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Navigating the Uncomfortable

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On 4/24/2021 at 8:49 AM, Oily Bohunk said:

In regards to the overall topic on a US Wrestling Forum-Greco is only mentioned when there is something to criticize. 

I don’t think that’s entirely true. Plus, can you imagine the criticism if something that egregious happened in freestyle. The forum would be blowing up. It amazes me how little discussion there is going on this. To me it looks like Rau was robbed. I don’t watch a lot of Greco, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a match stopped for a choke from that position. Can anyone who watches Greco more often help us out? Was it the right call to stop it? 

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In my experience, it is massively subjective when it gets stopped. Depends on the individual ref, country, age group, angle, whether mercury is in retrograde. What’s different between the first one and the second one for Rau? Only that the ref thought it became a choke and all chokes are illegal. I understand where Timmy Hands is coming from, as it’s incredibly unsatisfying, to say the least

Roman Vlasov went unconscious in a front headlock at Rio and they woke him up and he won, right?


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8 hours ago, Eagle26 said:

I don’t think that’s entirely true. Plus, can you imagine the criticism if something that egregious happened in freestyle. The forum would be blowing up. It amazes me how little discussion there is going on this. To me it looks like Rau was robbed. I don’t watch a lot of Greco, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a match stopped for a choke from that position. Can anyone who watches Greco more often help us out? Was it the right call to stop it? 

I posted this interview in the other forum about it. His coach Medlin and Peter Kowalczuk (former senior level greco competitor from Illinois) speak on the positions. 

Medlin mentions how the whistle was blown while the guy is already in the air going through on the 2nd throw. So in that incident its not to prevent choking since Stefanowicz was still fighting it, it was to stop scoring. 

Edited by Relentless125
name spelling

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After listening to the podcast above. Going with what I had heard before that... this situation stinks. It absolutely should be looked into. Especially because both of the.. “questionable”  calls seemed to mainly have the purpose of preventing Rau from scoring. 

Medlin actually did a good job presenting what happened and explaining the rules. While at the same time acknowledging his own bias. He didn’t go off the way Koll did after Z/Y match 2. The 1st match being nowhere to be found so the calls can be looked at.. only makes the situation look worse. 
 

The 5ptM guy got so loquacious because he was trying not to offend anyone so he wouldn’t lose access. 

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12 hours ago, GoNotQuietly said:


Roman Vlasov went unconscious in a front headlock at Rio and they woke him up and he won, right?


 

 

Vlasov went out in the 2016 Rio semis. His opponent got to keep the 2 points on the exposure, received no caution, and was not put into par terre. Contrast that to Rau who did not get to keep his points, was given a caution +2, and was put in par terre. Earlier in the 2021 USA OTT, Valencia put Nate Jackson completely asleep and did not receive a caution either. 

In real time, the Rau caution +2 and being put in par terre blew my mind. Multiple times in that same tournament they did not caution the offending wrestler. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, GranbyTroll said:

In real time, the Rau caution +2 and being put in par terre blew my mind. Multiple times in that same tournament they did not caution the offending wrestler. 

IMO Rau was given a caution +2 and put into par terre because it was the second time he continued wrestling after the ref blew the whistle.  The first whistle came while Rau was mid-execution of the second throw.  Rau continued wrestling for a third throw and the ref put his hands on Rau to stop.  The second whistle came later when the ref decided Rau & Stefanowicz were out of bounds... and Rau continued wrestling w/the roll through.  The ref put his hands on Rau again to stop wrestling.

The match should have ended by tech given Rau's second four-point move was in the finishing stage when the egregious first whistle came.  

Edited by jross
Added "ref put his hands on Rau"

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While there is “slight” wiggle room in the rules.. everything is colored by who was reffing and when a couple of whistles (especially the first one) were blown. Those two things together make the situation look... not right I guess is best way of putting it

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So is the general consensus that this is far from over? Do you think Rau’s lawyers will get the first match overturned? If so, I assume Stefanowicz gets too keep the win from the second match, right? Or does the whole series have to start over?

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Joe needs about $2500 more to cover legal fees for an appeal.  https://t.co/WDSSD1xdLu

IMO this should be a best of three wrestle off from scratch.  The events in the first match negated the second match.  Joe's strategy changed in the second match... one might assume as result of the first match ref... for example he attempted one snap down to a go-behind rather than a throw.

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23 hours ago, jross said:

Joe needs about $2500 more to cover legal fees for an appeal.  https://t.co/WDSSD1xdLu

IMO this should be a best of three wrestle off from scratch.  The events in the first match negated the second match.  Joe's strategy changed in the second match... one might assume as result of the first match ref... for example he attempted one snap down to a go-behind rather than a throw.

Surely someone can find an ex wrestler who would take this pro bono just for the experience right?

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On 4/24/2021 at 7:34 PM, jross said:

Was Stefanowicz close to choking out?  You can't find match one anywhere on youtube, NBC, etc... ha ha... wonder why.  Note that Team USA has match two on youtube.  

  • First 4 pts awarded... second 4pts called off because why?  Match should have been over by tech!  https://streamable.com/48ddpv
  • Rau immediately goes back to it... this one IMO he should have stopped at the whistle... but... can you hear the boos when they award pts to Stefanowicz?  https://streamable.com/4z1k2l

Now Stefanowicz did nothing wrong... fantastic story... and USA Wrestling should run this back.  

