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Rick's rant

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no tournaments suck for fans and suck for tv i cant stand watching the split screen for the semis on espn

 

duals perfect for tv

The NCAAs and Olympics do suck for fans.  Let's switch to duals, then just sit back and watch the money flow in. Can't wait.

 

The product is a bigger problem than the format.  I've watched a dozen or so duals on tv or streaming this year - even amongst the top teams, there is often very few attempts to shoot, and even fewer legit attempts to turn an opponent.  Its often far to boring to become even close to mainstream.  The current NCAA product can't even hold the attention of former HS wrestlers, they'd rather watch MMA.  Live in whatever delusion you all want, but the fact that a few thousand people in Iowa showed up to watch Iowa wrestle Cornell (as if there is anything else to do in Iowa this time of year anyway) doesn't show anything, imo.

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The product is a bigger problem than the format.  I've watched a dozen or so duals on tv or streaming this year - even amongst the top teams, there is often very few attempts to shoot, and even fewer legit attempts to turn an opponent.  Its often far to boring to become even close to mainstream.  The current NCAA product can't even hold the attention of former HS wrestlers, they'd rather watch MMA.  Live in whatever delusion you all want, but the fact that a few thousand people in Iowa showed up to watch Iowa wrestle Cornell (as if there is anything else to do in Iowa this time of year anyway) doesn't show anything, imo.

 

 

I can get parents of youth wrestler to watch duals. They enjoy them. I can get ex-high school wrestlers to watch duals. They enjoy them. I can not get either group to watch tournaments. Neither group could name more than a few wrestlers but they could all tell you which team they cheer for. It takes too much time to learn all the athletes names. Just let them cheer blindly for a team.

 As an ex high school wrestler, who had no intention of wrestling in college, I do not see this as being a statement that can just be thrown around like that. I love college wrestling. I know the majority of the ranked wrestlers, follow many teams (my favorite being PSU, but I was a fan preCael so I am not a bandwagon type), and read at least 10-15hours throughout each week about it. I have a feww friends I went to highschool with who are more casual fans than I am, but still can tell you more just a few wrestlers. I think if more duals were readily accessible to watch, casual fans would become dedicated fans and more former wrestlers would have more incentive to keep up with the sport. With so little coverage available without having to pay for multiple services on top of cable bills, most find it difficult to stay dedicated. If more coverage were given, fans would increase. I do not think the system is broken and the sport is dying. I don't think any of the "solutions" posted will change the size of fan bases. That includes rule changes. We just need more accessible coverage. Even if it's not live and shown later in the evening. I never had an interest in soccer, but when i was in college and up all night and there was nothing on, I became a casual fan for a few years. I barely get to watch any matches. With as dedicated as I am now, I am sure even my interest would increase with more duals/tournaments on TV. I wouldn't just be reading up on what happened in each match, but would be more familar with the strengths and weaknesses of wrestlers. That's my biggest problem with the sport. How can you grow fans when TV refuses to televise more than a few matches a year. You can't keep new fans if they can't watch the matches. If you don't live close to schools, you won't drive for hours to watch a match and you won't pay BTNgo or FLO if you are a new fan.

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Here are a few indisputable facts about what happened yesterday. 

 

1. So far there have been 6 duals. 4 of them have been BLOWOUTS. Only two were even close.

 

2. Attendance for the semi finals was sparse. Some of the stands were folded up. Complete sections were empty. Other sections half  to two thirds filled. 

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SHP- I edited my post, I was wrong. Now if you could go ahead and please do me a favor and spread the word amung wrestling broadcasters that there is no X in the word escape, that would be great.

jstock, I think a duel tournament would be great. Pistols, swords, torches, and seconds all sound like great ideas! The coaching staffs of Iowa and Cornell very nearly got it to that point...

 

Oh, wait, you meant "dual". Never mind! #petpeeve

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TBar- the event organizers have to put more thought into the date of the event. There were fewer butts in the seats because this was Iowa state finals weekend. B1G viewers were also limited because of the HighSchool post season in most states. They need to move the event back a few weeks.

Here are a few indisputable facts about what happened yesterday. 

 

1. So far there have been 6 duals. 4 of them have been BLOWOUTS. Only two were even close.

 

2. Attendance for the semi finals was sparse. Some of the stands were folded up. Complete sections were empty. Other sections half  to two thirds filled.

 

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TBar- the event organizers have to put more thought into the date of the event. There were fewer butts in the seats because this was Iowa state finals weekend. B1G viewers were also limited because of the HighSchool post season in most states. They need to move the event back a few weeks.

 

 

Many of the empty seats probably belonged to the losing team's fanbase. Hard to work around that problem. 

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TBar, you weren't there, so speaking about the attendance is something you would not be an authority on in this case

 

Repeating a factual inaccuracy enough won't make it become a fact. We get it, but don't provide false information to the people to prove your point, especially when factual numbers were given by people other than the NWCA

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TBar, you weren't there, so speaking about the attendance is something you would not be an authority on in this case

 

Repeating a factual inaccuracy enough won't make it become a fact. We get it, but don't provide false information to the people to prove your point, especially when factual numbers were given by people other than the NWCA

 

 

You're right. I acknowledged as much in another thread and will do the same here. I mispoke and don't know the actual attendance numbers. 

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Thanks for the good discussion on the column. That is all I was hoping for and i respect everyones opinion on the issue. I hope everyone can see the excitement and value for wrestling we saw in Iowa City this weekend. The dual needs to be more important in college wrestling. it will only help the sport grow. 

