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lewboo

Stories from the room

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Okay guys, I am probably going to write a book, but I will share a few more stories first and then decide.

Here is one of me and Tom Brands that you guys asked for. Now before I tell you this story, a little back ground information may be necessary. First of all I have tremendous respect for the Brands brothers, and for Brad Penrith and Barry Davis, who I am kind of going to lump together for the background of this story and a few more stories in the future. All four of these wrestlers were great wrestlers, with all four of them being 3 time NCAA finalists, and world and or Olympic medalists and champions. All four of these wrestlers have at least one other thing in common, they were all at least one weight class smaller than me (most of the time), all younger than me, and they all kept shooting, and shooting, and shooting, every time they wrestled me. No matter how many times they shot in on the Impossible Leg, or the Nearly Impossible Leg, and got scored on, they would continue to shoot and shoot and shoot. Not only would they continue to shoot, but every day they would ask me “ Lewis , got a partner? “ Especially the Brands boys, I couldn’t walk in the locker room and pass a Brands brother without being asked to workout, they were like a rabid dog, almost frothing at the mouth to get a shot at me. I have to say, those four were the most perfect guys in the world for me to wrestle. The more they shot, the more I scored, but all of us kept improving, I had great, great wrestlers in on my legs thousands and thousands of times, and I kept getting better and better at countering, and they kept getting better and better at finishing. Good enough to finish on everyone but Lewboo! Glad I had at least 15 pounds on all of them!! Yes, gentleman, SIZE does MATTER!! By the way, if after you read these stories, and you think I am bragging about myself, I KIND of AM!!!!

Anyways, here is my Tom Brands story.

 

It was football season in Iowa City in the fall of 1990, and Iowa had a home game. The Iowa wrestling team, would often hold wrestling practices open to the public at 9 AM in Carver Hawkeye Arena. We would often get hundreds of fans filling the wrestling room to watch our practices. Our practice room back then was always pretty hot anyways, and going through an Iowa wrestling practice a person would lose a considerable amount of water. Dehydration could sometimes be a problem on football Saturday’s

In the Iowa wrestling room, especially with all the extra body heat from all the spectator’s. On this particular weekend, (and every other home football game EVER!!!) I decided to take extra measures to ensure that I had proper hydration for the Saturday morning practice. While most of the wrestling team stayed home on Friday nights before a Saturday morning practice, there were still a few “Old Skool” boys like myself and Royce Alger that had a different temperament than the current regime. Anyways, my strategy to stay hydrated was to go out to the local hydration establishments and hydrate as much as I could. You wouldn’t believe how many people show up to rehydrate on Friday Night Hydration Night for Home Football Games. Usually on Friday Night Hydration Night, I would hydrate until at least 2:00 AM. This particular weekend was no exception, and I showed up at Carver Hawkeye at 8:45. As soon as I walked into the locker room, Tom Brands spotted me and said “Lewis you got a partner?” I said, “no, but I do now.” Gable ran the practice, and Brands kept shooting, and shooting, and shooting, and I kept scoring, and scoring, and scoring. We would go ten minutes goes, 5 minute goes, whatever, and finally practice was coming to an end. So far, I had held up very well, but (Shockingly) Tom Brands was wearing me down!!!! Tom and I were both drenched in sweat, and Gable announced, one more 10 minute go!

I don’t remember how long I lasted during this ten minute go, but I do know that I had never felt more exhausted and dehydrated. I remember Tom had a single leg on my right leg, (That’s right, the Impossible Leg) and I felt like I was ready to die. Somehow, we were right by the fans in the stands, and I made EYE contact with Don Midlestad, who is now Tom’s father in law, and is a great Iowa wrestling fan, and I shook my head NO, HE IS NOT GOING TO GET THIS TAKEDOWN!!! As I recall, Tom and I got into a great scramble, and I somehow came out on top for the takedown!!!!! I was totally spent, and I immediately let Tom go and rolled onto my back and called a timeout!!!!!! Tom Brands immediately jumped up and stood with clenched fists standing over me and shouted at me with great anger!!!! Lewis, that’s Bull****, we don’t take timeouts at Iowa!!!! I lay there on my back, totally spent, and looked up at Tom Brands, fists clenched, spittle coming out of his mouth, and I said these soon to be legendary words, “Brands, if you just got done scoring 100 points, you would be tired too” Tom Brands

Stood over me for a couple of seconds, then smiled and said FU Lewis and walked away!!

