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drag it last won the day on April 15 2019

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  1. Not being familiar with the specific facts, I still don't find this astounding. He was a fine college wrestler and lots of things visible on the surface could contribute to the jump. 1. Some guys just take to freestyle in a way they don't to folk. 2. Maybe he was cutting a lot/too much and he's able to train and wrestle better at the higher weight with more muscle and more energy. 3. Maybe his priority was more academics before and at Duke that kept him from reaching his wrestling potential. 4. And who knows what else could be in play that isn't on the surface. Maybe he was inspired by the Israeli baseball team and uses their mensch on a bench as a training dummy to perfection. :)
  2. You were exactly right in your extremely thoughtful first paragraph. Hard stop after your die-on-the-hill sentence. No need to go any further than that. The current freestyle product is terrific and it seems to be doing far better in terms of acceptance than its sometimes embarrassing predecessors. Don't mess with a (very) good thing and don't let the perfect be the enemy of that. Folk and free are different. My sense is that most fans have room in their hearts for both, and that most of those who don't want to like free won't like it even if you add OT.
  3. For sure. Princeton says, We've got clout with the admissions office to get you into the number one ranked school in the country, great financial aid, and access to our professional network after graduation. Navy says, We will own you for nine years, it will be about us not about you that entire time. While wrestlers are more suited to the latter mentality than the average student, the former is still going to be a much stronger recruiting pitch to most.
  4. Yep. What they weighed in at today has got to be far less relevant than their weight classes, which are 25 pounds apart. Taylor is carrying around a ton more muscle than Burroughs. The eye test made that clear. Put another way, compare what Taylor looks like today as a full 86 kg'er to tour memory of him as a 165 lb collegian/74 kg freestyler. Could that second guy have had a chance against that first guy or would he get thrown around the mat? Given that advantage, not a tremendous result to win 4-4 with the only takedown being literally a gimme. But I do agree with Taylor's point about his finding a way to win being extremely important. He has already shown that he is a buzzsaw against guys his weight -- his Worlds dominance, the destruction of MyMar. A somewhat flat performance today -- but he won, and JB couldn't flip the switch like he always does against U.S. competition. Compare today's second period to what he did to Zahid. Taylor is a much more formidable guy than he used to be.
  5. Agree with all this and will use it as an opportunity to complain about the scorers tables at the NCAAs, which I think are even worse. Instead of a flat wall, they have a more dangerous edge. And there you have guys fighting to be AAs and are much less likely to back off at all given the stakes. And this is a pandemic where people have to improvise and are more likely to be stuck with limited options. Doesn't make the hazard yesterday ok, but to me it emphasizes the problem at NCAAs, where every year I see scary hits and near misses at the tables.
  6. Vito. Wow -- that last scoring flurry, a smoother than smooth elbow pass to a lace. He has just extraordinary skills (Captain Obvious here). Watching from afar, you get the feeling that he and Yianni feed off each other in an extraordinarily productive way in that room.
  7. Got it. You weren't initially blaming him. You just were saying that maybe his "big moves" and "throws" had something to do with it. That was just (erroneous) speculation before we had any details. Then when Gomez stated the facts, that he got hurt in a common way -- head to knee on leg attacks -- that's when we found out that he was to blame: "He said it himself" that he caused the end of his own career -- "the style and apparently the execution was obviously to blame." Now we know that his bad "execution was obviously to blame" for his forced retirement, based on a throwaway line -- "I don't know, maybe I should stop doing knee pulls" -- that he delivered with a chuckle and a self-deprecating smile. Of course, the "I don't know" part referred to the fact that we have no idea whether and how the execution on those moves led to injury, since he didn't even know that he had done knee pulls until they explained it to him after he regained consciousness. That was a remarkable admission/acceptance of blame by Gomez for something that his concussion caused him to have zero recollection of. If he ever gets tired of covering wrestling, Bader should get a hair cut, go to law school, and become a star prosecutor.
  8. Martinez has lectured on how he uses both knee pulls and snatch singles out of the same tie and set up, they're just different finishes, based on what's left for him by his opponent as he executes his bread and butter simple move. As if the difference between those two leg attacks has any relevance to your repeated assertions that Gomez's "throws" and "big moves" caused his injuries and retirement. Earlier I said that your implication in blaming him for losing his career based on his choice of style was unintentional. Obviously that's wrong -- you're intentionally and directly blaming his "style and apparently...execution" for his injuries, which I find objectionable to throw at a battler like him, as he loses out on his dreams, based on pretty much zero evidence other than a self deprecating, joking throw away line in his Bader interview. This could have been caused by the guys he was wrestling. It could have been caused by his innate predisposition to injury. It could be that both times the whistle blew and he moved his head, or any of a whole list of other flukes. Head to knee is a common injury, most famously Ness on Dennis in the NCAA final, that has nothing to do with throws, big moves, or other things we should blame the injured wrestler for.
