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Finals Format Change

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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.

You really should be concerned by having to include the qualifier, "probably on their own merits."

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NJWC understated the situation. Wrestling is not in a state of crisis, it is in a state of extinction from the public eye. It will always survive as an underground sport that us hard-core fans (i.e. former wrestlers) will follow, but its prospects as an ongoing concern are dim at the moment. That is fact.

 

With that as backdrop, it is unbelievable to me, literally unbelievable, that this simple format change is meeting so much resistance within our own community.

 

If you would've told me at the beginning of the season that wrestling fans would be divided 50/50 on supporting a request that ESPN made to try to make the finals of our sport's marquee event more exciting for their millions and millions of viewers in an attempt to drum up more interest for a sport that just lost the Olympics, the only forum greater than the NCAAs to showcase our sport, I would've laughed out loud. I would've guaranteed that the wrestling community would rally around that.

 

All of the concerns posed by posters who have a bone to pick with this format change are valid, even if I don't agree with them.

 

But when ESPN, the most successful business in sports, is asking us to collaborate with them to make our sport more TV-friendly, why, and how the hell, are we arguing?? Might ESPN know a thing or two about making events more exciting? Unbelievable!

 

The risk/reward of the ESPN proposal is like 100:1 in favor of reward. What's the worst that can happen? Dake or Taylor don't make the finals and we end the night watching whoever did make it destroy some guy as the best our sport has to offer is showcased on TV? A few guys not named Dake and Taylor have their feelings hurt? Cael feels a little slighted because his historic moment wasn't celebrated the same way? Come on.

 

I'd take all those things over watching the stands start to clear again before the heavies get on the mat.

 

Even if you don't think the format change will have any impact, how can anyone say it's not worth a try? The worst thing that can happen to us is that nothing changes. Wrestling is a slowly melting ice cube and lack of change is not what's going to save it.

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I wonder how Dake and Taylor feel about announcing it so early? There was already a lot of attention coming to their match. Obviously they both plan on making the finals, but now if you're Dake or Taylor and you don't make the finals, you get to look like an even bigger chump.

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but do people actually file out of the arena before the HWY's starting wrestling in the finals? Sure didn't look like it to me in Philly.

 

People definitely blasted out when the heavies were going in the earlier sessions.

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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.

You really should be concerned by having to include the qualifier, "probably on their own merits."

 

I'm quite concerned as you can tell by my support of the idea.

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NJWC understated the situation. Wrestling is not in a state of crisis, it is in a state of extinction from the public eye. It will always survive as an underground sport that us hard-core fans (i.e. former wrestlers) will follow, but its prospects as an ongoing concern are dim at the moment. That is fact.

 

With that as backdrop, it is unbelievable to me, literally unbelievable, that this simple format change is meeting so much resistance within our own community.

 

If you would've told me at the beginning of the season that wrestling fans would be divided 50/50 on supporting a request that ESPN made to try to make the finals of our sport's marquee event more exciting for their millions and millions of viewers in an attempt to drum up more interest for a sport that just lost the Olympics, the only forum greater than the NCAAs to showcase our sport, I would've laughed out loud. I would've guaranteed that the wrestling community would rally around that.

 

All of the concerns posed by posters who have a bone to pick with this format change are valid, even if I don't agree with them.

 

But when ESPN, the most successful business in sports, is asking us to collaborate with them to make our sport more TV-friendly, why, and how the hell, are we arguing?? Might ESPN know a thing or two about making events more exciting? Unbelievable!

 

The risk/reward of the ESPN proposal is like 100:1 in favor of reward. What's the worst that can happen? Dake or Taylor don't make the finals and we end the night watching whoever did make it destroy some guy as the best our sport has to offer is showcased on TV? A few guys not named Dake and Taylor have their feelings hurt? Cael feels a little slighted because his historic moment wasn't celebrated the same way? Come on.

 

I'd take all those things over watching the stands start to clear again before the heavies get on the mat.

 

Even if you don't think the format change will have any impact, how can anyone say it's not worth a try? The worst thing that can happen to us is that nothing changes. Wrestling is a slowly melting ice cube and lack of change is not what's going to save it.

