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Ari Gold

Top 10 Americans ever, according to Askren and Rowlands

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I don't know that I'd give as much weight to Kemp's victory over Gable. A very impressive win for a 19 year old sure - but wasn't it a folkstyle win? Even if Gable were in college at the time and actively training in folkstyle, it still would only rate 30% weight given the college - international rating that these guys agreed too (more or less). For me, Bruce #2 was a much more convincing argument.

 

 

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didn't hear their top ten. here's mine.

1. smith

2. baumgartner

3. burroughs after that there's a gap.

4. dave schultz, 2 gold, 7 medals in 2 weights

5. kemp 3 golds, 4 medals 

6. mark schultz 3 gold

7. jackson 3 gold

8. monday 2 gold, 4 medals

9. bill scherr 1 gold, 5 medals in 2 weights

10. douglas 1 gold, 4 medals in 2 weights

additional criteria use was how many world/olympic teams made.

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I don't want to listen to the whole podcast. Anyone care to post their list.

Rowlands:

 

1) Smith

2) Baumgartner

3) Burroughs

4) Kemp

5) D. Schultz

6) M. Schultz

7) K. Jackson

8) Tom Brands

9) Sanderson

10) Gable

 

(Rowlands admits he totally forgot Monday, and says if he included Monday he would put Monday #7, therefore bumping KJ, Brands, Sanderson, and Gable down. He also adds that he could live with Gable over Cael due to international dominance)

 

 

Askren:

1) Smith

2) Burroughs

3) Kemp

4) Baumgartner

5) Sanderson

6) M. Schultz

7) Tom Brands

8) Monday

9) Gable

10) Dake

Edited by Ari Gold

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Random thoughts

 

-74/76Kg is by far our best weight class historically

-Almost every one of these guys wrestled between 1986 and 1996

-Why anyone would weight folkstyle as anything more than a tiebreaker is beyond me

- If you want to count the united USSR against the old timers at least look at how they performed at tough international tourneys, like Tsibili, which were arguably tougher than the Worlds/Olympics even now.

- If you're going to consider Kyle Dake, you better consider a lot of guys like Randy Lewis, Stephen Abas, and Kendall Cross first.

- In 1904 the USA won every gold medal, and the heaviest weight class was just >71.7kg ? What kind of world was that?

- Is it even possible to get a list of these guys best career wins?

-I wish they would bring back a super light weight class, even if we would suck at it.

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Random thoughts

- In 1904 the USA won every gold medal, and the heaviest weight class was just >71.7kg ? What kind of world was that?

 

Didn't spend too much time digging into this and some of my esteemed colleagues here might challenge my referencing Wikipedia, but eff it.

 

It looks like roughly 81% of the participating athletes in the 1904 St. Louis Olympics represented the US and 2 of the gold medalists from the US were not considered citizens at the time. It was a very odd world back then. The video below provides an interesting description of the marathon race from those games. I have a sneaky suspicion that if we dug around we might find some equally entertaining stories about the wrestling events that were held there.

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Here is my list:

 

1 - J Smith

2 - B Baumgartner

3 - J Burroughs

4 - Ken Monday

5 - Dave Schultz

6 - Lee Kemp

7 - Mark Scultz

8 - Dan Gable

9 - Kevin Jackson

10 - Wayne Wells

 

I struggled at where to put our 3 stars from 74 kg from the late 70s to early 90s but finally went with Monday/Schultz/Kemp based on DS beating LK while he still in his prime and KM then beating DS.

 

Ben and Tom talked (great podcast by the way well worth the time to listen) a lot about how much harder it is to medal now based on the reduction of weights (10 to 6) and the breakup of the USSR.  Both are valid points.  However there is no mention of how difficult it was to continue to compete under the old "amateur" rules back in the 60s, 70s, and well into the 80s.  Most guys careers were over one cycle out of college.  You weren't allowed to make any money thru the sport (not even coaching)  The one exception to this was if you were in the military (ie Greg Gibson)

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I think the top three are a cut above.

I like:

1. Smith (good at everything, fast)

2. Burroughs (see above)

3. Baumgartner (good at everything - not as consistent as above)

4. M Schultz (Athletic and unorthodox)

5. Monday (Quick, long, reactive)

6. D Schultz (technical - brutal)

7. Kemp (technical - fluid)

8. K J (defense mat savvy)

9. Sanderson (fluid - technical)

10. Gable (Gable)

 

You could talk me out of the ranking order 4-10. My mind is made up 1-3 though Burroughs is still a work in progress.

