Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
gowrestle

Non Wrestling Fans

Recommended Posts

Like anything else in life, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I blame the more reputable coaches for not saying more and doing more to increase awareness to grow the sport over the years. They have the inside track with the decision makers. Even with the popularity of MMA which boasts some of its greatest champions as former HS / College wrestling champs, little has been done to tie the two together in the eyes of the public. Just one mans opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Marcus Cisero said:

Like anything else in life, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I blame the more reputable coaches for not saying more and doing more to increase awareness to grow the sport over the years. They have the inside track with the decision makers. Even with the popularity of MMA which boasts some of its greatest champions as former HS / College wrestling champs, little has been done to tie the two together in the eyes of the public. Just one mans opinion.

I agree. 

I attended the BIG 10 wrestling championships in Minneapolis.  At the arena where they were selling merchandise they had two styles of wrestling t-shirt for the Golden Gophers.  Neither was very neat. Pretty plain and boring. Looking like a regular Minnesota Golden Gopher t-shirt and someone slapped the word wrestling on it at the last minute. Now they did have an overpriced sweatshirt that was pretty neat, but that was it.  Now for basketball, they had seven designs for t-shirts.  Seven!!  Damn near 15,000 wrestling fans show up to watch wrestling and they're selling neater, cooler basketball shirts than they are wrestling ones!! 

It gets worse....

We stop by Augsburg on the way home.  The #1 or #2 Division III wrestling school for the past twenty+ years and there is absolutely no presence of wrestling whatsoever.   You can find football, basketball, hockey and damn near every other item you'd want but nothing wrestling related.  I ask the ladies at the book store, they go in the back and search for ten minutes.  They find a single wrestling t-shirt, luckily in my size.  They give it to me for $9.   It was the only wrestling related item they had and they weren't even aware of how good the wrestling team was!!! 

At least at St. Olaf when we stopped there, they didn't have a single sports related item.  

But at Minnesota and Augsburg that's inexcusable.  When I asked the seller at Minnesota why he would have more basketball related stuff, his reply was, "Basketball is a more popular sport."  And I replied, "When you're dealing with 14,7whatever wrestling fans?" 

If you don't blame the coaches for this, who do you blame? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, kgschalhoub said:

More matches and tournaments on mainstream sports channels like ESPN, FS1, NBC sports net, etc. Coaches can't grow the sport, only media can do that.

Gary Kurdelmeier believed differently and as a result helped to propel Iowa to the most popular wrestling team in the nation. He believed a part of it was his responsibility, instilled that in Gable and wa la, butts in the seats. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, kgschalhoub said:

More matches and tournaments on mainstream sports channels like ESPN, FS1, NBC sports net, etc. Coaches can't grow the sport, only media can do that.

Coaches a good means for growing the sport. Media a good means for growing the sport. Paywalls a bad means for growing the sport. Paywalls with yearlong lock-in a very bad means for growing the sport, perhaps incompatible with popular definitions/metrics of growing the sport.

Edited by jon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JohnnyThompsonnum1 said:

Gary Kurdelmeier believed differently and as a result helped to propel Iowa to the most popular wrestling team in the nation. He believed a part of it was his responsibility, instilled that in Gable and wa la, butts in the seats. 

Agree. My original post didn't express the other issue, commitment from ADs and conferences. Look at the ACC, if NC, NC State, Duke, VaTech, Virginia can be successful, why not Clemson, Syracuse and the others in the conference. PAC12 is the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, kgschalhoub said:

Agree. My original post didn't express the other issue, commitment from ADs and conferences. Look at the ACC, if NC, NC State, Duke, VaTech, Virginia can be successful, why not Clemson, Syracuse and the others in the conference. PAC12 is the same.

I agree 100%. It takes participation from many sides to get fans interested in wrestling. I mean look at what has happened at Campbell in just a few short years. They have drawn more of a crowd for home duals the past three seasons than they did for ten years combined.   The hire of Kolat and stepping it up to improve Camels wrestling is a night and day difference. If only we could get more of that to happen. I know it's easier said that done.  $$ doesn't grow on trees. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mention wrestling and Trump in the same sentence, and then advertise the hell out of whatever it is that is Pro-Trump/Against Trump. 

Guaranteed that 50% of the population will be triggered and outraged enough to warrant the bad PR (which is good PR), and 50% of the population will tune in to spite the other 50%.  

Please don't turn this into a banned thread... I'm just stating the obvious, and not looking to debate any of this trigger happy horse$#!@.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jaroslav Hasek said:

anyone have a strategy for getting more wrestling on ESPN, Fox, NBC, et al? sincerely not trolling. we can agree that it would be good to get wrestling on TV in front of millions of eyeballs. but whats the plan to make that happen?

this year they actually had a few regular season duals on espn or espnu, I thought they were going to do more... but suddenly they just stopped.

 

i agree with you johnny thompson,

I attended the BIG 10 wrestling championships in Minneapolis.  At the arena where they were selling merchandise they had two styles of wrestling t-shirt for the Golden Gophers.  Neither was very neat. Pretty plain and boring. Looking like a regular Minnesota Golden Gopher t-shirt and someone slapped the word wrestling on it at the last minute. Now they did have an overpriced sweatshirt that was pretty neat, but that was it.  Now for basketball, they had seven designs for t-shirts.  Seven!!  Damn near 15,000 wrestling fans show up to watch wrestling and they're selling neater, cooler basketball shirts than they are wrestling ones!! 

