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tec87

Finals Format Change

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The success of boxing and then MMA with the "uneducated viewer" should tell us wrestling folks something.

 

People like stories, build-ups, and "main events." And people like to anticipate such main events. There are entire TV series devoted to the stories and even the rather boring training (yes, the workouts themselves, somewhat glorified for TV) of top athletes leading up to event day.

 

You don't even have to go as far as other combat sports. Similar promotional strategies are used for many sports leading up to the Olympics or other high-profile athletic events. I remember seeing stories about weightlifters, not exactly the most popular athletes even compared to the relatively unpopular wrestlers.

 

Making a big deal out of a historic, highly likely potential event to promote nationals and try to increase interest can only be good for our sport. It's not like they're promoting a raffle after the last match to keep people in their seats. They're using a time-tested strategy that has worked for other sports. Why is that not a great idea worth one try?

 

 

Exactly. Well put.

 

Yes

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I liked the move orginally, but then started to second guess if it should have been announced now or after the semis. I told a few people at work this morning about this unprecendented move. All three now intend to watch the match who otherwise would not have watched it. So I guess there is value to making this move in advance.

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I liked the move orginally, but then started to second guess if it should have been announced now or after the semis. I told a few people at work this morning about this unprecendented move. All three now intend to watch the match who otherwise would not have watched it. So I guess there is value to making this move in advance.

 

How does this matter from when they announce the format change. They can still promote the POTENTIAL match up without locking themselves into a format that ends with 165. It's the match that's bringing people to watch (theoretically), not when it's taking place in the broadcast. So sell the match, and shift finals lineup once the Finals are set.

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This helps Dake, assuming he makes the finals. Dake gets better when the pressure is on. Is that true of Taylor, too? There is just a bit of evidence that it is not.

 

I'd LOVE to be able to argue with you here.

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Vak, the format change is what's causing all this commotion. The match has been sold all along by media (Flo, wrestling publications, even random news outlets). The fact that the match is being labeled the main event early is what's causing new news and interest. It's not like the NCAA is going to buy ad time on ESPN prime time to promote Dake's quest. Like it or not, people are now more interested because of the format change. This thread itself is (small) evidence.

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Great. So we can draw in a huge audience to watch one of them win 0-1 or 2-1 in triple OT. That'll certainly draw in the casual fans...

 

and ending with the heavyweight match that is often won by 1 point, frequently in overtime, is a better bet? maybe if golagaev(sp?) is involved

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I liked the move orginally, but then started to second guess if it should have been announced now or after the semis. I told a few people at work this morning about this unprecendented move. All three now intend to watch the match who otherwise would not have watched it. So I guess there is value to making this move in advance.

 

How does this matter from when they announce the format change. They can still promote the POTENTIAL match up without locking themselves into a format that ends with 165. It's the match that's bringing people to watch (theoretically), not when it's taking place in the broadcast. So sell the match, and shift finals lineup once the Finals are set.

 

This. They could have announced now that the finals will be wrestled in an order determined by the NCAA after the semifinals are completed (or whatever body makes the decision), implying that 165 will be last if Dake makes the final but reserving the possibility of featuring some other match if Dake is derailed. Putting the match (if it happens) last is independent of hyping Dake's quest for four at four and the Taylor rivalry and all the human interest stuff. But it's really a minor quibble - this is definitely a step in the right direction and hopefully the powers will be will expand on this and use similar devices in the future to keep fans in their seats and eyeballs on the TV in the future.

 

As for those defending "traditions" - what does wrestling have to show for them? Notwithstanding traditions, we've lost hundreds of college programs and are facing elimination from the Olympics. The only thing that is going right for the sport is the massive, well-done coverage ESPN has given the NCAA Division I tournament in the past few years. A featured, historic match to top off the tournament can only help persuade ESPN to keep delivering that coverage.

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I agree with the change, but believe it could be a mistake to announce it so early. Hopefully it won't end up backfiring...anyone remember Reebok’s Dan vs. Dave ad campaign leading up to the '92 Olympics? http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ycn-7239910

 

I know one thing though...if I were one of the few top contenders (Yates/Graham, Caldwell) with a chance to scuttle this thing, I would be super pissed off...and even more motivated to pull off what would be an upset of epic proportions. Can you imagine?

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The Marquee match should be Kyle Dake vs David Taylor.

