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Who Would Be In Your Mount Rushmore for College Wrestling

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Dan Gable influenced American folkstyle wrestling more than any other wrestler, outside of Cael Sanderson.  All through HS, long before the internet, every good wrestler knew who Gable was, regardless of where you grew up.  I must have read his book a half dozen times my Jr and Sr year.  My “meditation” before taking the mat was to “have  the Gable killer instinct”.  I tried to channel Gable...probably like thousands of other kids.  

Mt Rushmore reflects those who made the most impact.  If we rated Abe Lincoln as if he were a wrestler (which he actually was in his day), he be considered a one time qualifier who happened to win a title.  Nobody would pick him based on his record.  He won nothing prior to the White House.  He didn’t even finish one term.  

Dan Gable and Cael are figures 1 and 2 on Mt Rushmore.  You can debate the rest.  Those two have had the biggest impact on wrestling in American history.   If it is purely about titles, then you’d have to pick Dake and Smith/Steiber I guess.  That sounds like a simple, but inaccurate measure of someone’s impact.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, KCMO2 said:

Seriously?  Lost 1 match in the 3 years he was allowed to wrestle varsity, 118-1 with 2 titles.  Heck of a lot better wrestler than Pat Smith, who you had #1 (and who was 121-6).

Pat Smith was the first ever 4xer. That in it of itself is enough.

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This kind of honor relates to impact and legendary status.

Gable clearly belongs.  So many are in awe of him.  Such a huge impact on the sport. On the mat and as a coach.  Also a tremendous ambassador for the sport.  I would say the biggest name in our sport - still.  Legendary.  [And, based on one interaction I had with him with my son, a damn nice guy who doesn’t mind stepping aside and having a genuine convo with a young wrestler.]

Cael clearly belongs.  Clear legend.  Still making a major impact on the sport.  Not sure need to say much more.

Beyond these two, I can see debate.  But these two are a must.

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18 hours ago, TobusRex said:

That's why I'd put Dan Hodge on any American "Mount Rushmore" for wrestling before Gable. On the other hand Gable trained several world champs in addition to winning a **** ton of titles at Iowa.

As for Uetake, who was a better wrestler than Gable (btw): he's Japanese and as good as he was doesn't belong on Mount Rushmore. Mount Fuji, on the other hand.....

but you put karelin on there... and yes, he belongs... but one foreigner and not another? 

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mount rushmore has the presidents with the most impact they had on America

in terms of impact

gallagher

gable

Hodge

sanderson

5th tie  burroughs/smith

 

Edited by GockeS

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12 hours ago, tightwaist said:

Dan Gable influenced American folkstyle wrestling more than any other wrestler, outside of Cael Sanderson.  All through HS, long before the internet, every good wrestler knew who Gable was, regardless of where you grew up.  I must have read his book a half dozen times my Jr and Sr year.  My “meditation” before taking the mat was to “have  the Gable killer instinct”.  I tried to channel Gable...probably like thousands of other kids.  

Mt Rushmore reflects those who made the most impact.  If we rated Abe Lincoln as if he were a wrestler (which he actually was in his day), he be considered a one time qualifier who happened to win a title.  Nobody would pick him based on his record.  He won nothing prior to the White House.  He didn’t even finish one term.  

Dan Gable and Cael are figures 1 and 2 on Mt Rushmore.  You can debate the rest.  Those two have had the biggest impact on wrestling in American history.   If it is purely about titles, then you’d have to pick Dake and Smith/Steiber I guess.  That sounds like a simple, but inaccurate measure of someone’s impact.  

 

 

can i like this multiple times? 

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5 minutes ago, TobusRex said:

I overlooked "college" in the thread title in my first reply :D

no problem there... and i agree karelin should be in the discussion for 'wrestling'

but utake wrestled at OSU and was undefeated in 3 years

i dont think utake should be on though b/c it should be about impact

maybe he was as impactful as gable and i just didn't know it

maybe he wasn't impactful b/c of race... 

 

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Professional wrestlers like Hulk Hogan influenced a ton of kids to get into wrestling.  While looking into it, I stumbled on this article that discusses Danny Hodge as an influencer.

WWE's recruiter, Jerry Brisco, was a great amateur himself at Oklahoma State University and became a great pro; his older brother, Jack, was even better, and won the NCAA Championship as a junior at OSU in 1965.  As good as he was, Jack was just trying to to follow in the path of his idol, Danny Hodge, using collegiate wrestling as a way to "go pro."  He won his first pro wrestling title that same year in his home territory at Leroy McGuirk's promotion that eventually turned into Mid-South Wrestling.

...

Danny Hodge, Brisco's aforementioned hero, was an even better amateur, going undefeated in his collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma and winning three NCAA Championships at 177 pounds.  He's the only amateur wrestler ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Amateur wrestling's equivalent of the Heisman—Hodge Trophy—is named after him.  He went to the Summer Olympics twice as a freestyle wrestler, and won the silver medal in 1956.

He almost didn't become a pro wrestler and first tried his hands at boxing. He won the Chicago Golden Gloves and amassing a winning record as a pro.  This is why he's generally considered the answer to the "Who would have had the most success in mixed martial arts?" question when it comes to athletes from the past.  As a pro wrestler, he won the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship at the tail end of his rookie year in 1960 and dominated the title for most of the next 16 years.

