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silver-medal

Is T-Shirts the new Dake?

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One thing I have learned from this board and Intermat writers like Tim Foley is most fans perceptions of DI wrestling.  Most of you want offense.  The problem is I think it would have to come at the expense of the VERY BEST fundamental wrestling.  I know there are great wrestlers of the past, and given time, they would adapt and excel today.  Still, they would have to adapt.  Wrestlers of today are as good as they have ever been.  Their positioning, handfighting and defense is incredible.  Offense is limited now due to how hard it is to penetrate and how advantageous it becomes to the defensive wrestler when the initiator ends up out of position.

 

Tsirtsis is a perfect example of what I mentioned above.  In Folkstyle, if you can't be taken down or ridden you can't lose a match(excepting penalties or losing by OT criteria).  I learned this 20+ years ago.  It is still true today and is even more obvious with the advent of "funk".  You may hate the scoreboard and the lack of visual excitement but I doubt Tsirtsis cares.  He wrestles to win.  He found a style that best fits him.  Not everyone has the length to hit ankle picks at will like Taylor.  Not everyone has the speed to hit blast doubles like Burroughs.  Not everyone has the gas tank like Metcalf to club his opponent to death and break him in the 3rd.

 

I understand not liking Tsirtsis' style.  Still, count how many offensive attacks his opponents attempt.  I doubt you find it lopsided against Tsirtsis.  To me, Folkstyle wrestling is about who controls the other opponent more.  This can be as subtle as dictating the style of the match.  That is probably why I like the "boring" aspects of wrestling more than most of you.  If you can take a guy down but can't keep him down(unless of course he can't do anything either), I don't see it as clearly being the better wrestler.  If wrestling ever morphed into that, I honestly would stop watching.

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Tshirts reminds me more of dustin.... could win 4, but his style makes it very easy for him to lose a match

one key difference is Dustin didn't start wrestling close matches until his soph year. His freshman year he won most matches pretty convincingly. Tourney run was 8-0, 14-1, 8-0, 5-1, 4-0.  

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I think the comparisons of Cox to Dake are more accurate. Both won as true freshman and both win some close matches but you usually have no doubt who was in charge. Example, Cox just defeated McIntosh 2-0 but that match left you thinking there was no way McIntosh could of won. With Tsirtsis, you get the feeling he could lose one of those close ones. In the end, I really don't think Jason will be a 4xer and therefore not in the same conversation as Dake. 

Edited by Flying-Tiger

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One thing I have learned from this board and Intermat writers like Tim Foley is most fans perceptions of DI wrestling.  Most of you want offense.  The problem is I think it would have to come at the expense of the VERY BEST fundamental wrestling.  I know there are great wrestlers of the past, and given time, they would adapt and excel today.  Still, they would have to adapt.  Wrestlers of today are as good as they have ever been.  Their positioning, handfighting and defense is incredible.  Offense is limited now due to how hard it is to penetrate and how advantageous it becomes to the defensive wrestler when the initiator ends up out of position.

 

Tsirtsis is a perfect example of what I mentioned above.  In Folkstyle, if you can't be taken down or ridden you can't lose a match(excepting penalties or losing by OT criteria).  I learned this 20+ years ago.  It is still true today and is even more obvious with the advent of "funk".  You may hate the scoreboard and the lack of visual excitement but I doubt Tsirtsis cares.  He wrestles to win.  He found a style that best fits him.  Not everyone has the length to hit ankle picks at will like Taylor.  Not everyone has the speed to hit blast doubles like Burroughs.  Not everyone has the gas tank like Metcalf to club his opponent to death and break him in the 3rd.

 

I understand not liking Tsirtsis' style.  Still, count how many offensive attacks his opponents attempt.  I doubt you find it lopsided against Tsirtsis.  To me, Folkstyle wrestling is about who controls the other opponent more.  This can be as subtle as dictating the style of the match.  That is probably why I like the "boring" aspects of wrestling more than most of you.  If you can take a guy down but can't keep him down(unless of course he can't do anything either), I don't see it as clearly being the better wrestler.  If wrestling ever morphed into that, I honestly would stop watching.

