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Dake officially injured, delay in Final X wrestle-off

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1 hour ago, drag it said:

That's what it sounds like.  There is a video on Flo, Bader interviewing Dake.

I say this as a giant Dake fan.  This is a strange interview.  

Dake spends over 4 minutes telling an endless story, much of it completely irrelevant to what anyone watching it would want to know -- his vacation, his wife's pregnancy, something about a plastic surgeon, etc.  In the relevant part it sounds like a 300 pound heavyweight landed on him.

The injury is never identified, or if it was, I missed it.  He says he saw a doctor that Yianni saw, so probably a knee.  He goes on a long tangent about how the plastic surgeon told his surgeon that this was important.  (Really?  Major surgery?  Major surgery on a world champion professional athlete?)  This part of the story is told so strangely that it could create the inference that the surgery didn't go well despite the fact that the surgeon was carefully chosen. 

He spools out indirectly that he had surgery and was on crutches for six weeks, but the type of surgery isn't identified, or if it was, I missed it.  

At one point he compares the situation with what would have happened if LeBron James got hurt practicing.  I'm not sure if he's trying to say that it's the same or different, because, like the rest of the interview, he failed to use a single declarative sentence to express himself in a clear way. 

Regardless, I'll use the comparison to make a point.  If this happened to one of the best athletes in any other sport, I doubt that, even without missing a scheduled competition as a result, he would go this far without mentioning it -- and certainly, no interviewer would allow him to ramble on in a 20 minute interview without asking for details and more clarification.  

The secrecy part is remarkable.  He talks about how all Cornell wrestlers were instructed not to say a word to anyone after there was a leak.  He talks about how he -- as an assistant coach for Cornell -- did not attend and coach at meets where he would have to use his crutches, so that no one could know he was hurt.  Etc.

Also notable is how he explains that, on the day of the injury, he and Max Dean had been set up in a far corner of the room, with no one else close by, presumably so that Dake couldn't get hurt, which makes the injury even more freaky.  "We explicitly planned to keep everyone away from me."  Huh?  This is pretty strange, to arrange a college practice this way.  I would have wanted the interviewer to probe that a little.  Why?  Was he already hurt?  Had this happened before?  Did they do this every day, not use all their mat space in a college practice so that their assistant coach could have more room to wrestle?

I feel really bad for Dake.  He's probably my favorite wrestler.  I've posted repeatedly laudatory things about him here.  He's had a bad run of injuries.  This sounds like a particularly bad pieced of bad luck.  But to me this is a perfect example of something that comes up a lot in wrestling--a lack of transparency that is very difficult for fans.

I don't necessarily blame the athletes.  They will do what they think is best for them within the rules.  But it's a strange situation that we are trying to build fan interest in the sport, while that interest is stymied by these situations (suppression of relevant information).  I certainly don't want the invasive coverage that we see when there is too much coverage. 

But a 20 minute interview where so little is given and, more importantly, so little is asked and followed up on, isn't sufficient.  If you want to try to get a better idea of what I'm talking about, watch it for yourself.  It's the lead video on Flo right now, doesn't appear to be behind the pay wall.

 

Good summary. I found myself asking the same thing.  Also, the dates that he mentioned sound a little fuzzy.  He and Taylor don’t come across as believable in their respective statements regarding their injury situations.  

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1 hour ago, drag it said:

I say this as a giant Dake fan.  This is a strange interview.  

Great summary.  Strange is an understatement.  So many things that he said were either (a) suspicious, or (b) blatantly disingenuous.  These guys are treating their injuries like they're guarding the codes to the enigma machine, like, dude, you're competing in amateur wrestling, not uncovering a secret military coup.  

He would have liked to make this announcement sooner but couldn't because of.... paperwork? Yeahhhhhh... ok. 

Wanted to wrestle at final X, wasn't sure if he'd be close to 100%And then says it's obviously best for him to delay the wrestle off as long as possible... so which is it?  And Fargo is apparently too soon.

 

Puzzling that he even agreed to do this interview.  If he didn't want to be forthright he might has well have never said anything at all, that's what he's been doing for the past 7 months anyway.  This whole "shroud of secrecy" culture that some of our biggest wrestling programs perpetuate is so stupid. What was he hoping?  Ringer and Zahid would go 86? Did he think someone was gonna hit him with a leg kick to his ACL if they knew he was hurt?  

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1 hour ago, tbert said:

Because JO was sworn to Cornell secrecy ...

I'm sure ringer probably knew 

You are "sure" that Ringer "probably" knew.. Man, you are no more coherent than Dake. I would think that if Dake was trying to keep a secret from anyone, Ringer would be the first on his list.

