to ever win national titles in both wrestling and boxing, but because one of the top awards in all of wrestling is named in his honor. To date, over one million fans have seen the Dan Hodge Trophy presented in person since its inception in 1995. But there is also his kindness and patience when attending hundreds of kids tournaments, and during his many appearances at the WIN Memorabilia Show at the NCAA tournament. Once at our WIN Show, there was a long line of kids to get Dan's autograph. Dan was tired from a day-long event but wouldn't stop. The last boy arrived and shoved a piece of paper at him and said nothing. Dan smiled but did nothing. The boy stared sheepishly, and mumbled "Sign." Again, Dan did nothing, just smiled. The little boy looked around nervously and then Dan said "What else should you say?." The boy paused and said softly, "Please." Dan jumped up with both arms raised, grinning -- "You said the magic word!" and sat down and signed. The boy's dad was standing next to me, and said: "What a great lesson Dan Hodge just gave my son! What a great man!" That's the Dan Hodge I knew and admired so deeply. -- Mike Chapman, creator of the Dan Hodge Trophy and author of "Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story".
  6. iwrite


    Yesterday (Tuesday), Bryan Van Kley of WIN and I presented the Dan Hodge Trophy to Spencer Lee, in a small gathering of media and UI officials (including Tom and Terry Brands of course) in the press area of the Iowa football stadium. It was a wonderful event and Spencer told us he met Dan Hodge when he was an 8-year-old competing in the Tulsa Nationals. Spencer said it was a real honor to meet Dan and said he wished he could meet him again.... My wife Bev reminded me of a great story. Once at our WIN Show, there was a long line of kids to get Dan's autograph. Dan was tired from a day-long event but wouldn't stop. The last boy arrived and shoved a piece of paper at him and said said nothing. Dan smiled but did nothing. The boy stared sheepishly, and mumbled "Sign." Again, Dan did nothing, just smiled. The little boy looked around nervously and then Dan said "What else should you say?." The boy paused and said softly, "Please." Dan jumped up with both arms raised, grinning -- "You said the magic word!" and sat down and signed. The boy's dad was standing next to me, and said: "What a great lesson Dan Hodge just gave my son! What a great man!" That's the Dan Hodge I knew and admired so deeply. My entire column in the next issue of WIN will be about Dan. -- Mike Chapman
  7. iwrite


    Gowrestle -- There are many ways to measure a person's contribution to a sport. Dan Hodge was the primary ambassador to the very popular World of Wrestling tournaments created by Jack Roller, and traveled the nation for over 30 years to hand out trophies and talk to athletes and their families. Jack says that Dan and his wife Dolores went to over 150 kids tournaments and that Dan inspired tens of thousands of young wrestlers along the way. "He was like the Pied Piper," said Jack. "Kids idolized Dan and followed him around the arena, and he had time for every one of them. He would stay and sign and talk until he was exhausted, because he never wanted to disappoint anyone." I saw Dan do that many times myself. In 1997, when my wife Bev and I created the WIN Memorabilia Show, held between sessions of the NCAA tournament, Dan was our first guest. He sat at our tables at least 15 more times through the years, and he was simply wonderful the way he interacted with fans, young and old. Throw in the fact that he never lost in college, is the only man in history to win national titles in both boxing and wrestling, is the only wrestler to ever appear on the cover of SI, and the biggest trophy in college wrestling is named in his honor, -- and he deserves every recognition that comes his way. He is a true icon of the sport! -- Mike Chapman, creator of WIN magazine, and the Dan Hodge Trophy, and author of the book "Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story".
  8. Dan and I met for the first time in 1975 when I drove to Perry to interview him for my book "Two Guys Named Dan". He and his wife Dolores became very dear friends with my wife Bev and me. They were our guests many times at the WIN Memorabilia Show during the NCAA tournament and the fans loved him. I never knew a celebrity that was more patient and kind to all those who came to meet him and get an autograph. Some were even brave enough to shake his hand, and once in a great while someone would say "Give me a shot, Dan!" and in seconds they were begging him to let go! While Dan was entertaining the fans, Dolores was working with Bev behind the tables. They were an incredible team for over 60 years! In 1995, I created "The Heisman Trophy of wrestling" and named it for Dan. In 2009, I wrote his biography entitled "Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story" and it sold out within a year. Dan and Dolores stayed with us many times in our home in Newton, Iowa, and we have stayed with them in Perry. I have never known anyone like him and today there is a big hole in my heart. -- Mike Chapman
  9. How about a good book that will acquaint him with great wrestlers and their stories. "Legends of the Mat" offers biographies of 34 wrestling legends like Gable, Hodge, Smith, Kemp, Schultz, etc. Many other wrestling books are on this site as well. Go to www.mike-chapman.com.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. "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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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!
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Fun topic -- talking folkstyle only! Takedowns -- John Smith, Randy Lewis, Uetake, Cael, Taylor (saw them all) Mat -- Gable (24 straight pins at one point) Hodge, Retherford, Lee (saw them all but Hodge) Leg -- Mike Sheets, Mark Churella, Cary Kolat Toughness -- Hodge, Gable, Tom Peckham, Wayne Baughman, Ed Banach, Mark Schultz, Tom & Terry Brands (saw them all but Hodge) Fireman's -- Tom Huff (if you ever saw him you know what I mean), Dave Schultz
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