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tec87

Finals Format Change

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crux of the issue is when this decision should have been made-- after Semis is when the decision to end finals at a certain wt class should have been made. That would have preserved the integrity of it and prevented much objection to it.

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Jeremylippert, the idea that wrestling "isn't broke" is tragically funny. The sport has been dying a slow death for some time now.

If that is your opinion, then what is the way to fix it? Should wrestling's changes be dictated by those unaffiliated and uninterested with the sport. I could go "fix" soccer to my liking, but I am certain the soccer fans would not like it. If you believe that wrestling needs "fixed" then I hope you agree that change should come from within, not from without. Lest it should cease to be wrestling. It's made it for 2000+ years, I think it's going to be ok.

 

ESPN is presently both affiliated with and interested in the sport. It is broadcasting every single round of a three day wrestling tournament. It's not doing that for charity - it's doing that because it has found a way to market this tournament. And so long as it can market this tournament, it is damn sure interested in the health of Division I college wrestling. Not that ESPN is above any criticism but, man, has it done a good job with this tournament in recent years. It really has tried to understand the sport and the competitors, and to bring in knowledgable and articulate analysts. And now that I see that what's happening is they are starting at 174 rather than at 125 and skipping 165, it's pretty obvious that the move is not all just marketing but also a recognition of the practical fact that the 165 lb. final is the only one with the potential to crown a four time champ. I think ESPN learned from the Sanderson final that there are practical problems with those types of historic matches that can derail a live broadcast. So there's a marketing aspect but there's aspect of not being obligated to broadcast four additional matches after the potential craziness following Dake actually pulling off winning four championships in four different classes.

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Bottom line, all of us here will watch the whole finals no matter what order. We are committed to the sport as viewers and watch any match that is made available to us.

 

The change in format is a means to attract and interest the casual viewer. The person who might give the tournament a shot (or at least the finals) because there is a compelling reason (and associated buildup) to invest the time into something that they may not be all that familar with. They won't care if the weights don't start at 125 and end at HWT. On the contrary, the casual viewer will probably enjoy the lighter weights starting halfway through as the pace and offense will pick up considerably.

 

It's no different that a boxing or MMA event where the main fight is at the end.

 

This is good for the sport because the primary sports entertainment machine in the world is involved and wants to make it as exciting as possible. don't really understand the heartache behind this minor change in bout order.

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I do wonder if the NCAA, with support from ESPN, will move to a four day championship and have the quarter finals wrestled Thursday night on prime time. This way people will be able to follow the top eight guys quest to the finals.

 

I do think ESPN will eventually offer the semis on ESPN and ESPN2 and do away with the split screen but not until the viewership picks up more.

 

I actually think having an NCAA duals before hand would get more viewers interested in the individual finals. In 2007 the best team was Minnesota (duals and tournament) while the other top dual teams were Missouri, Northwestern, Cornell, Oklahoma State, and Michigan. It is reasonable to think that people would watch the duals on ESPN and really be impressed with the likes of Troy Nickerston, Coleman Scott, Ryan Lang, Johnny Hendricks, Ben Askren, Jake Herbert, and Cole Konrad. All of these wrestlers would have stood out in the National Duals and fans would have developed an attachment to them and their teams.

 

Then when they watch the Individual Nationals they would have tuned in to see these guys win titles. But only Herbert, Hendricks, and Askren would have succeeded. The fans that tuned in to watch Schlatter lead Minnesota would have watched a little school called Edinboro crown a National Champion. And all of the Ryan Lang fans that were excited about Northwestern's great dual showing would have watched Cal-Davi's Derek Moore put on a show in Teching Lang. The casual wrestling fans that tuned in and had heard about the long history of programs like Iowa and Oklahoma State would have watched at an Ivy League wrestler (Valenti) and their rival Iowa (Perry) spoiled the Oklahoma State finalist's shot at a title.

 

The individual championships could be even bigger. We are moving in the right direction and the NCAA as well as ESPN are allies that will help us continue to improve on what already is one of the greatest events.

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The best finals I've ever been a part of have the most intense, most anticipated matches last and you leave the event wanting more, not nodding off. It's why they don't do the undercards after the main event. I'm glad we (wrestling) are starting to catch on.

 

It is a fairly well documented phenomena of memory retention that the first and last event are remembered most vividly. This is why concluding arguments are so crucial in courtrooms, thesis papers, and bad relationships. Human attention spans aren't very long, this will allow us to nod off during the HVY match and still catch all of the good action!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_position_effect

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If you want to discuss changes in format, let's go back to 1970. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Wide World of Sports completely rejigger the finals so that the Gable-Owings match could appear live at a particular time in the show? Someone on this forum must remember that.

 

I've read more conspiracy theories in the last 5 minutes than were put forth at the 2000 presidential election.

 

The biggest problem I see is that no matter what suggestion is put forth, people will come out of the wood work to shoot it down.

ABC did a lot to promote the Gable-Owings match, but it was shown on a tape-delay basis, not on live TV. However, it's been reported that the ABC technicians had to scramble to change tapes after the match and missed the standing ovation that the crowd gave Gable. Perhaps that's the incident you're thinking about.

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