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today is Royce Alger's 49th birthday so here is an Alger story I posted on facebook

 

It was a Saturday night in December of 1984, and the Iowa wrestling team had a dual meet against UNI, at UNI. The radio station asked Lennie Zalesky and me if we would do the play by play of the meet, and interview some of the wrestlers after their matches. Lennie and I agreed to do it. Well if you know Lennie and Lewboo back then, it won’t surprise you to know that our announcing “style” wasn’t quite as intense as Mark Ironside’s is today. We would ask the wrestlers some embarrassing questions during our interview, and we would joke around quite a bit during their matches. For some reason, Lennie thought he had a good Kermit the Frog imitation, and he actually announced one match pretending to be Kermit the Frog!! Anyway, this was during Royce Alger’s redshirt freshman year, and Royce was the backup 158 pounder to our NCAA champion Marty Kistler. Royce therefore was not expected to wrestle, and thus on the Friday night before the meet it was no shock to see Royce out having a few libations at the Field House in downtown Iowa City. Anyways, come Saturday morning, Lindley Kistler our 167 pounder showed up a few hours before weighins sick with the flu, and told Gable he would be unable to wrestle. Gable got a hold of Alger and told him he would be wrestling that night. I can’t remember who Royce wrestled that night, but Royce was putting a pretty good beating on him entering the third period. Those who know Royce, know that in college he owned the third period, but all of a sudden with about a minute left, Royce appeared to tire, and actually gave up a late takedown or two, and didn’t quite get the major decision. That was all a seasoned interviewer needed to see. Lennie and Lewboo smelled blood in the water!!! We had already interviewed a couple of other wrestlers, and had done our best to ask them some embarrassing questions, when a tired and tentative Royce Alger came up to be interviewed. I started off the interview by stating “Royce, you had a really good match out there tonight, and after two periods, you were in total control, and you usually OWN the 3rd period, but tonight you looked tired in the last minute, and even got taken down a couple of times right at the end of the match. Why do you thing you got more tired than usual in this match?” Royce hemmed and hawed a little bit trying to dodge the question and give some BS answer. I then asked “It couldn’t have had anything to do with the fact that you were at the Field House last night would it? Royce deflected and counter punched as best he could, but Lennie and Lewboo were persistent, and we had the TRUTH behind us, and after a couple more pointed questions, we got Royce to admit that he had been at the Fieldhouse drinking some libations the night before, although the number of drinks he admitted to was considerably lower than reliable witnesses would testify too. At this point in time Royce Alger’s mom

Faye Alger did not know that her little boy Royce was known to imbibe in fermented beverages. After the 177 pound match, Royce came back up to Lennie and me and asked if he could just say one more thing on the radio. We said okay and gave Royce the mike and Royce said “”Mom, I wasn’t really drinking at the Field House last night, don’t believe those guys.” I tell this story now on Royce Alger’s 49th birthday, to let Faye Alger know this, Royce Alger DID imbibe that night!!!

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Just a little follow up to Lennie and Lewboo’s interview with Royce at the UNI meet. Duane Goldman also wrestled that night and here is how I remember that interview. Duane was a Jr. that year, and had already placed 2nd in the NCAA’s twice. Lewboo “Duane, congratulations on your pin tonight! You had ONE PIN as a freshman, ONE PIN as a sophomore, here we are in early December, and you just got your 2ND PIN of the year!!! You now have a one match pinning streak, the longest of your career!! I have to ask you this question, are your sights set on breaking Bruce Kinseth’s Iowa single season pin record of 23, and if so, what do you think your chances of breaking this record are?” A flustered Duane Goldman answered that he was not really a pinner, and maybe somebody like Rico might have a shot at it. Looking back at the records, Goldman did get 4 more pins that year, and 2 as a senior, finishing his career with 10 pins. Goldman was correct, he was not a pinner, and Bruce Kinseth’s Iowa single season pin record still stands. On a side note, Indiana wrestler Taylor Walsh has 24 pins this year, so Goldman must be following the mantra, those who can’t do teach, and those who can’t teach pins hire a great pinner like Nick Simmons to teach!!! (Nick Simmons was something like 211-0 in high school with 197 pins and 13 tech falls)

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Stories like these show how amazing Iowa's program was under Gable. It becomes even more impressive when you mix in the Todd Tarpley blog. You get to see things from an All Time great like Lewboo as well as someone who fulfilled their dream by sticking it out(as a Post Grad prior to current RTC rules) in the best college room in the Nation.