 

but this^^^ is the same almost everywhere. even sometimes in Iowa City and Stillwater.

butts in seats.

went to Ames for WTT in 2005. NO ONE. NO ONE there.  it's still Iowa.  Went to WTT in council bluff in 2010? ..more but not packed in a small arena 10K, still iowa.

went to Iowa city a few years later... packed...absolutely phenomenal atmosphere. 

not sure the difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im terms of attendance, college wrestling should focus on youth and HS wrestlers. Whenever I go to a meet these folks don't seem to be there in numbers. That's the way to "grow" wrestling. It's hard to attract folks who have never experienced the sport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, NJDan said:

Im terms of attendance, college wrestling should focus on youth and HS wrestlers. Whenever I go to a meet these folks don't seem to be there in numbers. That's the way to "grow" wrestling. It's hard to attract folks who have never experienced the sport.

I've been saying this for years but until wrestling becomes a single semester sport that goes much later in the spring, you will never get youth or HS wrestlers to attend college matches because they are way too busy practicing 5x a week and competing every weekend.

They are the single greatest potential fanbase for college wrestling (including their parents) who are not being tapped into.  I've even talked to HS coaches and they don't want to take the time out of their busy schedule to attend a match.

But then again, many college matches are boring and in D1 there seems to be fewer and fewer interesting duals and when you do have one, we see ducking.

Edited by Boompa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For 35 years, I earned my living as a full-time newspaper journalist and happened to be ass't sports editor of the daily newspaper  in Iowa City when Gary Kurdelmeier took over as head coach. I sat in his tiny, cramped office the spring of 1971 when he told me his master plan for changing Iowa wrestling from crowds of 300 in an auxiliary gym on a Saturday afternoon to a BIG TIME Saturday night event. He was a rare visionary ....and he knew the No. 1 key was getting the media involved. For decades, I have tried to get the leaders of various wrestling groups to listen but have had little success. I created WIN magazine, the WIN Memorabilia Show, the Dan Hodge Trophy, the Dan Gable Museum and have written 17 books about wrestling, all in an effort to increase the awareness in the general public.  I have had a struggle with USA Today editors for nearly 20 years and made some progress at times but when those editors moved on I had to start all over again.  So now, at age 75 and worn out, I have given up on getting wrestling to grow into the mainstream. If you want to read more about how Kurdelmeier changed the atmosphere in Iowa City and other battles I had as a newspaperman to try and improve wrestling coverage, you may want to get my 2017 book entitled  "A Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Heroes". -- Mike Chapman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Wrestling is ghey ( or the singlets are)  All of the wrestlers in MMA end up on the ground."

These are not my quotes, but the two most common things I hear when discussing the sport with non wrestling fans.

Edited by stp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 how is wrestling is going to get popular among non wrestling fans if the highest level of the sport is not popular among our own, already established wrestling fans ? World team trials nobody attends. The elite of the elite battling is to me, alot more riveting than ncaa tourney that packs madison square garden. 

Perhaps it's the college affiliation and fandom craze to the schools as much as it is the individuals?, which if is the case then needs to be further capitalized on to connect fans of their favorite university to wrestling through duals and rival matchups. Oklahoma State vs Oklahoma ? A non wrestling fan will tune into that if it's on because it's a heated rivalry.  A dual team championship to follow will add to the intrigue. If nebraska fans will tune in to watch their womens volleyball team play for a national title they will tune into watch a dual team championship. The college coaches need to all see this and agree to make duals matter 

Espn would pickup a dual scoring season and tournament, and get more eyes on the sport. bowling, poker, strongman, madden video game competitions, and arm wrestling is on espn enough that it has brought fans to those sports believe it or not, now just imagine what it would do to wrestling. Espn is on at every bar in america, when there is nothing else on, people are forced to watch and give it a try. 

Combine that with capitalizing more on the connection to wrestling through the mma community and using mma/wrestling celebrities as a way to showcase wrestling as an actual exciting sport instead of just mentioning it in passing. None of these guys are actually showing the sport. Chael sonnen could easily turn his hundred of thousands of youtube channel viewers onto wrestling by showing highlights of matches, great sequences and techniques, etc and telling a story , all tying it in as a farm system of mma guys that fans can follow. Someone needs to show the matches and tell a story like sportscenter does, Ben Askren has a wrestling podcast but it is far from the type of show that is needed.  Basically someone needs to use their platform to actually promote the sport and show it, not just talking about it underground to other wrestling fans and in passing to the mma community as if it's some boring and obscure technical sport like pankration which is how people think of it.....aka not something actually cool, and wrestling has more to work with than alot of other more popular sports just my opinion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only people who follow wrestling are 1) former/current wrestlers 2) current wrestlers' families. That's about it. Heck, we can't even hang on to most of the WRESTLERS!! Out of the horde of boys at my school that wrestled in 4th grade, probably 3 or 4 made it to HS without getting frustrated and quitting. It's a tough sport and not for everybody.

Regarding the lack of interest regarding World Team trials: FS is a different sport than folk. People who prefer folk often don't care for FS. FS is just a takedown clinic. Top it off with the fact that most FS at the highest level is loaded with tons of stalling. If international wrestling actually allowed the wrestlers to work from the top I'd like it much better, but it is what it is. Frankly the FS folks should be happy to have any fans at all after the snoozefest that was the last Olympics. I found it almost impossible to watch, and this coming from a guy who has been a wrestling fan/participant for the better part of 45 years.

Regarding MMA: at first I was pleased that wrestlers were having so much success in MMA and I was hoping it would lead to a resurgence in wrestling numbers. Alas the growth hasn't been what I thought it would be. Add in the fact that CTE results from being pounded in the head all the time and MMA sounds like a very bad deal to me. I don't want kids who I watched grow up on the mat turn into punch-drunk morons from an MMA career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...