 

I don't have any problem with Brands or Wells on the list. But Dake? Seriously?

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Yea, Askren putting Dake on there is absurd, especially considering he omitted Dave Schultz (and others with much greater international accomplishments than Dake to this point).

 

Someone else neither of them mentioned that definitely deserves consideration is Chris Campbell. Campbell was a World Champ, World Silver Medalist, Olympic Bronze Medalist, and made a total of 6 teams (including the '80 team that DNC due to the boycott). The Silver and Bronze were at the ages 35 & 37 after a 9 year layoff!

 

 

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Edited by Ari Gold

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Guys, it was an American list and Dake was ranked #10 by a guy that finished his career as one of the most dominant Folkstylers of ALL TIME!  Of course he is going to weight NCAA performance when discussing the best American Wrestler.  Folkstyle IS American wrestling.  Although, I probably wouldn't put Dake at 10 either, he made a very solid argument(and remember he said he doesn't even like Dake and called him a chicken).

 

Askren wasn't ranking the most accomplished Americans, he was ranking the best Americans.  He didn't want to punish Dake for being stuck behind Burroughs(who will most likely end up #1 on the list).  He said he firmly believed that Dake would beat Dave Schultz if they wrestled and Dake would have multiple medals if Burroughs wasn't around(that part I agree with).

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Dake would have multiple medals if Burroughs wasn't around(that part I agree with).

 

He hasn't put in the time internationally to be considered a medal threat. IMO his only quality win came back in 2013 when he beat Tsargush. Since then he hasn't done anything. My prediction is he vanishes from competition within the next 2 years after he is unable to make a world team.

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He hasn't put in the time internationally to be considered a medal threat. IMO his only quality win came back in 2013 when he beat Tsargush. Since then he hasn't done anything. My prediction is he vanishes from competition within the next 2 years after he is unable to make a world team.

That has to do with injuries, Burroughs and his very obvious 1st or last mentality.  if he were the #1 guy at the weight I am sure he would have been competing at multiple events.  However, I think the sad truth(just like NCAA's) is all that matters is that 1(World/Olympic/NCAA)Tournament..................

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That has to do with injuries, Burroughs and his very obvious 1st or last mentality.  if he were the #1 guy at the weight I am sure he would have been competing at multiple events.  However, I think the sad truth(just like NCAA's) is all that matters is that 1(World/Olympic/NCAA)Tournament..................

 

My sentiment concerning his injuries.

giphy.gif

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Although I love the tiny violin playing lobster, you inevitably miss the point.  Why would Dake risk furthering his injuries by traveling to International competitions when Burroughs is still the #1 guy?  How would that possibly help him?  His focus had always been(until this year when he bumped up) to knock off Burroughs(which of course did not happen).

 

I understand using his lack of International competition against him.  You are absolutely correct in saying he doesn't have a proven record.  Just like Askren much of my argument is conjecture.  I believe that he is that good, but Burroughs is simply that great.  Burroughs has kept us from seeing just how good Dake is....................

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Why would Dake risk furthering his injuries by traveling to International competitions when Burroughs is still the #1 guy?  How would that possibly help him?  His focus had always been(until this year when he bumped up) to knock off Burroughs(which of course did not happen).

 

Point isn't missed. I just don't believe Dake has done anything in FS to be considered as one of the greatest wrestlers in the US. Being a runner-up in the World Team trials is not a noteworthy accolade even if the guy standing in front of him was Burroughs.

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He didn't want to punish Dake for being stuck behind Burroughs(who will most likely end up #1 on the list). He said he firmly believed that Dake would beat Dave Schultz if they wrestled and Dake would have multiple medals if Burroughs wasn't around(that part I agree with).

In Askren's eyes, Dake being kept off the team by Askren's #2 (and also Cox) justifies Dake at the 10 spot. However, Dave Schultz actually beating Askren's own #3 (Kemp) to make the team earns DS being off the list. Interesting logic by Askren.

 

 

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Edited by Ari Gold

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Sanderson and Gable will always be what if. are they top 10-maybe. They retired just as they were hitting their primes. We all agree Gable and Sanderson could have had Smith and Baum type numbers but they took a different route and I think it is safe to say now that both will be hall of fame coaches so the risk of retiring early has paid off! I mean Sanderson was beating Varner in 2012 when he won the Olympics. So he easily could have wrestled 3 or maybe even 4 cycles. Could he have beaten Cox this year and then retired our best wrestler ever? Who knows? HIs body was put together well and he never was injured.

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