 

Risk vs. reward. Well put.

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but do people actually file out of the arena before the HWY's starting wrestling in the finals? Sure didn't look like it to me in Philly.

 

People definitely blasted out when the heavies were going in the earlier sessions.

Wasn't in Philly, but in STL, and also at B1G, yes many people began to clear at 285.

What was interesting, and I have used this in my argument supporting team race decided by NCAA team score, is that at B1G a couple years ago many people left their seats and headed for the doors. Only to stop by the exits and watch the final two matches, as the team race was still up for grabs. I saw fans from many schools too, and their teams were not in the race. That was the exception though, and it will not always be that close. This years NCAA might be.

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I am all for the format change since ESPN requested it. This is absolutely great. ESPN is taking their comittment one step further by televising all rounds ! That is awesome !!

I missed this, must have been too much skimming. Televising all rounds is huge.

 

NJWC- I've been lucky enough to have beer at the event so I didn't have to leave. We did watch some Basketball during the heavies though.

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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.

 

When I told them the NCAA never did this before, that got their attention more so than when I explained why the match is historic. Only when I explained that this was the first time the NCAA did this, did they say "really, I'll have to make a point to watch it" (or something to that effect). Maybe they would have watched anyway or maybe they still won't, but there is no denying that it got their attention when I explained this was an unprecedented move.

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Set aside for a moment the thought that the pressure of this change could cause a match to not be called fairly (does anyone really think this will happen?), and then tell me the worst thing that could come from this change. Ending with Yates vs. Caldwell is somehow worse than ending with Nelson vs. Gelogaev? Even though that won't happen, think of the David and Goliath storylines they will be spewing about how the guy going for his fourth title went down,the Unicorn rider was slain, etc. Sorry, I see this as a win-win.

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Not news but I wasn't sure if they would start @ 125 and skip over 165 or go with optional start. For those who don't know, it will be optional start:

"The NCAA also announced that for the first time, the Championship Finals on Saturday night will begin at 174-pounds, wrapping around and concluding with the 165-pound title bout." - Penn State Wrestling

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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.

 

Just shows to go ya' Wrestling fans are easily confused.

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Wow! Do the heavies ever take in the shorts on this thread.

I can recall at least one instance where I bet no one left their seats or TV for the heavyweight match (or for the 197 preceding it). Can you guess which year I'm referring to? Hint: it was a 1-point match. (Jay, give the others a chance)

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this bowing to ESPN compromises the integrity of the sport, makes it look like 165 finals wrestlers have been pre-determined-- i wonder what the other 31 wrestlers in the wt class feel about this? perhaps insulted?

 

this is messing with the DNA of Sports, which is that no outcome is assured. Now if decision had been made AFTER SEMIS, then that changes things entirely, it would have been a positive decision in that case. ...s/BobP

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Wow! Do the heavies ever take in the shorts on this thread.

I can recall at least one instance where I bet no one left their seats or TV for the heavyweight match (or for the 197 preceding it). Can you guess which year I'm referring to? Hint: it was a 1-point match. (Jay, give the others a chance)

My first thought was 1997. I remember being on the edge of my seat watching both of the final two finals matches.

190 Lee Fullhart [5] - Iowa (4-3 OT) John Kading [2] - Oklahoma

275 Kerry McCoy [1] - Penn State (3-2) Stephen Neal [2] - Cal State-Bakersfield

But I see you mentioned 197 so you must be referring to something more recent.

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this bowing to ESPN compromises the integrity of the sport, makes it look like 165 finals wrestlers have been pre-determined-- i wonder what the other 31 wrestlers in the wt class feel about this? perhaps insulted?

 

this is messing with the DNA of Sports, which is that no outcome is assured. Now if decision had been made AFTER SEMIS, then that changes things entirely, it would have been a positive decision in that case. ...s/BobP

The other 31 wrestlers don't have the same body of work as those two. If they feel insulted, oh well. If they want to ruin the parade all they have to do is win. Since it's highly unlikely that they would be in the finals anyway, who cares what they think.