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2003995-examining-pro-wrestlings-connections-to-collegiate-wrestling

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1 hour ago, gimpeltf said:

I vaguely remember an interview by Damian Hahn about when he first got into wrestling. His father and uncle were professional wrestlers (Mongos?) although his father did wrestle for real also.

 

Found the article https://gophersports.com/news/2001/12/5/All_In_The_Family_Sophomore_All_American_Damion_Hahn

Rip Miles Hahn. He was a great man...

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If we're not talking about who the four best college wrestlers were since 1928, and are instead talking about which four wrestlers shaped college wrestling the most, you run into a few difficulties.

  • First, it would take a historian to determine who, if anyone, had the most impact on the folkstyle rule set.
  • Second, it would take a historian to determine who, if anyone, had the most impact on popularizing folkstyle to the point that the NCAA sponsored it as a sport.
  • Third, for a lot of high profile wrestlers and coaches, it may not not be possible to separate their freestyle impact from their folkstyle impact.

For all I know, college wrestling's George Washington is British sports aficionado JG Chambers and its Thomas Jefferson is professional wrestler Frank Gotch.

I'd add that if Mount Rushmore itself is supposed to identify the four most impactful presidents in US history, it is out of date. At this point, there is no way you can deny FDR a spot in the top four most impactful presidents. 

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16 hours ago, tightwaist said:

Dan Gable influenced American folkstyle wrestling more than any other wrestler, outside of Cael Sanderson.  All through HS, long before the internet, every good wrestler knew who Gable was, regardless of where you grew up.  I must have read his book a half dozen times my Jr and Sr year.  My “meditation” before taking the mat was to “have  the Gable killer instinct”.  I tried to channel Gable...probably like thousands of other kids.  

Mt Rushmore reflects those who made the most impact.  If we rated Abe Lincoln as if he were a wrestler (which he actually was in his day), he be considered a one time qualifier who happened to win a title.  Nobody would pick him based on his record.  He won nothing prior to the White House.  He didn’t even finish one term.  

Dan Gable and Cael are figures 1 and 2 on Mt Rushmore.  You can debate the rest.  Those two have had the biggest impact on wrestling in American history.   If it is purely about titles, then you’d have to pick Dake and Smith/Steiber I guess.  That sounds like a simple, but inaccurate measure of someone’s impact.  

 

 

I’m not sure Gable influenced folkstyle more than those who developed the rule set or popularized it to the point that the NCAA decided to sponsor it as a sport.

Arguing that Gable influenced folkstyle more than the sport’s founders seems to me like arguing that JFK influenced the US more than Washington and Jefferson did.

I also believe Lincoln was a state-level politician and a member of the House of Reps who won two presidential elections (one during a civil war), and who was assassinated shortly into his second term. 

Edited by Katie

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It’s crazy I don’t see many Jordan Burroughs. He has been the face of USA wrestling the last 8 years or so. I would say he propelled the us freestyle team resurgence also. Jordan has to be on this list. Cael of course. Then I don’t care who afterwards there are lots of other guys. I have a problem with picking guys before everyone we’re allowed to compete. 

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4 minutes ago, Bigboi Trained said:

It’s crazy I don’t see many Jordan Burroughs. He has been the face of USA wrestling the last 8 years or so. I would say he propelled the us freestyle team resurgence also. Jordan has to be on this list. Cael of course. Then I don’t care who afterwards there are lots of other guys. I have a problem with picking guys before everyone we’re allowed to compete. 

Using that same argument, wasn't Gable the face of USA wrestlibg,?

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22 minutes ago, Katie said:

If we're not talking about who the four best college wrestlers were since 1928, and are instead talking about which four wrestlers shaped college wrestling the most, you run into a few difficulties.

  • First, it would take a historian to determine who, if anyone, had the most impact on the folkstyle rule set.
  • Second, it would take a historian to determine who, if anyone, had the most impact on popularizing folkstyle to the point that the NCAA sponsored it as a sport.
  • Third, for a lot of high profile wrestlers and coaches, it may not not be possible to separate their freestyle impact from their folkstyle impact.

For all I know, college wrestling's George Washington is British sports aficionado JG Chambers and its Thomas Jefferson is professional wrestler Frank Gotch.

I'd add that if Mount Rushmore itself is supposed to identify the four most impactful presidents in US history, it is out of date. At this point, there is no way you can deny FDR a spot in the top four most impactful presidents. 

Let's be real. Washington is greatest.  Other 2 understandable.  But teddy doesn't belong 

FDR is could live with. 

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George Dole, Yale... besides being the 1st to become a 4X EIWA champion (side note. fyi, not necessarily to influence, he did become an Olympic wrestling champ... not that it means anything, of course.)

Robin Reed, Oregon State... he beat EVERYBODY! (Also , as above w/ G.Dole, but don't let THAT influence you. yes? ;-P)

Dan Hodge, Oklahoma... try surviving his handshake! (Plus all that was stated from previous posts on this topic, naturally!)

And... Dan Gable, Iowa State... for obvious reasons.

D3

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