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considering a home rutgers dual out drew the 2nd biggest tournament of the year on the same day, i dont think we have to worry about fans staying away because they prefer tournies over duals. 

 

but its not about butts in the seats, its eyeballs on the screen. wrestling needs more national exposure and media coverage, and its not going to get it without changing. im far more worries about staying the course than a potential backfiring. as long as the individual tournament is still held wrestlers will compete and fans will care. 

JH........ yes wrestling needs more butts in the seats and watching on TV..This I agree with. What we may disagree on is HOW this can happen.

The way to TRY and do this IMO..... Stalling is so prevalent wrestling has become VERY boring. Refs calling "stalemate" every time you turn around is a BIG part of the stalling problem.

Wrestlers should be forced to wrestle or be penalized. I see a "stalemate" call as a REWARD for wrestlers not wrestling.

Wrestlers should be REQUIRED to constantly improve their position or be called and penalized.

STALLING is killing wrestling IMO.

You are right we can not "stay the course"..... look at the finals scores from 20-30 years ago...... Wrestlers were attacking.

Now days more matches are won by the best staller.......maybe we need a "Best Staller" award.

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I'm a big proponent of the duals.  So is Rob Koll.  It was not a good look by Rob Koll to FFT the HWT match in the semifinal against Iowa.  it hasn't been discussed much, but it should be.  I would be in favor of the Duals being the NCAA Team Championship, so please remember that.

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Thanks for the good discussion on the column. That is all I was hoping for and i respect everyones opinion on the issue. I hope everyone can see the excitement and value for wrestling we saw in Iowa City this weekend. The dual needs to be more important in college wrestling. it will only help the sport grow. 

Richard, with a "National Title" on the line the best that could be accomplished was a half full venue. And this at the school that yearly has the best attended duals. I think we will see regular season duals continue to draw poorly unless you have top rated teams competing at top venues. Duals are important they serve a purpose. But attendance will continue to be weak.

Over and over I have seen people go to meets WHILE THEIR SONS ARE PARTICIPATING. Once their sons are no longer participating you never see them at a meet again. Sadly we have a small following.

Iowa States were over Sat. Sun was still half full. Actually Sunday attendance was lower than Saturday was it not?

Edited by AKHUNTER

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I'm a big proponent of the duals.  So is Rob Koll.  It was not a good look by Rob Koll to FFT the HWT match in the semifinal against Iowa.  it hasn't been discussed much, but it should be.  I would be in favor of the Duals being the NCAA Team Championship, so please remember that.

He already explained this - dual out of reach, his HWT has been hurt and they don't have a back up.  He'd have been dumb to send him out there.

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I don't think it's dual or tournament formatting that will save the sport. Only "bout action" will do the trick. Two cats on a fence with a dual format or tourney format is still two cats on a fence. If (somehow) you could get wrestlers to fear the rules system to the extent that they don't dare get a stall call, then you'll see action, and "any" venue or format will be a success and so will the sport.

 

We have to get away from tournaments/duals as the solution. Maybe duals are somewhat of an answer, but the big picture is the small one: the two wrestlers in the circle. It's the way wrestlers wrestle that is killing the sport.

 

I don't have the specific answer, but I'm willing to bet that wrestling's success hinges directly on making stalling extremely well-defined and punishing the staller to such a degree that it will happen only rarely (no, not an electric fence, baseball bat, violence). Use your imagination. What is it that will make wrestlers respond enough to turn every match into a high scoring affair?

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JH........ yes wrestling needs more butts in the seats and watching on TV..This I agree with. What we may disagree on is HOW this can happen.

The way to TRY and do this IMO..... Stalling is so prevalent wrestling has become VERY boring. Refs calling "stalemate" every time you turn around is a BIG part of the stalling problem.

Wrestlers should be forced to wrestle or be penalized. I see a "stalemate" call as a REWARD for wrestlers not wrestling.

Wrestlers should be REQUIRED to constantly improve their position or be called and penalized.

STALLING is killing wrestling IMO.

You are right we can not "stay the course"..... look at the finals scores from 20-30 years ago...... Wrestlers were attacking.

Now days more matches are won by the best staller.......maybe we need a "Best Staller" award.

i agree there is room to improve the product on the mat as well. i think that should be done in conjunction with improving the format in which the product is delivered. 

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We don't need punishment for a lack of action -- we need points for action and we need showmanship at the duals.  Thousands of Robin Fickers would be great. 

Add more and easier scoring.  I don't know how many times I have seen an even matchup with one guy initiating great action three or more times only to end up tied 0-0, 1-1 or worse losing on riding time 2-1.  If you initiate and put your opponent on the mat -- that's a point.  If you finish, that's  two more for you.  If he finishes, its one for him.  Add a push out rule and you have action.

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Richard, with a "National Title" on the line the best that could be accomplished was a half full venue. 

oh come on. "National Title"? it was a regular season dual tournament that counts as much towards an actual national title as winning the VA Duals or the Southern Scuffle. you know this and everyone who follows wrestling knows this. 

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oh come on. "National Title"? it was a regular season dual tournament that counts as much towards an actual national title as winning the VA Duals or the Southern Scuffle. you know this and everyone who follows wrestling knows this. 

uh..what is the name of the tournament?In reality it is a "national" tournament.......... a National INVITATIONAL tournament....were not ALL the top teams invited?

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uh..what is the name of the tournament?In reality it is a "national" tournament.......... a National INVITATIONAL tournament....were not ALL the top teams invited?

 

And do the champions not call themselves the dual meet national champs?

 

I think they do.

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