My guess is that 90% of those guys can respect what both those guys have accomplished so far. Lots of presumptions are made in sports, sometimes they come to light, sometimes they don't.

Out of all the weight classes, are there any that have a higher percentage of happening? I remember the threads leading up to the scuffle that predicted Taylor and Dake wouldn't be the final also.

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You really should be concerned by having to include the qualifier, "probably on their own merits."

 

I'm quite concerned as you can tell by my support of the idea.

:)

 

To be clear, I have little problem with the NCAA changing the finals order to build anticipation. However, this being done at ESPN request, and with the lie that they need a week notice (to sort out the order?), reeks of pro wrestling staged entertainment with already decided preliminary round outcomes.

 

I've seen enough game altering NBA reffing that I no longer watch that "sport". NFL hasn't reached that level...yet. There is great potential monetary value to ESPN to get the matchups they'd like. That is a risk. If they simply said they'd like to highlight the most compelling matchup that emerges Friday evening (as selected by a coaches committee) that perception would be greatly reduced. Barring that, although I really would like to see Dake/Taylor, but I'm going to be rooting for a preliminary round upset. The mother ship of sport is not a benevolent savior.

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You really should be concerned by having to include the qualifier, "probably on their own merits."

 

I'm quite concerned as you can tell by my support of the idea.

:)

 

To be clear, I have little problem with the NCAA changing the finals order to build anticipation. However, this being done at ESPN request, and with the lie that they need a week notice (to sort out the order?), reeks of pro wrestling staged entertainment with already decided preliminary round outcomes.

 

I've seen enough game altering NBA reffing that I no longer watch that "sport". NFL hasn't reached that level...yet. There is great potential monetary value to ESPN to get the matchups they'd like. That is a risk. If they simply said they'd like to highlight the most compelling matchup that emerges Friday evening (as selected by a coaches committee) that perception would be greatly reduced. Barring that, although I really would like to see Dake/Taylor, but I'm going to be rooting for a preliminary round upset. The mother ship of sport is not a benevolent savior.

 

I agree with you in some respect. I just think, like many others apparently, that the risk/reward tradeoff is worth it in this instance. And again like I pointed out, many times the first step is the most difficult to take. Maybe this will work out great for ESPN and we'll be able to highlight the best matches in the future in a staged-order finals determined Friday night. But right now, you can't ask for the moon on the first time. Where would be be if we demanded that they show all rounds of the tournament live or none at all? I think we'd all agree the answer is 'none at all'.

 

Wrestling has always had a 'no thanks' attitude towards any changes. Honestly, is MMA any less sporting than wrestling (think Belator with the tournament style) because they choose the order of the bouts based on storyline and popularity, rather than weight class? It's just a historically engrained way of doing things that has never changed. My whole point is, it's time to start looking at ways to change, rather than come up with reasons to reject change.

 

And like you I always love upsets, as long as I'm not the one being upset :)

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Great move. FINALLY wrestling gives in to the 21st Century and starts making little changes that mean NOTHING in the overall scheme of things to promote the sport.

 

And denny, I absolutely agree that Sanderson's match not being last for 159-0 was a travesty but it shows that we have progressed since the dark ages.

 

I try not to attack other's opinions but guys, if you can't see that creating drama for the final bout AND having the most popular bouts (usually) 125-165 go at the end are good for the sport, then you are probably an advocate for reading the last page of a book before the middle as well, and I'm not sure you can be helped ;)

 

There is NO good reason that we go 125 to HWT every year, other than "it's always been done that way", which is the lamest reason of them all.

I don't like it for a couple of reasons.

 

1. If its not broke don't try to fix it.

2. It could have a negative adverse effect on the wrestling and results. I'm sure Ed Ruth isn't used to warming up at the beginning of a tournament.

3. It's a bad year to do it with the Heavyweights being so stacked and athletic. That could be the best match of the night.

...pretty soon FILA is going to be running these tournaments (joke)

 

I understand the reasoning, just disagree with it.

