As a kid, I grew up like most sports-crazed young fella who was going to be the first guy to play in the NFL, pitch in the major leagues, and win Olympic Gold medals in multiple events. As a son of a coach though, wrestling in tournaments became routine and axiomatic.
Now as an adult, well in legal terms at least, I question everything I do. Wrestling though, answers every challenge to where my continued involvement is necessary. I've been the wrestler on the mat getting the cheers, getting the boo's (which I prefer), the coach lifting a kid in elation, the coach with a crying kid on his shoulder, the fan in the stands losing his voice from yelling, and the ref seeing the elation on a kid's face when he pulls off a win.
The one on one combat is better than any movie you could rent, and any Broadway show with excellent seats. We may never be the biggest community in the world, but asking the majority of people to understand the soul wrenching time between the whistles is probably too much.
Wrestling should give itself more credit though. Last year, over 19,000 people in Madison Square Garden roared at the sight of Kyle Snyder riding out one of the best collegiate heavyweights of all time before getting a re-shot takedown to win in overtime. While that will be a match described decades from now, it's very difficult to label a sport "fringe" that can pull off such a feat.
This weekend St Louis will sell out their arena with hundreds of story lines in the most attended wrestling tournament in the world. It's a well oiled machine, and one that should be celebrated. Enjoy this. Your love and appreciation for wrestling is something truly special.