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1 hour ago, Scorenomore said:

Good summary. I found myself asking the same thing.  Also, the dates that he mentioned sound a little fuzzy.  He and Taylor don’t come across as believable in their respective statements regarding their injury situations.  

Adding to the weirdness, was the walk-in-the-woods aspect. I am not sure if this was supposed to look like Dake and Bader were on a second date or if they were starting an arms control negotiation. 

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45 minutes ago, NJDan said:

You are "sure" that Ringer "probably" knew.. Man, you are no more coherent than Dake. I would think that if Dake was trying to keep a secret from anyone, Ringer would be the first on his list.

Ya, I'm incoherent I watched the video too many times.

At that point Ringer was probably second on his list.  

Not sure Dinger would really care about a Dake injury in November, when he still had to go thru Zahid in May.

 

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48 minutes ago, steamboat_charlie v2 said:

 Did he think someone was gonna hit him with a leg kick to his ACL if they knew he was hurt?  

Most wrestlers are reluctant to give specifics of an injury for that very reason. When I was in  high school, I had an ankle injury. My paranoid  dad kept me home from school for 2 weeks so that no one knew what was wrong with me. He even refused to give details to the coach (I was injured at home) because he was afraid guys competing for my spot would go after my ankle. I thought it was pretty stupid.

A couple years later in college, I had a preseason injury to the same ankle. We had a scrimmage with a nearby school and my coach told the dude from the other team to be careful with me because I was just working my way back. The guy cranked the crap out of my ankle every chance he got and I wanted to crank the crap out of my coach.

Dake did mention that it was the same doc that  Yianni had so we have a clue. BTW, the plastic surgeon comment was relevant because he is a NCAA champ and Cornell alum who is highly regarded  I  hear he gives a wrestlers discount in case any of you have need for facial correction. No discount for ears.

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It's journalistic malpractice that Flo agreed to take part in covering up his injury and also to publish this video that gives no information.

It's the kind of thing that keeps wrestling from being taken seriously. This would never happen in a major sport. Anyone who currently claims to be a "wrestling reporter" should turn in his credential if he/she either a. knew about the injury and kept it quiet or b. didn't try to find out the story.

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2 minutes ago, IronChef said:

It's journalistic malpractice that Flo agreed to take part in covering up his injury and also to publish this video that gives no information.

It's the kind of thing that keeps wrestling from being taken seriously. This would never happen in a major sport. Anyone who currently claims to be a "wrestling reporter" should turn in his credential if he/she either a. knew about the injury and kept it quiet or b. didn't try to find out the story.

C'mon its Bader..

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27 minutes ago, IronChef said:

It's journalistic malpractice that Flo agreed to take part in covering up his injury and also to publish this video that gives no information.

Ouch! Let's not malign journalism malpractitioners lol.

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2 hours ago, steamboat_charlie v2 said:

Puzzling that he even agreed to do this interview.  If he didn't want to be forthright he might has well have never said anything at all, that's what he's been doing for the past 7 months anyway.  This whole "shroud of secrecy" culture that some of our biggest wrestling programs perpetuate is so stupid. What was he hoping?  Ringer and Zahid would go 86? Did he think someone was gonna hit him with a leg kick to his ACL if they knew he was hurt?  

Agreed on the firs two sentences, but on the rest... really? 

Its stupid for a combat sport athlete or his coaches to want to say nothing about an injury? You seriously think a world champion is resorting to trickery to avoid two domestic competitors he’s already beaten multiple times? What a joke. Did you feel the same way about Spencer Lee and Iowa last season?

I know it’s frustrating as a fan to not know. I’m frustrated too. But it’s not stupid to want to hide an injury in wrestling. The last two questions on your post were indeed stupid though, no offense.

 

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2 hours ago, steamboat_charlie v2 said:

Great summary.  Strange is an understatement.  So many things that he said were either (a) suspicious, or (b) blatantly disingenuous.  These guys are treating their injuries like they're guarding the codes to the enigma machine, like, dude, you're competing in amateur wrestling, not uncovering a secret military coup.    

Correct, that was an understatement.  I had originally typed "ridiculous," but changed it out of my affection for Dake and to try to keep the rhetoric from exploding as it does sometimes here.  But you're correct and I probably just should have said "ridiculous," because it was ridiculous, such as:  (1) the meandering obfuscation of Dake's explanations with no real follow up by Bader; (2) the bizarre statement, that Dake and Dean were separated during practice on purpose from the rest of the team, a team that Dake is an assistant coach of, so that Dake couldn't be touched, with no follow up from Bader; (3) the remarkable statement that one of the team's assistant coaches at least once didn't travel with the team and coach at a match his team was wrestling, solely so that no one outside of his team (which he disclosed had been subject to an aggressive gag rule) could know about his injury, with no follow up by Bader.  