  9. https://www.flowrestling.org/articles/6852466-bader-show-austin-gomez Gomez: "The first time...I got kneed right in the temple." Bader: "The knee in the temple was the first one, or it was the most recent?" Gomez: "Both of them, actually. They've all...just gotten kneed in the temple. It's like, they're telling me I keep hitting knee pulls. Maybe I should have just stopped hitting knee pulls. Whenever I hit a need pull I was getting hit in the head." Big moves? No. Snag singles/knee pulls? Yes. One of the most, if not the most common way to get a concussion is head to knee, as discussed before. This wrestler didn't ruin his career by his style, wild or otherwise. BTW, Gomez came across quite well in describing what happened to him, what he learned about his physical condition, and the choices he was forced to deal with that ended his dreams.
  10. I agree that it's a little weird the way the film is presented. If you hadn't heard the Bader interviews referenced above or didn't know another way, you wouldn't really have any idea whether this was a Flo film/who did this, when, etc. I do see this as a mistake by Flo, but it doesn't change a real service that they've provided here by taking a serious mainstream documentary on the biggest name in the sport, which was out of circulation, and making it available (at least to subscribers). As I said in the OP, I thought the film fell short of what it could/should have been given the extraordinary access the makers apparently had, but it still contributes to the public record about this essential figure in the sport, and it's important for it to be accessible. And I guess, to the extent that I didn't find their purchased Gable film as insightful into its subject as, for instance, Bader's Terry film or the Kolat series, etc., that's another compliment to Flo. (Although it's never perfect with them. In addition to the strange way it was presented, I had the obligatory IT glitches watching it -- it froze four or five times at about 15 or 20 minute intervals.)
  11. It's New Years Day, there is ice everywhere, it's a quarantine, and I don't like football much. So here is a long boring post. The new/old Gable documentary is up on Flo (behind the paywall). https://www.flowrestling.org/collections/6839009-the-life-of-dan-gable?playing=6848834. I don't think I've seen anyone comment on it here, so here's a thread starter for those interested. Flo apparently bought this from HBO or someone, I guess it was originally aired 1999ish. The filmmakers got access during Gable's famous last year in 1997. It's interesting because there is a book on that season where the author had the same access -- Zavoral's A Season on the Mat. I liked the book, which I've read several times, a lot more. Beyond the fact that a good book is better than a film version 90% of the time, I think the book is more for wrestling people, the film more for a general audience. On the latter point, one thing that I'll compliment the film for doing well is capture how Gable was unique among wrestlers in his appeal to the public. They show tons of huge newspaper headlines on the front page and on the front page of the sports section. They show him on national TV as THE attraction for the NCAAs/Wide World of Sports and Olympic coverage. They show him on Dick Cavett. Etc. Beyond the obligatory John Irving interviews, they also show thoughtful explanations by Nancy Schultz and Al Franken talking about how almost all of the interest in wrestling is usually from wrestlers, and how Gable broke through that. The film also did a nice job of vividly bringing out the role of Gable's murdered sister in his life, both before and after the crime, and informing his entire wrestling career. The interviews with him on it drive home how deeply personal this was and how conflicted he was about the conversation he had with the killer that, with 100% hindsight, was a warning. This has been covered before but I thought was done well here. But I found the film mostly plodding. It followed him in his last coaching season with his record setting team, with the adversity of his hip replacement in the middle of the season. But it seemed like they spent more time on his competitive career than on his coaching. They would show him coaching and then would cut in with flashbacks to lengthy tapes and descriptions of him competing which I thought were pretty clumsy and didn't really relate to the coaching tape they had just shown. I just don't think they used all this access and film they must have shot in nearly as productive way as they could have to demonstrate his coaching greatness. The book nicely captured his skill and intelligence as a coach, and added a lot to the common belief that he just worked worked worked worked the athletes. For instance, the book describes Gable navigating a very tricky complicated personal and medical issue with McIlravy, his father, and the team trainer, something that required some subtlety and nuance. And the key coaching decision he makes during the year is a conscious change in the training schedule at the end to back off. The film actually shows some tape of the result of this (the wrestlers wrapped in sheets and laying on the mats), but doesn’t let the viewer understand that this was part of a very significant strategic decision and that it went with a general downthrottling