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Just a little follow up to Lennie and Lewboo’s interview with Royce at the UNI meet. Duane Goldman also wrestled that night and here is how I remember that interview. Duane was a Jr. that year, and had already placed 2nd in the NCAA’s twice. Lewboo “Duane, congratulations on your pin tonight! You had ONE PIN as a freshman, ONE PIN as a sophomore, here we are in early December, and you just got your 2ND PIN of the year!!! You now have a one match pinning streak, the longest of your career!! I have to ask you this question, are your sights set on breaking Bruce Kinseth’s Iowa single season pin record of 23, and if so, what do you think your chances of breaking this record are?” A flustered Duane Goldman answered that he was not really a pinner, and maybe somebody like Rico might have a shot at it. Looking back at the records, Goldman did get 4 more pins that year, and 2 as a senior, finishing his career with 10 pins. Goldman was correct, he was not a pinner, and Bruce Kinseth’s Iowa single season pin record still stands. On a side note, Indiana wrestler Taylor Walsh has 24 pins this year, so Goldman must be following the mantra, those who can’t do teach, and those who can’t teach pins hire a great pinner like Nick Simmons to teach!!! (Nick Simmons was something like 211-0 in high school with 197 pins and 13 tech falls)

 

Simmons actually had a VERY close match as a freshman in the State finals. He beat Dan Jones of Goodrich, an undefeated senior at 103lbs, 4-2.

 

The crazy thing is the MHSAA record book has some issues with their arithmetic. They have Simmons finishing his career as 211-0. They then have him having single season pins of 57, 57, 55 and 47. So they actually have him finishing with more pins (216) than wins (211)! They do have his total pins listed, further down the record list, at 178. So if that is correct he pinned 84.4% of the time!

 

He was soooooo much better than anyone else he wrestled in Michigan that I don't think it helped him get any better come NCAA time. I would really like to see how well he would have done had he chosen IOWA, Minnesota or OkState instead of MSU.

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Just a little follow up to Lennie and Lewboo’s interview with Royce at the UNI meet. Duane Goldman also wrestled that night and here is how I remember that interview. Duane was a Jr. that year, and had already placed 2nd in the NCAA’s twice. Lewboo “Duane, congratulations on your pin tonight! You had ONE PIN as a freshman, ONE PIN as a sophomore, here we are in early December, and you just got your 2ND PIN of the year!!! You now have a one match pinning streak, the longest of your career!! I have to ask you this question, are your sights set on breaking Bruce Kinseth’s Iowa single season pin record of 23, and if so, what do you think your chances of breaking this record are?” A flustered Duane Goldman answered that he was not really a pinner, and maybe somebody like Rico might have a shot at it. Looking back at the records, Goldman did get 4 more pins that year, and 2 as a senior, finishing his career with 10 pins. Goldman was correct, he was not a pinner, and Bruce Kinseth’s Iowa single season pin record still stands. On a side note, Indiana wrestler Taylor Walsh has 24 pins this year, so Goldman must be following the mantra, those who can’t do teach, and those who can’t teach pins hire a great pinner like Nick Simmons to teach!!! (Nick Simmons was something like 211-0 in high school with 197 pins and 13 tech falls)

 

Simmons actually had a VERY close match as a freshman in the State finals. He beat Dan Jones of Goodrich, an undefeated senior at 103lbs, 4-2.

 

The crazy thing is the MHSAA record book has some issues with their arithmetic. They have Simmons finishing his career as 211-0. They then have him having single season pins of 57, 57, 55 and 47. So they actually have him finishing with more pins (216) than wins (211)! They do have his total pins listed, further down the record list, at 178. So if that is correct he pinned 84.4% of the time!

 

With all 178 being choked into unconsciousness!

 

I was always a Simmons fan, and I got so sick of nimrods screaming at the ref, "watch the choke!" that I could almost cry. Yet, I NEVER saw one guy pass out from a Simmons hold.

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He wrestled at the same time as my brother and they were in the same division(III), however Simmons was always a few weight classes lighter. Needless to say I got to see a TON of Simmons's matches, mostly VERY short, between in season tournaments, districts, regionals and states. As Dale Anderson said, his one drawback was his being so far ahead of his competition he never had to perfect any offensive attacks, especially leg attacks from neutral. In the end, I think, this is the one thing that held him back from being an NCAA champ.

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As Dale Anderson said, his one drawback was his being so far ahead of his competition he never had to perfect any offensive attacks, especially leg attacks from neutral. In the end, I think, this is the one thing that held him back from being an NCAA champ.

 

Man, I think that hits the nail on the head perfectly. I'm not sure that I ever saw him hit any effective leg attacks.

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