Several posts have correctly made light out of Flo's, and particularly Bader's, approach.  These have been all totally warranted, and I say this as someone who loves Flo just as he loves Dake.

Whether they are journalists or not (I think Pyles made a big deal out of them not being journalists), the standard has got to be, what questions do the people who are going to be watching want asked, and what information do they want to get out of watching this.  And Bader's interview does not come close to meeting that test, as many of us have said.  

Again, Dake has got to protect Dake's interests.  He can say what he wants.  I agree with others that there are legitimate competitive concerns about public knowledge of injuries.  That's why he put out the content-less instagram post.  But he then chose to do an interview.  Journalist or no, I don't see how it's ok that Bader doesn't make some effort to ask, for starters, oh, I don't know, Hey Kyle, what's your injury?   I think he should have asked that and a bunch of other questions, including some pertaining to my points 2 and 3, above.  If I wanted to hear Kyle Dake talking while watching beautiful scenery while receiving no real information about why he's not wrestling this weekend, I could have loaded an old interview of his onto my phone, used my earbuds, and taken my dogs for a walk in the woods.  

And I say this as someone who likes Bader, too.  I think a lot of his long-form pieces, like Terry and Kolat, are terrific.  And I don't mind the puff-piece remote interviews he does.  But Flo needs to manage him correctly and put him in places where he is strong and not in places where he isn't.  You can't have him do this type of interview under these circumstances and completely abdicate on tough questions.  And, I'll use this as an opportunity to also say that you shouldn't have him doing play-by-play of really important matches, the live broadcast of which are Flo's crown jewel, when you have much better options (better voices, more professional in their delivery, don't make it about them, don't make sophomoric jokes during live action involving amazing wrestlers, provide more information in more concise manner, modulate their presentation instead of screaming everything, so that when something amazing happens, the raised voice actually means something, etc.).

OK time to get off the soapbox.  Enjoy Final X everyone; Dake was correct that there are still some great matchups this weekend.

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Drag it, Dake probably agreed to do the interview under the condition that his specific injury not be discussed or disclosed. As someone who roots for Team USA, I can wait to find out after the worlds exactly what happened to Dake. If he’s our rep, he’ll be one of the most scouted wrestlers in the world at any weight this year, with the Russians in particular game planning the crap out of a possible finals or semifinals rematch. 

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On 6/4/2019 at 6:07 PM, wrestlingnerd said:

You seem to have an issue with Dake because he didn't immediately announce that he would need more time. In what high-stakes competitive field in life should you expect a competitor to do something that is in his competitors' best interest and against his own best interest? He, and DT too, are following the rules. Holding resentment towards either for being competitive while following the rules is ridiculous. This is not on Dake or DT for that matter. Announcing they're either out or want more time well within the time frame allowed for by the rules is not dishonest or underhanded in any way whatsoever.

Couldn't disagree more.  Both Dake and Taylor have engaged in poor sportsmanship.

This is not like football where injury reports are obscured to the max for competitive advantage.   In this case other wrestlers are directly impacted.   
Just because the rules allow this behavior does not make it the right thing to do.  It's disrespectful to fans and fellow competitors to withdraw in last week.

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That’s your opinion. But the fact remains they were fully compliant with the rules. You cannot disagree with that. And if you want to change competitive behavior, you do not hope for competitors to follow the spirit of optimal sportsmanship, whatever that means to you. You change the rules. 

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2 hours ago, wrestlingnerd said:

Drag it, Dake probably agreed to do the interview under the condition that his specific injury not be discussed or disclosed. As someone who roots for Team USA, I can wait to find out after the worlds exactly what happened to Dake. If he’s our rep, he’ll be one of the most scouted wrestlers in the world at any weight this year, with the Russians in particular game planning the crap out of a possible finals or semifinals rematch. 

Probably correct and a very good point.

I have no problem with Dake demanding that as a ground rule.

I don't necessarily have a problem with Flo agreeing to that ground rule. 

But the interview they posted was, under the circumstances, a farce. If that was the ground rule, they should have just said so. Based on the numerous comments on here expressing sympathy for the competitive considerations of not specifying a weakness (I remember all of the guys on our team wearing tights under our singlets one year at regionals because one of us had a taped knee), I think most would have understood. 

