I know that it's small font, so I'll re-write it here. "I love to sweat, work and practice... and win, but to sweat, work and practice... and lose I can't see that at all!" Looking back, I wish that I had taken more pride in the time I spent training and working to get better. I guess I assumed everyone was as committed as I was to working to win, because why wouldn't they be? Sadly, nobody had shared this quote with me, and I didn't let the work I had put in show through me on the mat. That's enough about me. Let's talk about Lee Kemp. Leroy Kemp Jr. is one of the most bad ass men on the planet. He won 3 world championships, and would have won an Olympic Gold medal as well had the 1980 Olympics not been boycotted. It needs to also be noted that he only lost three matches in college, all during his true freshman year, when he took second in the country on a referee's split decision. Next time you get mad about riding time or a push out stalling call, just remember that OT used to be decided by the referee deciding who won. It's not so bad these days.
"Measure a man by the opposition it takes to discourage him". I'm a big fan of quotes, and this is one that I am certainly going to incorporate into my life. I wish my calves were strong enough to hold my socks up. They aren't. That's discouraging. Most people know of Lee Kemp having defeated Dan Gable at the Midlands tournament when he was 18. If you didn't know that until now, 18 year old Lee Kemp beat 1972 Olympic Champion (who nobody scored on during that tournament) Dan Gable, in 1975 at Midlands.
Remember a couple years ago when nobody thought that TJ Dudley had a chance against David Taylor? Just know that crazier things have happened. Continuing, Lee Kemp was the youngest World Champion for the US at 21 years old in 1978, which lasted until Kyle Snyder broke that record in 2015. Lee was a four time World Cup Champion, seven time United States Freestyle National Champion, and three time World Champion (one time world bronze medalist). It's probably not hard to believe that he is exceptionally successful in the business world as well. He is the co-founder and President of FORZA Technologies, which is the official corporate sponser of USA Wrestling and it's National teams. Leroy Kemp Jr, names after his adopted Father Leroy Kemp Sr, won 7 World Class Gold Medals from 1978 - 1987.
Lee Kemp needs to be brought up in conversation more often as one of the greatest. He was Jordan Burroughs before Jordan Burroughs. He's Kevin Jackson before Kevin Jackson. He is, and was a trail blazer, and we are lucky to have him continue to be involved in wrestling and promoting the sport.
Iowa State has two of the greatest coaches of all time. They just don't coach at Iowa State.
Damn those Iowa State robes are outstanding! Quick thought, what if Dan Gable came back and coached Iowa State? Is that an option? Please? I just thought it would be interesting to quickly recognize how we are in the beginning phases of Cael Sanderson's Gable-esque coaching run. Gable started strong, as an Assistant with Iowa, they won two National Championships. These were the first two National Championships in program history. Dan Gable won 11 National Titles in his first 12 years at the University of Iowa, and 9 in a row, beginning in his Sophomore season as Head Coach. He also won Big Ten Championships for more than two decades in a row. Cael's record isn't quite as strong, but that's what happens with time. Competition gets stronger, all time records get tougher to chase down, and consecutive National and Big Ten championships are more difficult to win. With less programs, the other teams are naturally stronger as talent has less places to go than they did back in the 80's. With that being said, Cael has won 5 of the last 6 National Championships. Before Cael arrived in Happy Valley, Penn State had only won the NCAA Title in 1953. Now they rank 5th all time in number of team Championships won. The scariest part of the "rebuilding" that Cael's Nittany Lions have recently undergone, is that their only Senior in the lineup is Gulibon. The rest of the lineup will return bigger, harder, faster, and stronger (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLYD_-A_X5E) than they do this year, where I anticipate they place second at NCAA's.
It's just important to celebrate Oklahoma State's probable NCAA Title this year, because I anticipate a strong run of Nittany Lion National Championships in the years to come. Get ready for the age of Cael, and another Iowa State Alumni coaching their team, that isn't Iowa State, to numerous National Titles.
Wrestling Shoe Update, Adidas is making moves
So everyone loves Combat Speed's. They were my favorite shoes before I even owned a pair, and I traded most of my Michigan National Team gear to some dude in Fargo for a pair of size 11.5 Combat Speeds. I wear a size 10, and I was confident at the time that it was a fair trade. It's cool that Adidas finally recognized their golden goose was to bring these back, and I'm happy now that they are updating them in ways that doesn't simply involve changing the colors. In June of this Summer, Adidas is releasing the Combat Speed 5's, and the the new Varners. Most people have probably noticed them on some College teams by now, and the Jordan Oliver was rocking these new Combat Speed's at the Dave Schultz this last week. Wrestling shoes appear to go in waves. They come out, a couple months later there are new colors, followed by more new colors, followed by making a new one, or eliminating it all together if it sucked. It's like what they are doing right now with their Impacts.
Basically I'm like a small child. When I was a kid, I needed to grab a lightsaber if I was watching Star Wars, and now that I'm an adult, I need to put on wrestling shoes if I'm watching wrestling. It's pretty great actually. I'm not tired when it's over, and I don't need to be in good shape at all! These updated Varner's look pretty logit as well. With the success of Asics Aggresors, and how well received the full grip bottoms went, I see these new Varner's, and the David Taylor Mat Wizards as their counter punch. Either way, it's fun to watch this stuff, and to see how the shoe game will continue to develop.