Second best match should be Stieber vs Ramos.

Third best match should be Stieber vs Maple.

4th best match should be Wright vs Kilgore.

 

So, in order of marquee match being last:

165

133

141

197

 

I did remember the juggle of matches in 1987 but it sure confused hell out of the fans, Unfortunately. Maybe with a drum of buildup in NCAA potential matches. The fans may be up to it this time around.

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I agree with the change, but believe it could be a mistake to announce it so early. Hopefully it won't end up backfiring...anyone remember Reebok’s Dan vs. Dave ad campaign leading up to the '92 Olympics? http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ycn-7239910

 

I know one thing though...if I were one of the few top contenders (Yates/Graham, Caldwell) with a chance to scuttle this thing, I would be super pissed off...and even more motivated to pull off what would be an upset of epic proportions. Can you imagine?

 

I agree totally.

 

And that is just one of the issues that we face with this change.

 

We may have to see a possibility of one of them getting 'dinged up' in a bout leading to finals. Or, illness. Please know that I am not wishing 'bad things' on anyone. We have 3 days of wrestling.

 

Anyone recall M. Zadick coming to the big tourney ? I think undefeated and the 1 seed. Then he meets a young stud named Percival. The score became waay unreachable for Zadick. Very ugly. Seemed like every one (casual fan as well) was geared up for a Jared Lawrence/Mike Zadick finals bout , the 1 and 2 seeds at 149. Never happened as Percival and Zadick finished 4th and 6th respectively. Yeah,I always remember that bout when something like this is attempted.

 

 

 

This whole new format is not good. What ? Is one of the goals here to court the casual fan ? At the risk of compromising our finals bouts?

 

I am not against change. Just as long as nothing different happens.

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Who is changing the channel?!

What wrestling fan is going to turn the channel on the national finals.

And if there are new fans watching, wouldn't they have been hooked during the first 8 matches anyway, or during the 165 match?

Me. I want to see 197, I want to see 125, I don't care about heavyweight. Maybe they announced this prematurely, but I would otherwise turn the channel after 197 and check back to see if heavies are done yet. This way, I will keep the channel tuned in just in case heavy ends quickly (yeah, right). Sometimes, one person or match is worth the extra attention- that's life.

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For those of you wondering why not after the semifinals, I have it from a very good source that ESPN said they needed a week's notice on the order. Why, I don't know. But that's why they couldn't wait until after the semifinals on Friday night. AND, this change idea was originated by ESPN.

 

Now, if it works out, maybe they'll find a way to do it with less time in the future, but that's where we are today on a first attempt.

 

And denny, I love ya, but that 'no change' attitude has not worked out very well for us. Maybe it's time to take a 'what can we do different' type approach going forward.

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could end badly, Murphys Law-- i was in Albany in 2002 for Caels 4th, cant be bigger than that and it was wrestled in order-- i recall coach Russ Hellickson telling hvt Tommy Rowlands to be ready for a long timeout for celebration & ovation-- ---- this will put tremendous pressure on refs to ensure that finals takes place, i dont like it . ...s/BobP

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Ohhh Adam,

 

I hear you. I was jesting about the change issues. I simply do not have a solid reasoning -or- peace of mind (if you will) about this one. Sticking to it. But thanks.

 

Truth be told I am a lifelong, card carrying democrat. We think that change is okay. Voted for B.O. X 2. ;)

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I think they made a mistake announcing it so early. But I like the idea. I'd love if on Friday evenings once the finalists are determined they quickly got together and determined an order for the next day. As long as the guys know the night before when they will wrestle I see if being a small sacrifice to make for a huge bonus in watchability.

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Should have waited until after Semis- this could end very badly. .... s/BobP

 

For those of you wondering why not after the semifinals, I have it from a very good source that ESPN said they needed a week's notice on the order. Why, I don't know. But that's why they couldn't wait until after the semifinals on Friday night.

 

Relatively minor in the grand scheme of things. Referees have no compensation tied to ESPN or reason to side with ESPN's wishes. If Dake and Taylor make the finals, judging by their resumes, it's probably on thier own merits.

 

Like I said earlier, having TV timeouts messes with the flow of a football & basketball game a lot more than changing the finals order. Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice in purity.

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The fact is, the sport is in a state of crises right now. Business as usual isn't getting it done, and an effort to improve the overall health needs to be made.

