Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DF

My Journey to 2nd Place

Recommended Posts

The longer I was on my back, the weaker I grew. Like a middle aged man in a vapid and loveless marriage, I too was emotionally downtrodden. Do I fight on with a shred of hope that my situation will improve or do I call it a day? The sound of the crowd was now at a deafening roar. Wrestling fans are a fickle bunch. Probably more than in any other sport they like to see the favorite lose. They love the proverbial underdog. That is as long as that wrestler remains an underdog. As soon as he becomes a contender, well then, those same fans salivate like a band of wild hyenas at the thought of him falling from grace.

 

And that was exactly what was happening as I lay there on my back giving a half-assed bridge on center mat. They had come to snuff the roster. The crowd grew louder and louder, and it was imminent that the ref would be caught up in the hysteria and call the pin, regardless of whether it was actually a pin or not, all to satiate the ferocious appetite of the crowd.

 

Staring up at those soft fluorescent lights, my mind wandered back to all those practices I had slacked on earlier in the season. While my teammates sprinted, I walked down the street. Always asking myself why am I so soft when the rest of my team is so hard? I need to get off my back and I'll have my shot at redemeption. Don't want to end up in the consolation bracket, in a consolation bracket graveyard. Bridge harder, bridge harder. The ref can't get flat on the mat to look for the pin because of his beerbelly, beerbelly. Get these fans away from me! You know I don't find this sport amusing anymore! Where are my fans and teammates? What if I get pinned here? Who'll be my coach? Now that my coach is gone. He ducked back the tunnel with some roly-poly assistant coach. All along there were incidents and fluke pin accidents. But there would be hints and allegations of me throwing this match...

 

With every ounce of energy I had left I slithered towards the edge of the mat. My only salvation was to get out of bounds. They can't call a pin if your shoulders are out of bounds. The boos echoed louder once the crowd realized what I was up to. Once my shoulders were out of bounds, I stopped bridging and went flat to my back, knowing the ref couldn't call a pin now. My opponent tried to pull me back in bounds. He failed. I just laid there.

 

Finally the ref blew the whistle. "Back to center men! DF, you're still down!" But I just lay there. Time and space slowed down. I was watching myself from above, an out-of-body experience if you will. The ceiling lights shone brighter than ever. The tank was on empty, the jig was up. Sorry boys, all the cold spray in the world can't get me back up again. Lay down...lay down. Gonna stretch me out on center mat on hun'-and-ninth street. Always knew I'd make a stop there, but a lot later than a whole gang of people thought. Last of the anti-heroicans. Well maybe not the last. Gail's gonna be a good mom. Hope she uses the money to get out. No room in this sport for big hearts like hers. Sorry baby, I tried the best I could. Honest. Can't come with me on this trip loaf. Getting the shakes now, last call for drinks, bars closing down...Sun's out...Where we going for breakfast? Don't wanna go far. Rough night...Tired baby...Tired...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Any chance DF is Thomas Pynchon?

 

 

Time between published works is almost identical.

What scares me about this literary work of genius by DF, is that we are still on the first match of the state tournament, in the first period and we know he wins because he takes second....and I want to read it all, every match, every period, every point scored. I don't think I can handle it if the story doesn't continue. And I'm proud of DF sitting back in the chair and writing another chapter after a six month hiatus. Keep it up, D!

Once every 6 months is plenty good, and any more than that is gravy.

desk-photo-1979.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry boys, all the cold spray in the world can't get me back up again. Lay down...lay down. Gonna stretch me out on center mat on hun'-and-ninth street. Always knew I'd make a stop there, but a lot later than a whole gang of people thought. Last of the anti-heroicans. Well maybe not the last. Gail's gonna be a good mom. Hope she uses the money to get out. No room in this sport for big hearts like hers. Sorry baby, I tried the best I could. Honest. Can't come with me on this trip loaf. Getting the shakes now, last call for drinks, bars closing down...Sun's out...Where we going for breakfast? Don't wanna go far. Rough night...Tired baby...Tired...

hmmm...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With every ounce of energy I had left I slithered towards the edge of the mat. My only salvation was to get out of bounds. They can't call a pin if your shoulders are out of bounds. The boos echoed louder once the crowd realized what I was up to. Once my shoulders were out of bounds, I stopped bridging and went flat to my back, knowing the ref couldn't call a pin now. My opponent tried to pull me back in bounds. He failed. I just laid there.

