Wrestling is in absolute jeopardy of no longer being an NCAA sport by the end of this decade. But amazingly, it also has the ability to become one of America’s staples in the sports entertainment industry. Actually it’s the only sport I’m aware of that has that capability; and my reason for writing this manifesto.
Everyone must understand the absolute truth about where the sport is going; and stop listening to what leadership is telling everyone. The truth is somewhere closer to 180 degrees away from where we’re headed.
So I view my words here as a responsibility, an IOU fulfillment of debts I incurred growing up in wrestling. Without a father at home, the sport provided an unending supply of role models that illuminated the path I traveled. It gave me the ability to put food on my families table, cloths on my children’s backs and a roof over our heads. I owe it far more than I can ever repay and it’s what keeps me up at night.
But be forewarned. Today’s leadership is going to say How Wrestling Wins is nothing more than a collection of out of the box viewpoints and over-the-top ideas. I’m actually expecting this because it’s the only way leadership can possibly quiet the whispers this read will launch.
I begin by reminding everyone how special and amazing the sport of wrestling is and follow that with a computation of our failings, from leadership’s unwillingness to embrace change to our community’s apparent indifference to our decline. But I spend most of my time writing about the importance of spectators and how we attract them; because without a continuous stream of reoccurring revenue the sport will disappear.
Unfortunately, nothing you read here will come to pass. It’s just an undeniable absolute that for change to occur, those who lead must see the need for that change and have the willingness to endure the discomfort of change. That just isn’t going to happen.
So in the interim, please enjoy the read. Just as great photographers shoot the same scenery as amateurs, the difference between run-of-the-mill and great are the angles they select, the lighting they use and the composition they choose. I’ll let you decide who’s right when you’re done reading but given leaderships history of using slower shutter speeds, all you can be assured of receiving from them are blurry outcomes?
Each week I will post one segment after another until the total work is in print.