For the real fans of the sport, we'll be involved one way or the other. For the sport to survive, you need more than us to find an interest in wrestling. More marketing, more thinking "outside the box" (and man I hate that cliche), anything that will improve interest.

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I agree with the change, but believe it could be a mistake to announce it so early. Hopefully it won't end up backfiring...anyone remember Reebok’s Dan vs. Dave ad campaign leading up to the '92 Olympics? http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ycn-7239910

 

I know one thing though...if I were one of the few top contenders (Yates/Graham, Caldwell) with a chance to scuttle this thing, I would be super pissed off...and even more motivated to pull off what would be an upset of epic proportions. Can you imagine?

 

I agree totally.

 

And that is just one of the issues that we face with this change.

 

We may have to see a possibility of one of them getting 'dinged up' in a bout leading to finals. Or, illness. Please know that I am not wishing 'bad things' on anyone. We have 3 days of wrestling.

 

Anyone recall M. Zadick coming to the big tourney ? I think undefeated and the 1 seed. Then he meets a young stud named Percival. The score became waay unreachable for Zadick. Very ugly. Seemed like every one (casual fan as well) was geared up for a Jared Lawrence/Mike Zadick finals bout , the 1 and 2 seeds at 149. Never happened as Percival and Zadick finished 4th and 6th respectively. Yeah,I always remember that bout when something like this is attempted.

 

 

 

This whole new format is not good. What ? Is one of the goals here to court the casual fan ? At the risk of compromising our finals bouts?

 

I am not against change. Just as long as nothing different happens.

 

 

 

I am a big fan and I like this format

 

Pissed at what??

 

If I were Yates, Graham or Caldwell I wouldn't be pissed, just the opposite

 

I would be pumped and salivating over the opportunity before me

 

No disrespect to 285, but whatever match-up materializes at 165 will most likely be more interesting and crowd pleasing

 

I totally disaggree about this ending badly

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For those of you wondering why not after the semifinals, I have it from a very good source that ESPN said they needed a week's notice on the order. Why, I don't know. But that's why they couldn't wait until after the semifinals on Friday night. AND, this change idea was originated by ESPN.

 

The only viable reason would be related to advertising and promotion.

 

The order of matches doesn't affect any of the actual production. All of the graphics for each match are built in advance. When a match starts, it's just a matter of calling up a particular set of numbers in the truck. Talent, camera and audio wouldn't need any advance notice, either. They all go with the flow.

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I agree with bobp. This creates the perception that a fix may be in, especially if there is a controversial call or two that happens along the way. How is that benificial for the sport?

 

ESPN to an extent has altered the sports broadcasting business into simply entertainment and marketing, like others have before (can you say Olympic coverage?). They aren't concerned about the sport. They want to market a story for their own benefit, rather than cover and report the stories that emerge during the tournament. There is no reason the finals schedule needs to be set until after semis. You can promote the potential matchup, and highlight it in the last match if it occurs.

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I am a big fan and I like this format

 

Pissed at what??

 

If I were Yates, Graham or Caldwell I wouldn't be pissed, just the opposite

 

I would be pumped and salivating over the opportunity before me

Yes, this is exactly my point. They should be PISSED that ESPN and the NCAA have been so quick to write them off and "pumped and salivating over the opportunity" to scew up their plan to highlight what is apparently a foregone conclusion...a Dake/Taylor grand finale. Classic buttetin board material for coaches Cody, Smith, and Dresser.

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Have to admit, I thought this thread was a true joke, untruth. I've been very busy with work and have been a little out of the loop. But wow, I have to say I was surprised when I read this article:

http://www.examiner.com/article/ncaa-ch ... t-for-last

 

Can't say that I'm a fan. If Dake were to win I can see doing what they did with Cael in delaying the event by 15 minutes to honor the moment. Noone leaves the NCAA championships until the end. 197 and 285 will be exciting matches this year.

 

On one hand it sort of seems like an assumption that both will make it to the finals and this seems disrespectful to guys like Yates and Caldwell. On the other hand if Dake were to make it to the finals and face someone like Yates instead of the anticipated matchup with Taylor I don't think the anticipation is quite the same with Yates as the opponent.

 

I don't have a too much of a problem with this change but feel it sets a bad precedent.

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