 

Finally the ref blew the whistle. "Back to center men! DF, you're still down!" But I just lay there. Time and space slowed down. I was watching myself from above, an out-of-body experience if you will. The ceiling lights shone brighter than ever. The tank was on empty, the jig was up. Sorry boys, all the cold spray in the world can't get me back up again. Lay down...lay down. Gonna stretch me out on center mat on hun'-and-ninth street. Always knew I'd make a stop there, but a lot later than a whole gang of people thought. Last of the anti-heroicans. Well maybe not the last. Gail's gonna be a good mom. Hope she uses the money to get out. No room in this sport for big hearts like hers. Sorry baby, I tried the best I could. Honest. Can't come with me on this trip loaf. Getting the shakes now, last call for drinks, bars closing down...Sun's out...Where we going for breakfast? Don't wanna go far. Rough night...Tired baby...Tired...

 

My opponent sprinted back to the center of mat to roars of approval from the crowd. Meanwhile I remained perched on the edge of the mat, adjusting my headgear, pulling at my knee pads, anything to buy some time. The crowd wasn't fooled, and neither was the ref. "We got caution stalling on Green!", the ref screamed as he clenched his hand into a fist and shot it high in the sky.

 

"It's over Johnny. Get him a body bag, yeah!" came screeching from my opponent's corner.

 

image.php?u=127&dateline=1136580490

 

I looked to my corner for some support. There was none to be found. For some reason that angered me. That anger was intensified to fierce rage when my opponent kept trying to turn me from top. The audacity. I was the #1 ranked wrestler in the state. This guy didn't even register on the radar, and here he was trying to go for the pin like it was amateur hour.

 

I watched the ref toss the disk to start the second period. It bounced on the mat, rolled around in a circle for a few loops...and..."Green your choice!" bellowed the man in the stripes.

 

I'd had enough of this. I pointed to my opponent then pointed down to the mat. "Green takes top!"

 

My opponent exploded off the whistle. I brought him back down to reality. He tried a slick gramby, but I rolled with him. Now I was truly pissed. Seriously, a gramby against the #1 ranked wrestler in your state?

 

I threw in the boots and began stretching him out. Hipped in hard and over he went. The ref started counting. "3 nearfall Green!"

 

Tilted him like a pinball machine. A few 3 nearfall here, some 2 nearfall there...over and over again. Tech'ed him up before the period was over. The crowd grew silent. I mocked their silence by cupping my hand behind my ear, Hulk Hogan style.

 

"That's 1 team point against Green!" screamed the ref.

 

Like I cared. I don't wrestle for no team, I wrestle for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So by my count, that's 20 nearfall points in 2 minutes. 7-10 tilts 120 seconds.

Jason can correct me but Mike Akers won by TF over Bryan Lyttle 15-0 in 1:37 his senior year in the state finals, so it is possible I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So by my count, that's 20 nearfall points in 2 minutes. 7-10 tilts 120 seconds.

Jason can correct me but Mike Akers won by TF over Bryan Lyttle 15-0 in 1:37 his senior year in the state finals, so it is possible I guess.

 

Oh it's totally possible if you're dominant enough. All you really have to do is break your hold every time you hit a five count, which is probably a fine strategy if you're down by 5 points as a huge favorite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stepped outside the arena and into the cool day's weather. Outside people were going on with their lives, oblivious to the dramas unfolding just yards away inside that arena. In the background I could hear whistles going off, cheers alternating with jeers, and coaches yelling advice to their wrestlers.