 

Which is why all of us should really appreciate wrestlers like Logan Stieber, David Taylor and Ed Ruth.  They score points in droves regardless of opponent.

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silver-medal,

 

I do. But, they had strengths in body types that many wrestlers simply can't develop.  Not to say the wrestlers you listed didn't work amazingly hard to get where they were, I simply think they had assets most don't.  Taylor and Ruth had length, especially with their arms, that gave them an incredible advantage.  They then maximized that potential.  That gave them the opportunity to be very offensive.  Still Taylor wasn't able to do it very well against Dake and even Ruth was limited against Dean.  As far as Stieber goes, I think he is simply a freak.  His strength at the weight is ridiculous.  You don't just run arm bars due to technique.  Arm bars take massive strength and leverage.  Stieber is a great all around wrestler and he has earned where he is.  Still I think he can afford to be super offensive because he has the strengths to take risks and offset any negative results those risks may incur.

 

Everyone wants to see wrestlers open up and score points.  The problem is they don't want to weigh the risks that action causes wrestlers.  I think Gadson is a perfect example.  If you attack him and he gets the first takedown, good luck.  You better have a great gas tank and a stall calling ref.

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Fabulous post.  Conservative wrestling is just outstanding risk management.  True fans of the sport understand this, and Tsirtsis has mastered it.  You can change the rules to try to eliminate quality, conservative, defensive wrestling, but then it really wouldn't be wrestling any more, would it?  The beauty of this sport is that men and women of all different body types can find a successful style that works for them, and at the end of the day, all that matters is wins and losses, not how those wins and losses were achieved.

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I haven't seen it posted but I would say Dake's legacy would be different if he wrestled in the BIG!!  He may have won the championships but most likely is counting a few more loses.  For that reason I would say Tsirtsis is closer than many view.  Isn't Dake's first title also during Kellen  Russell's RS year?

Edited by BDB50

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Isn't Dake's first title also during Kellen  Russell's RS year?

True, but Russel was was only a one time all-american who had placed 7th the year before. It's not like he won his titles before redshirting. Krom finished ahead Russell the year prior and Dake took out Krom in his first ever home meet. Not to mention Dake beat Humphrey twice who was far more accomplished than Russell up to that point.

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One thing I have learned from this board and Intermat writers like Tim Foley is most fans perceptions of DI wrestling.  Most of you want offense.  The problem is I think it would have to come at the expense of the VERY BEST fundamental wrestling.  I know there are great wrestlers of the past, and given time, they would adapt and excel today.  Still, they would have to adapt.  Wrestlers of today are as good as they have ever been.  Their positioning, handfighting and defense is incredible.  Offense is limited now due to how hard it is to penetrate and how advantageous it becomes to the defensive wrestler when the initiator ends up out of position.

 

Tsirtsis is a perfect example of what I mentioned above.  In Folkstyle, if you can't be taken down or ridden you can't lose a match(excepting penalties or losing by OT criteria).  I learned this 20+ years ago.  It is still true today and is even more obvious with the advent of "funk".  You may hate the scoreboard and the lack of visual excitement but I doubt Tsirtsis cares.  He wrestles to win.  He found a style that best fits him.  Not everyone has the length to hit ankle picks at will like Taylor.  Not everyone has the speed to hit blast doubles like Burroughs.  Not everyone has the gas tank like Metcalf to club his opponent to death and break him in the 3rd.

 

I understand not liking Tsirtsis' style.  Still, count how many offensive attacks his opponents attempt.  I doubt you find it lopsided against Tsirtsis.  To me, Folkstyle wrestling is about who controls the other opponent more.  This can be as subtle as dictating the style of the match.  That is probably why I like the "boring" aspects of wrestling more than most of you.  If you can take a guy down but can't keep him down(unless of course he can't do anything either), I don't see it as clearly being the better wrestler.  If wrestling ever morphed into that, I honestly would stop watching.