in the workout levels. His wrestlers are not drawn out at all as characters in the documentary. I don’t think they interviewed any of the wrestlers on the team (I think only Penrith as a former wrestler), they don’t interview (or I think even identify) his assistant coaches, and barely even identify the wrestlers by name (only when Gable or a TV announcer says their names), etc. Also there is just a lot of clumsy stuff in there. They talk about Gable cutting weight as a sophomore I think, to 95, but don’t really elaborate if this was a career-long issue for him. They show the wrestlers in the sauna but don’t really document any of their tough cuts (the book has some incredible scenes with Gable and Tom Brands and some of the wrestlers, particularly one with Mena). It’s still well worth watching. There isn’t much mainstream stuff out there on wrestling. Gable of course is always compelling. And they do have some memorable behind the scenes film. For instance, Joe Williams gassing out and then restarting a buddy carry up the Carver steps. And a compelling (and hilarious) scene where an exhausted McIlravy starts shouting at Gable when he makes them run an extra sprint because someone lagged on the last one, and rather than shout back, Gable deftly deflects him and says, in a faux helpless voice something like, What can I do? He’s part of the team. There is also some very sharp footage mat level at the NCAAs, including a terrific shot of the sea of a crowd going absolutely bonkers as Whitmer celebrates his semifinal win over Teague Moore, as well as the Brands coaching (with Tom having to calm Terry down in a foreshadowing of later years) and the pain in Gable's eyes and body language after a tough loss. Beyond the comparison with the book, it’s also interesting to compare this to the ESPN The Season documentary from the early 2000s, which of course is on youtube and I thought was more engrossing. For instance, in watching Gable in 1997 in the Flo film with Zalesky in the background as assistant, you can see how Zalesky as coach in The Season struggled to find his own identity. This happens a lot when someone is a disciple of an extraordinary leader, they end up imitating the original leader to sometimes embarrassing extremes and of course fail because no one can duplicate the original. Zalesky’s yelling at the team in The Season is a straight imitation of Gable, the same gestures and intonation and chopped diction, and it just doesn’t work, because it’s Gable, not him. I figure that it didn’t matter as much those first three seasons after Gable retired and they won NCAAs, since the team would have still included some Gable guys, but was probably a bigger problem the further out he got (as the results got worse). OK enough of my meaningless meanderings. Happy New Year everyone.
  12. Big moves could lead to concussions just like single legs where the attacking wrestler gets kneed in the head. I'm not aware of Gomez's issues being attributable to his style. I don't see the pasted excerpt standing for the proposition that it was well known that Sayers injury resulted from his style. It says that he got hurt on a cut, which happens all the time to running backs. The writer simply threw in rhetorical flair in a fawning piece about Sayers that described the cut as patented. In this case the more well known explanation that you'll see in the literature was that the defender did a roll tackle which was viewed by those who saw it as unusual and particularly dangerous. The literature also says that many modern running backs get the same injury but have less long term problems because today's surgery is far less invasive. Wrestlers get concussions and running backs get knee injuries. Sometimes they end careers. I'm just reacting to the implication (unintended, not saying you meant it that way) that these two guys lost their careers due to choices they made to be aggressive in their approaches, when I don't think there is evidence of that.
  13. Sorry I don't think I see this. Going for big moves makes you concussion prone? I'm not thinking of a consistent pattern of such results in the past with other wrestlers, nor of any kind of intuitive cause and effect relationship. Gale Sayers was a running back who had knee problems, a common job hazard, in an era when the surgeries were terribly invasive and caused a lot of harm themselves. I don't see "incredibly exciting due to an unmatched ability to make hard controlled cuts" as being the same as "wild style." I don't think either of these are like, say, some outfielders who have shortened their careers by repeatedly running into walls, etc.
  14. :) Also, beyond the PSU issue, McCoy is well positioned in the best-career-at-his-age contest. In his first year at the weight, he won the NCAA heavyweight championship at age 19 (which Steveson didn't do, though as has been pointed out he would have been favored to if not for Covid), and he went 135-1 at heavyweight in total. In senior tournaments, when he was 19 he took 4th at nationals, and when he was 21 he lost a referee's decision to eventual Olympic champ Angle at nationals (though not at the heaviest weight I guess). So I'd say he and Steveson are a draw.
  15. Gable lost twice to Kerry McCoy? He's 46 -- was it an old man strength thing?
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