 

Off in the distance I saw my opponent for the next round alreay warming up with his coach. I had wrestled this chap earlier in the season, and given him a sound trashing. As such I was not in the least worried, for victory was imminent and the match itself would be a mere formality.

 

I leaned up against a wall, lit up a smoke, and peered through an open door under the stairway at all the matches that were going on. All these wrestlers trying to win a glittering gold. But sometimes golds have no meaning. Sometimes those golds are misgiven. Ohhh, it made me wonder. There's a feeling I get when I think of who is actually the best. In my thoughts I have seen the 1996 olympic rings and the voices of those who got hosed before me. Ohhh, it made me wonder. I heard my weight class get called for my next match was about to dawn, and the crowd's boos will echo with my laughter. There were two mats my next match could possibly be on, but in the long run, there was little time before it would go on. The atmosphere inside was humming and it was time to go, as the ref was calling for us to join him. Dear fans can you hear the whistle blow...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff DF, very good stuff. Not from Iowa, but I still bleed gold and am a huge Iowa and Tom Brands fan....but I still think your stuff is hilarious. I look forward with great anticipation to reading the rest of your anti-heroic march to a state championship! (of course the silver medalist gets all honors, stands higher on the podium, and is the true state champ we all know)

 

I have a question for you DF. What would you consider the most antiheroic act of the 2011-2012 college season?

 

My vote would go to Jordan Oliver's Finals match. He showed his dominance by quickly taking Steiber down with that slide by in the opening minutes...and it was all downhill (or uphill, depending on your viewpoint ) for Oliver from there. He easily lets Steiber out from bottom, when we know he could have cradled and pinned him right then and there. Then with only 15 seconds left he easily gets in on Steibers legs, has both ankles with Steiber on his butt. He had a good 6 seconds to just pop his head out, which he could have easily done, but decides to take the high road and sit there so he could catch his breathe. The ending position reminded me of how a certain 1996 Olympics Gold medal match ended. Oliver was truly paying homage to his hero. "Jordidi" was born in that match and will be on a rampage next season. Can't wait to see him next year! I predict at least two self slams, at least two lung timeouts per match, and now with the new stalling rules (no stall outs...just continuous 1 pt penalties) I predict we will see the first "self tech" in college wrestling by "Jordidi". A true antihero was born that Saturday night and he will be on an antiheroic rampage next season!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Self Tech is the greatest, anti-heroic feat I've ever heard of, Matburn....much more difficult to achieve than the self pin. It's like a double eagle in golf....everyone thinks a hole in one is the zenith, but most of them are made on Par 3s-less than 200 yard shots-and are worth 2 under par. But a double eagle has to come from a hole in one on a par 4, or a second shot from usually over 200 yards out on a par 5....and it's worth more, 3 under par. I'd much rather have a double eagle than a hole in one. Likewise with the self tech, the stalling would have to be obnoxiously blatant....and it should be worth more, like an automatic team point deduction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could already self-tech yourself before the stalling calls. You could false start 17 times in a row, even before the match started. Cautions have never been disqualifying to my knowledge.

Now is it better to self tech. with cautions, or self tech. with stalling? Would a hybrid be best?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So if Joe Schmoe is facing David Taylor in the last match of a dual meet and his team is up by six, what's to stop him from false starting all the way to techland? I'm guessing there must be some sort of penalty for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is nothing in the rule book that directly prevents you from doing it. However, I assume a ref. would give you an order and hit you for unsportsmanlike if you did not follow it, but even so, you have to give up four points before being disqualified under that penalty. Some antiheroes could come up with a strategy that would get themselves a self tech. However, that kind of sacrifice for the team rarely is seen in the antiheroes we love.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I stepped outside the arena and into the cool day's weather. Outside people were going on with their lives, oblivious to the dramas unfolding just yards away inside that arena. In the background I could hear whistles going off, cheers alternating with jeers, and coaches yelling advice to their wrestlers.