I don't know if I agree that today's wrestlers have incredible defense and positioning compared to wrestlers of the past.  I think the lack of officials with the balls to call stalling as it is written in the book leads to a lot of blocking with the head and simply avoiding ties and holds which would have gotten you dinged for stalling 20 years ago.  I don't blame the wrestlers.  The point is to win, and if no one is forcing you to open up, to stop blocking all of the time, to stop playing the edge, to get off the hips and actually work for a turn when on top, and to actually work to score at all times, why would you?  The scoring wasn't up back then because the guys were sloppy.  It was up because you were forced to constantly work to score and if you backed up, or blocked with your head, etc., you'd get nailed for stalling.  I appreciate good defense and hand fighting as much as anyone, as long as it is leading to an attack.  However, when I see matches like the one between Tomasello and Gilman where neither guy makes a single genuine attempt at a takedown for over 7 minutes and no one is even warned for stalling, I wonder what the officials are thinking? I wasn't watching good defense or great positioning.  It wasn't good fundamental wrestling.  No one displayed anything except the ability to block with their head, bend over at the waist to keep the other guy as far from their legs as possible and take turns tying up wrists.  I was watching two guys stall their way to OT, which can be said all too often these days.

 

As I said before, I don't blame the wrestlers or the coaches.  If the officials are going to allow a guy to simply stand there and block for the entire first period and then ride the hips for a riding time point, as long as he can get out in under a minute and stall for the rest of the period, the guys will continue to do so, because that's what wins.  The thing is that the top guys would mostly be the same top guys if they all had to actually wrestle for 7 minutes because they all have the ability.  They flash that ability from time to time and amaze us with their quickness and skill.  It's just too bad that they often only do it once per match, if that.  

 

For example, Dake had a fantastic takedown early against St. John in their finals match.  It was as quick and decisive a takedown as you'll see against a fantastic defender like St. John.  Then he spent the rest of the match, blocking and backing up aside from one half shot in the 2nd and one half shot in the 3rd, neither of which fooled anyone into thinking he was actually going to finish the shot.  He had the ability to take St. John down at least two or three more times, but he knew he could simply stall and back up for the rest of the match and the official wouldn't start calling stalling until the last 30 seconds when it's meaningless anyway.

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I've been watching the sport for almost fifty years. People have been blaming the refs for much longer than that. It's possible more stalling was called in the 70s and 80s then the next couple of decades but I couldn't swear to it. And I suspect they call it more now than in the 50s/60s. When Denny Diehl wrote the book on Lehigh wrestling in the late 90s I helped him with the layout and a lot of the research. We weren't looking for this but found a notable lack of scoring in the 50s/60s (which was one of our best eras) and a peak in the 70s/80s. And that wasn't just Lehigh but opponents. Personally I think that the 70s saw the first generation of wrestlers that started much before HS. It seemed to be more concentrated on offense. As time went on and kids went to more camps and wrestled more in the off season they also learned more defense.

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I think this is an argument similar to politics or religion.  I don't see changing anyone's mind.  As has been posted often, stalling and lack of stall calls, has been a major complaint for as long as anyone can remember.  Short of adapting a shot clock/possession arrow like Basketball you aren't going to get rid of it.  You get 20 secs to shoot and score, if you don't your opponent gets a point.  Switch and repeat.  Would you really want something like that instead of what you have now?

 

Now as much as I argue against great defense being called stalling, there are "positions/situations" I would like to be CLEARLY defined as stalling. 

 

1.)Backing up.  If you take more than 2 steps straight back, STALLING.

2.)Going down to a knee when not even in contact with opponent.  How is this NOT called stalling?  When Waters did it against Garrett, I honestly started screaming at the TV.  This was also a big argument as to why people said a 1 legged Robles had an advantage.  By having the one leg he obviously didn't truly have an advantage.  However, he was allowed to wrestle a style that minimized his disadvantage, while maximizing his strength advantage.

3.)Ankle riding is clearly defined and timed.  Still, it needs to ALWAYS be enforced.

4.)Mat returns.  Isn't there a 5 second rule?  Call it CONSISTENTLY.