Thanks for sharing the clips.  Instead of writing the long-winded ramble, the author should have just posted the clips you posted (or included the clips and cut the article in half).  In my estimation, the clips show some pretty horrific over-reffing, i.e., the ref inserting himself into the match when there was no need (something that ref has been known for).  The techniques Rau used were fine; you didn't see Stef responding like someone who was being choked.  Greco is a rough game--the points should have stood.  The ref should be sat down for a long rest.

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On 4/26/2021 at 11:14 AM, Eagle26 said:

So is the general consensus that this is far from over? Do you think Rau’s lawyers will get the first match overturned? If so, I assume Stefanowicz gets too keep the win from the second match, right? Or does the whole series have to start over?

Based on the precedent in Yianni vs. Zain I could see it be something like that and Rau needs to win two but Stefanowicz only needs to win one. They just void the first match.

Though JRoss is right. Maybe the lawyers could argue to overturn the 2nd match as well due to it affecting strategy. 

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I hate this. Bad calls happen everywhere. Unless they can prove something like a pay off took place, the person who has his hand raised at the end of a match should not have a court take it away.

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It was a bad call, but that's a long way from alleging malfeasance on the part of the official. Speelman wrestled on the All-Marine team nearly 30 years ago. Is that a good enough reason for litigation?

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I guess “you get what you earn” and “due process” shouldn’t matter. After all, the same sort of excuses can be made for most of the international stuff that screwed over Kolat or Mckoy or Williams

Multiple calls were made that first and foremost prevented Rau from winning the match, that happened to come with an excuse for the call. Anyone who doesn’t think a former marine would feel loyalty to another marine and help them.. hasn’t ever really been around marines. My brother who is a former marine Sergeant would almost certainly, if told about this, would shrug and say “semper fi”
 

 

A simple solution would be to look at the Jarhead refs other Greco matches and see if he “inserted” himself as much in non marine matches. 

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This makes it that much worse!

Quote

The referee had direct affiliation to my opponent: he had wrestled for the same senior team when he was a competitor. Inexplicably, my coaches’ request for a different referee prior to the match was denied. The match ended up being conducted and officiated unfairly.

 

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Joe discusses this on the Bader show today.

Timeline

  • 0:00: Larry Bird, Joe Rau, and mustaches.
  • 1:00: Jumping right into the controversy of the Olympic Trials.
  • 4:30: What to do between matches one and two?
  • 6:30: Was the potential loss of the Marine Greco program to blame?
  • 10:30: Something doesn’t feel right.
  • 14:30: Explaining an out-of-body experience. 
    • After the second time the ref blew the whistle and penalized me, I had an out-of-body experience.  Look at my par terre position... I know the latest rules but I was following rules from years ago... wasn't mentally there anymore.  
    • The first match messed me up mentally.  I felt like a piece of stone after the first match.  When I was supposed to be rewarded, I was punished.  I couldn't move my body...
  • 19:30: ‘Sometimes I still don’t sleep.’ 
  • 21:30: Matt Lindland lost but won in 2000. 
    • In the finals of the United States Olympic trials, Lindland lost to Keith Sieracki, whom Lindland had accused of tripping him (under the rules of Greco-Roman wrestling, athletes are not permitted the use of their legs for advantage in defense of offensive moves). After appealing, an arbitrator ordered a rematch for Lindland and Sieracki, which Lindland won 9–0.
  • 23:30: ‘I stayed in Texas after the Trials.’
  • 26:30: ‘I consider Jon a good friend.’
  • 28:00: ‘It’s a very complicated process.’
  • 30:00: My Cousin Vinny. 
    • Needs to be a legit lawyer to do this right.
  • 31:00: ‘I have to be ready to win two matches.’
    • Expect to legally fight for a new best of three.  The outcome may be lead to a declined wrestle-off, a new best of 3, it could start 1 and 1 to wrestle off for the spot, it could start with Stef being 1 match up and me needing to win 2 straight.
  • 32:30: ‘Putting my shoes on the mat was an angry decision.’
  • 33:30: Win or lose, what’s next?
  • 35:00: Catching Olympic fever when Rulon won in 2000. 
  • 37:00: Winning Fargo as a senior.
  • 42:00: ‘I always knew I was different and crazy.’
  • 45:00 Joe Rau enters the Hot Box. 

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8 hours ago, Jim L said:

I hate this. Bad calls happen everywhere. Unless they can prove something like a pay off took place, the person who has his hand raised at the end of a match should not have a court take it away.

I agree with you 99.999% of the time. Determining who won or lost should take place on the mat, not in a court. 

Litigation is the worst way to solve a problem but sometimes it's the only way in the other 0.001% of cases. Rau definitely has a steep uphill battle with the USOPC, but the process exists for a reason and I don't fault him one bit for pursuing it. 

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2 hours ago, olddirty said:

If you view him positively, probably.  If not, its definitely not me

Lol I’ve seen your posts over in sherdog. I know most were advice to bjj guys but a good bit helped my coaching 

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