But the way they did this made a normally straightforward articulate guy look at best highly evasive and squirrelly.  It took a large part of a 20 minute interview to say 30 seconds worth of information:  I hurt my leg when someone fell on it at practice in January. I had surgery. I'm trying to figure out when I can do Final X.  That's all I'm willing to say until after Worlds. 

The viewer could accept it or not. But instead Dake kept skirting around everything, which made him look shifty. And even worse, in giving all this irrelevant information he raised other issues that any real journalist would have followed up on as discussed above. 

Specifically why even before he was hurt had "We explicitly planned to keep everyone away from me."  And what about him as an assistant coach not going to his team's match because he as a competitor didn't want anyone to know he was on crutches.  At the very least that's a remarkable example worth following up on of the extreme culture that these guys are forced to live in at the level they compete at.

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so if dake and dean were separated from the rest of the team, at the complete opposite end of the gym, how does a heavyweight match fall into dakes/deans mat??  

Right after saying they were too far away, he says they were on his mat. And no follow up question. I'm left wondering how did the injury happen ? I had to rewind it a few times to see how i missed the injury part. It was just implied in one short sentence.

 I also thought it was odd Dake called out fellow players parents for having a big mouth. I'm left wondering what the coverup is, is Dake now on the board of trustees of functional patterns and has to cover-up an injury 

 

 

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1 hour ago, drag it said:

Probably correct and a very good point.

I have no problem with Dake demanding that as a ground rule.

I don't necessarily have a problem with Flo agreeing to that ground rule. 

But the interview they posted was, under the circumstances, a farce. If that was the ground rule, they should have just said so. Based on the numerous comments on here expressing sympathy for the competitive considerations of not specifying a weakness (I remember all of the guys on our team wearing tights under our singlets one year at regionals because one of us had a taped knee), I think most would have understood. 

But the way they did this made a normally straightforward articulate guy look at best highly evasive and squirrelly.  It took a large part of a 20 minute interview to say 30 seconds worth of information:  I hurt my leg when someone fell on it at practice in January. I had surgery. I'm trying to figure out when I can do Final X.  That's all I'm willing to say until after Worlds. 

The viewer could accept it or not. But instead Dake kept skirting around everything, which made him look shifty. And even worse, in giving all this irrelevant information he raised other issues that any real journalist would have followed up on as discussed above. 

Specifically why even before he was hurt had "We explicitly planned to keep everyone away from me."  And what about him as an assistant coach not going to his team's match because he as a competitor didn't want anyone to know he was on crutches.  At the very least that's a remarkable example worth following up on of the extreme culture that these guys are forced to live in at the level they compete at.

You’re acting as though the dude committed a crime. He told you everything you wanted to hear except exactly what he injured. That’s his prerogative. He’s the best wrestler in the world at his weight. He knows what he’s doing. So does FloSports considering they just got another $47 million in investments. You complain about him rambling on while rambling on here for five extensive posts.  

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3 minutes ago, AnklePicker said:

You’re acting as though the dude committed a crime. He told you everything you wanted to hear except exactly what he injured. That’s his prerogative. He’s the best wrestler in the world at his weight. He knows what he’s doing. So does FloSports considering they just got another $47 million in investments. You complain about him rambling on while rambling on here for five extensive posts.  

The only thing I was really interested in was what he injured, and when he is going to wrestle, and he didn't tell me either.  He didn't tell me "everything" else; in fact I don't think he told me anything tangible other than that a big guy fell on him somewhere, presumably his leg.

My posts are extensive, but they speak for themselves.  He is a remarkable and brilliant guy, but nothing he said in his extensive interview spoke for itself, as several others have also commented.

I think Kyle Dake is the best college wrestler in history and has done remarkably well on the senior level despite very bad luck with injuries, and I hope he wins Worlds in 2019 and the Olympics in 2020.  I think Flo is great and am glad they have more funding.  I don't think anyone committed a crime.  I'm just saying that  Dake's sudden postponement shortly before a Final X that until a week or two ago was looking like one of the great wrestling events in history on U.S. soil is a very high profile happening, and that he and Flo, both of whom I and others think very highly of, didn't meet their standards and whiffed.  And they did so in what was not a particularly difficult format (compared, for instance, to the live interviews and press conferences during or right after competitions, with often aggressive reporters, that most pro athletes deal with).  

I also have said that I understand why he hasn't disclosed his injury.  No problem.  But he chose to do a 20 minute interview, was uncharacteristically indirect and inarticulate, and gave weird, head-scratching answers to questions that weren't even asked, such as the points touched on in alliseeisgold's post, above.  Sorry for another rambling post.  Enjoy the matches.

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