Category Archives: How Wrestling Wins

Pat Smith, One of the Greatest

Was Pat Smith the first 4-time NCAA Champion; absolutely! What he accomplished was certainly akin to what Roger Banister did in 1954, shattering the track and field myth that said, a sub four-minute mile was impossible. Pat wasn’t the first wrestler to ever set 4 titles as a goal, but he was the first one… Read More »

Wrestling Beware

It appears there’s a strong possibility that collegiate athletics are about to see some major changes. The California State Assembly voted 73-0 in favor of State Bill 206, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, which is a proposed law that would allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness,… Read More »

Final X Matches

Dake v. Deiringer For those who attended the Final X competition between Kyle Dake and Alex Deiringer, the entry fee of $10.00 was $9.50 more than it should have been. To be clear, what I’m about to write, has nothing to do with the quality, skill, intelligence or level of sportsmanship regarding either of these… Read More »

Jim Phillips; and Weight Classes  

Jim Phillips Rest in Peace my dear friend; was not only what my heart said when I heard of Jim’s passing, but also the opinion of everyone who knew Coach Phillips. The mark of greatness, for any human being, is his or her ability to make others smile, and feel fortunate for having known the… Read More »

The NCAA Championships

The city of Pittsburgh did a wonderful job hosting the event. From friendly, helpful airport greeters to welcome banners hanging on seemingly every lamp post in the city. Everything Pittsburgh did said, “welcome, and thank you for visiting,” and the Steel City did us right. The arena where we wrestled and the Penguins play, was… Read More »

Where We Fail, Part II

Before I cover the next two “must do’s” in order to make the sport fun to watch, by those who don’t attend, here’s another item that chafes my posterior. How can we grow and become mainstream, without being smart enough to see that which is poisoning our water? Instead of writing a feel-good blog about… Read More »

Where We Fail

I believe most of you are becoming more and more aware of how precarious the sport of wrestling is, relative to becoming main stream. It’s not that we’re not one of the most dynamic sports on the planet or that we somehow fail at building character, discipline and exceptional young men. Those pluses are a… Read More »

Keep Your Fork

My mother shared this story with me as she was in failing health. Now as I’m closing in on my golden years, her words have become even more meaningful, and her message more poignant. I thought you might like it, and I hope I can do it justice. There was once a young woman who… Read More »

To hair, or not to hair, that is the question.

The national media has been reporting extensively on the Buena High School wrestler who was required to cut his hair or forfeit the match. Whether the incident reveals racial bias, that might be a stretch. But it is where the country is right now. To begin, rules are rules, if you don’t like them, change… Read More »

World Freestyle Championships

It was a wonderful showing for the Red, White and Blue. Besides the level of class that each of our athletes demonstrated off the mat, 7 of the 10 came home with medals. Not too shabby, but the best year we ever had was in 1987 with 8 medalists. That was when Barry Davis won… Read More »

Rest in Peace

Last week the sport lost one of the finest men to ever walk on a wrestling mat. Mike Milkovich. There was so much more to Mike than just raising a wonderful family or winning championships. He made the rest of the country sit up and take notice relative to promoting the sport. A consummate gentleman,… Read More »

Wrestling’s Attendance Numbers

Just back from a few MMA clinics in Europe and it’s good to be home. I’ve missed my readership but I’ve also been tied up with my novel. I hope everyone is doing well. Let me begin with the health of wrestling on the collegiate level, which means, the health of all wrestling. Nothing explains… Read More »

Eastern Michigan Drop Wrestling

I think we need to pay closer attention to what is happening. With the loss of EMU, a year after Boise State, which followed on the heels of, well, you get the idea. Every time we have an NCAA Championship, it seems we receive more bad news about some institution or institutions deciding to discontinue wrestling.… Read More »

Observations from the NCAA’s

I was honored to once again be part of the Semi-Final Preview Show at the WIN Memorabilia Show. During one of the segments, I mentioned that Iowa is going to have a very rough time of it getting back to the days of Gable. One gentleman, in particular, took offense at my observation. He challenged… Read More »