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I agree with you in some respect. I just think, like many others apparently, that the risk/reward tradeoff is worth it in this instance. And again like I pointed out, many times the first step is the most difficult to take. Maybe this will work out great for ESPN and we'll be able to highlight the best matches in the future in a staged-order finals determined Friday night. But right now, you can't ask for the moon on the first time. Where would be be if we demanded that they show all rounds of the tournament live or none at all? I think we'd all agree the answer is 'none at all'.

 

Wrestling has always had a 'no thanks' attitude towards any changes. Honestly, is MMA any less sporting than wrestling (think Belator with the tournament style) because they choose the order of the bouts based on storyline and popularity, rather than weight class? It's just a historically engrained way of doing things that has never changed. My whole point is, it's time to start looking at ways to change, rather than come up with reasons to reject change.

 

And like you I always love upsets, as long as I'm not the one being upset :)

Two things.

First, if this is bargaining with ESPN, and the value they perceive is marketing a particular final prior to the tournament, when will there be motivation/leverage for them to allow the tournament to to provide the story?

And second, I would think ESPN would be sensitive to the appearance of arranged outcomes. The steps I suggested would do nothing to prevent any impropriety (if it exists), but would reduce the blatant appearance of its potential, and do nothing to alter the likelihood of the desired matchup, legitimate or not.

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I don't like it for a couple of reasons.

 

1. If its not broke don't try to fix it.

2. It could have a negative adverse effect on the wrestling and results. I'm sure Ed Ruth isn't used to warming up at the beginning of a tournament.

3. It's a bad year to do it with the Heavyweights being so stacked and athletic. That could be the best match of the night.

...pretty soon FILA is going to be running these tournaments (joke)

 

I understand the reasoning, just disagree with it.

 

Reason three is a non factor. Switching 165 doesn't take the spotlight off the heavies, in fact more people than ever would be watching them.

Reason two is happening to Ed Ruth's opponent as well.

Reason one isn't correct either. It's not a fix. It's an improvement in order to both keep fans from changing the channel early, and to have a storyline in order to get more overall to watch.

 

This is a relatively minor thing, I don't know why some seem to take issue with it. Fact is, it was the main event anyway and we all know it. ESPN is just doing what they feel will make them the most money off of it. Them making money will make the sport more appealing in the future. Win.

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With that as backdrop, it is unbelievable to me, literally unbelievable, that this simple format change is meeting so much resistance within our own community.

 

If you would've told me at the beginning of the season that wrestling fans would be divided 50/50 on supporting a request that ESPN made to try to make the finals of our sport's marquee event more exciting for their millions and millions of viewers in an attempt to drum up more interest for a sport that just lost the Olympics, the only forum greater than the NCAAs to showcase our sport, I would've laughed out loud. I would've guaranteed that the wrestling community would rally around that.

 

All of the concerns posed by posters who have a bone to pick with this format change are valid, even if I don't agree with them.

 

But when ESPN, the most successful business in sports, is asking us to collaborate with them to make our sport more TV-friendly, why, and how the hell, are we arguing?? Might ESPN know a thing or two about making events more exciting? Unbelievable!

 

The risk/reward of the ESPN proposal is like 100:1 in favor of reward. What's the worst that can happen? Dake or Taylor don't make the finals and we end the night watching whoever did make it destroy some guy as the best our sport has to offer is showcased on TV? A few guys not named Dake and Taylor have their feelings hurt? Cael feels a little slighted because his historic moment wasn't celebrated the same way? Come on.

 

I'd take all those things over watching the stands start to clear again before the heavies get on the mat.

 

Even if you don't think the format change will have any impact, how can anyone say it's not worth a try? The worst thing that can happen to us is that nothing changes. Wrestling is a slowly melting ice cube and lack of change is not what's going to save it.

 

Funny. The same was said about the Duals proposal that would have brought more ESPN coverage.

 

As for the format change, I don't have any problem with changing the order. I just wish they would pick it after the semis. I know it is highly unlikley that Dake and Taylor don't meet but I would like to see this continued in the future and you don't always know what match will have the most interest (especially if the team race may be a factor).

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