 

Off in the distance I saw my opponent for the next round alreay warming up with his coach. I had wrestled this chap earlier in the season, and given him a sound trashing. As such I was not in the least worried, for victory was imminent and the match itself would be a mere formality.

 

I leaned up against a wall, lit up a smoke, and peered through an open door under the stairway at all the matches that were going on. All these wrestlers trying to win a glittering gold. But sometimes golds have no meaning. Sometimes those golds are misgiven. Ohhh, it made me wonder. There's a feeling I get when I think of who is actually the best. In my thoughts I have seen the 1996 olympic rings and the voices of those who got hosed before me. Ohhh, it made me wonder. I heard my weight class get called for my next match was about to dawn, and the crowd's boos will echo with my laughter. There were two mats my next match could possibly be on, but in the long run, there was little time before it would go on. The atmosphere inside was humming and it was time to go, as the ref was calling for us to join him. Dear fans can you hear the whistle blow...

...That last paragraph sounds very familiar, like it's from one of the most famous songs in history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I stepped outside the arena and into the cool day's weather. Outside people were going on with their lives, oblivious to the dramas unfolding just yards away inside that arena. In the background I could hear whistles going off, cheers alternating with jeers, and coaches yelling advice to their wrestlers.

 

Off in the distance I saw my opponent for the next round alreay warming up with his coach. I had wrestled this chap earlier in the season, and given him a sound trashing. As such I was not in the least worried, for victory was imminent and the match itself would be a mere formality.

 

I leaned up against a wall, lit up a smoke, and peered through an open door under the stairway at all the matches that were going on. All these wrestlers trying to win a glittering gold. But sometimes golds have no meaning. Sometimes those golds are misgiven. Ohhh, it made me wonder. There's a feeling I get when I think of who is actually the best. In my thoughts I have seen the 1996 olympic rings and the voices of those who got hosed before me. Ohhh, it made me wonder. I heard my weight class get called for my next match was about to dawn, and the crowd's boos will echo with my laughter. There were two mats my next match could possibly be on, but in the long run, there was little time before it would go on. The atmosphere inside was humming and it was time to go, as the ref was calling for us to join him. Dear fans can you hear the whistle blow...

My opponent shot right off the whistle, much to my chagrin, and got in deep on a single. I usually give up the takedown in these situations, as fighting off a single is usually a waste of time and energy. But for some reason I fought it this time. I'm not sure why. It would have been much easier, and more prudent, to give up the takedown, stall it out on bottom, and then put on another tilt clinic the next period. But there I was, dancing at center mat with my opponent. He tried to trip, I'd jump it. He tried to treetop finish it, I'd resist it. Finally he drove hard and switched to a double, I hipped in to a stonewall sprawl, out we tumbled towards the edge of the mat, landing hard...

 

The next thing I remember was the ref signalling for two, his voice seemed to echo from a far off distance. Time and space slowed down. Things appeared somewhat hazy. A trainer appeared and was shinning a light at me. "Hello son, is there anybody in there?" came his deep, soothing voice. "Just nod if you can hear me." And nod I did, at least I think I did. "Relax, I need some information first, just the basic facts, can you show me where it hurts?"

 

But there wasn't any pain, it was more like everything was receding. The boos were coming through in waves. I noticed the ref's lips move but I couldn't hear what he was saying. When I was freshman I had a similar feeling. Now I had that feeling once again. I can't explain, you wouldn't understand.

 

"O.K." said the trainer. "Just a little pin prick..."

 

AHHHHHHHHHH!

 

"Can you stand up? I do believe it's working...good. That'll keep you going through the match. Come on, your injury time is almost up.", the trainer said as he all but dragged me back to center mat. When I was a frosh I caught a fleeting glimpse, of my coach and fans cheering me on. I turned to look but my coach was gone. The frosh is grown, the cheering is gone, and I have become...

 

"Green you're down!", barked the ref. "You have no more injury time left. Top man set. On my whistle..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×