The Penn State, Ohio State Dual

A truly outstanding meet with the sport being the ultimate winner. Well, sort of, kind of, well, not really. The very first thing I noticed when I turned to the Big Ten Network 15 minutes before airtime was a Penn State-Iowa basketball game that was taking place in the Bryce Jordan Center. I said, “what,… Read More »

Atta-Boy Rich

It’s only fair that I come out of retirement for this particular blog to congratulate USAWrestling and their staff for a wonderful championship performance. World Champions! It was great fun getting to watch all the amazing competition and the various storylines unfold. To all who gave of themselves to make this happen . . .… Read More »

Boise State

Wrestling’s Loss I was saddened to read the President of Boise State’s review of his wrestling program and the stated reasons for discontinuing the sport, plus the pledge to keep the program on the sidelines as long as he’s in his role as head of the university. The reasons he used for his decision included… Read More »

IOC Cuts Wrestling Participation

The International Olympic Committee recently announced sweeping changes to its program for the 2020 Tokyo Games and presumably on into the future, trimming the field for wrestling by 56 competitors across the three divisions. What this means to us is one of two things. Either there will be 5 weight classes instead of the current… Read More »

Wrestle Where You Belong

If we look for any additional benefits that might arise from adopting a point earned is a team point scored system that I covered in a previous blog, (on the right) it’s that schools would be compelled to wrestle where they belong. I’ll explain. No one knows better than I how objectionable what I’m about… Read More »

Mea Culpa

I’ve received a few comments over the last year asking if I might consider spending more time on stories that uplift. And believe me when I say, nothing would please me more. But our desire to read about wrestling’s glass being half full comes at the expense of knowing that it’s also half empty. We… Read More »

Boise State, another Casualty of Ignorance

The struggle before us is enormous and the fight begins with words that I hope will help us navigate through that which is holds us back. As you know, wrestling is taking a beating and for some reason we’re still cheering. I’m not sure what we’re cheering about; it could be the great wrestling we’ve seen… Read More »

Years to Remember

This is how I remember high school wrestling where I lived; packed gyms and enthusiastic crowds. The photo is representative of a typical District Championship in the state, a week before Regionals and two before States. During these golden days of wrestling in Pennsylvania if you were lucky enough to snag a pair of tickets… Read More »

The NCAA Tournament

What’s not to like; certainly not the wrestling. The competitors did their job and the fans responded in kind. For me, the real fun began in the semi’s when the number one seeds in the first two weights found themselves in the consolation bracket; and then in the finals when two out of three wrestlers… Read More »

Why Not

There is little question that wrestlers are America’s cream of the crop when it comes to being the toughest and best conditioned athletes. This image we’ve earned is really something to be proud of – but, with this comes, responsibilities. The first is to be aware that society tends to believe that anyone who falls… Read More »

NBC Coverage, Not

The following article appeared recently in FloWrestling which I find consistently to be the sports leader in original journalism. They always cover stories that others shy away from with a writing style that is always smart and crisp. __________________________________________ Recently, United World Wrestling announced a multi-year partnership with NBC Sports — an agreement that will… Read More »

Have You Ever Seen A Time When

The swearing in of the next President of the United States involved two men who sharpened personal skills in the sport of wrestling: Donald J. Trump and Chief Justice John Roberts. It certainly was a memorable day for the country and the sport. Intermat; Foley’s Mail Bag The following question was recently asked of T.R.… Read More »

Child Abuse or Child Development

Wrestling is still wearing its shirt inside out, and our leadership seems to be okay with the look. Somehow they feel it’s fashionable to show everyone ragged seams and a wrinkled tag when it comes to the sport in general, and specifically for this blog; youth wrestling. So as I attempt to turn everything right… Read More »

A Potpourri of thoughts . . .

Did you know . . . That the average roster size for college programs has shrunk in size from 37 wrestlers in 1975 to 23 today? Scholastically almost 1/3rd of all high school matches are forfeits. Yet the sports leadership, at all levels, is operating under the assertion that all is well. There isn’t a single… Read More »

Last Words on Rio

Should the IOC Keep Wrestling in the Olympics Of course they should, but will they? After you read this you decide. But to start, I’d like to take my hat off to Martin Floreani and FloWrestling. They’re the only media outlet we have that has the nerve to do investigative pieces in areas that wrestling would… Read More »