 

Everything else I can think of is too subjective. Handfighting can be viewed as "blocking" by a certain point of view.  Front headlock positions can be viewed as time wasters.  And so on.  In the end I don't mind defensive wrestling if they don't avoid contact.  Stay square to your opponent and don't back up.  You don't have to be wrecklessly offensive to not be stalling.  I understand scoring often entertains, but I don't want to see "sloppy" wrestling instead of solid positioning.

 

One last parting point I have seen on here multiple times: Schultz vs. Banach.  You often see and hear people talk about how great of a match that was.  Still, it was also one of the sloppiest matches I have ever seen.  Give credit to them, they both threw caution to the wind.  Still, they let themselves get into positions that a Junior High coach would have his kid doing up downs for a month after.  Simply put, I don't see high powered, offensive matches happening without sacrificing fundamental positioning that has made it so much harder to currently use offense to break through.

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Here are two scenarios:

 

Scenario A: wrestler A wins 4 NCAA titles finishes undefeated at 150-0.  Has 80 pins, 30 techs, 30 majors and 10 decisions.

Scenario B: wrestler B wins 4 NCAA titles finishes undefeated at 150-0.  Has 150 decision wins by a single point.

 

Either way you slice it, wrestler A, wrestler B are 4X national champions.  Does is matter the fashion in which they win.  Maybe to the forum posters, but certainly not as much to them.  

 

Just because wrestler B wins his first national title all via 1 point decisions, it is expected he comes back the following year and destroys the competition because if he was good enough to win it, he is good enough to dominate.  He then comes back his sophomore year and continues his close winning ways and people bash him for it.

 

In all honesty it doesn't matter.  If an NCAA wrestler has loss upon loss during the regular season and comes in and delivers at NCAA tournament time, and wins the whole dang thing he is the champ.  Dominance, lack of dominance, pins, decisions, techs, majors, it doesn't matter.  When your hand is raised at the end, you are the winner.

 

If, and a big if,  T-shirts wins 4 titles and you ask him after his final win, "who is the better 4 timer, you or Dake."  His likely response is, "it really doesn't matter."

Edited by VQLSWAIN

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If, and a big if,  T-shirts wins 4 titles and you ask him after his final win, "who is the better 4 timer, you or Dake."  His likely response is, "it really doesn't matter."

 

 

I would respond back to mister T-shirts, "That didn't answer the question posed. Now who do you think is better?"

 

Empirically, one of them will be better. 

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I would respond back to mister T-shirts, "That didn't answer the question posed. Now who do you think is better?"

 

Empirically, one of them will be better. 

That is true, he would probably say Dake was more dominant and may even concede that he is better.  In the grand scheme of things, it is pretty irrelevant.

Edited by VQLSWAIN

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"Empirically" speaking, there is NO right answer.  Unless they wrestled head to head, and even then there are arguments (see Dake vs. Taylor).  There is no real way to quantify who was better.  Sanderson went undefeated while winning 4 Championships.  He has the most clear argument.  Still of all 4 xers none of them were in the same weight classes, time frame or wrestled common opponents.

 

When it is all said and done it is 100% OPINION.  If I were a 4X Champ I don't think I would much care where a Forum thinks I fit in with the other 3(there are only 4 currently) or maybe other 5 or 6(as Stieber and Cox may have won 4 by the time Tsirstis may have done so).

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"Empirically" speaking, there is NO right answer.  Unless they wrestled head to head, and even then there are arguments (see Dake vs. Taylor).  There is no real way to quantify who was better.  Sanderson went undefeated while winning 4 Championships.  He has the most clear argument.  Still of all 4 xers none of them were in the same weight classes, time frame or wrestled common opponents.

 

When it is all said and done it is 100% OPINION.  If I were a 4X Champ I don't think I would much care where a Forum thinks I fit in with the other 3(there are only 4 currently) or maybe other 5 or 6(as Stieber and Cox may have won 4 by the time Tsirstis may have done so).

There are still arguments as to who was better, Taylor or Dake??

What world do I live in?

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