Here I sit. October 7th, 2018, after quite a long drought of wrestling. Sure, there’s been a tournament here or there, but mostly, nothing since the World Trials. And yet, we’re finally entering the home stretch where it’s no longer too early to talk about the World Championships, immediately following Worlds, we have the AWL (Amateur Wrestling League) draft, and the NWCA All Star Classic, following that, which is basically the kick off of the college wrestling season, which means sometime between now and then, I’ll need to draft my fantasy wrestling team. Anyway, I just wanted to share a couple thoughts headed into what will surely be an exciting stretch of wrestling.
First of all, these World Championships will be amazing. Sure, we’ve got what we’ve always wanted, with the addition of these weights, we can finally have all of our guys on the team. Dake, Taylor, Green, Cox, Stieber, etc… To go along with the rest of the crew. BDI reminded me that Taylor has beaten everyone on the planet at 86kgs, except for Cox, in the last two years. It’s be exciting to see him finally make his debut, along with Dake, who I expect will have an unusually dominant walk through Worlds. I’m super excited to watch this whole US team though. Top to bottom, you can make a case for us having a medal contender, and many of them are world champion caliber wrestlers. Then you’ve got the additional story lines, will we get Burroughs v Chamizo again, or Snyder v Sadulaev again, or Taylor v Yazdani again? Can the US win back to back world team championships? Can James Green finally get the world title that he’s been so close to? Will Joe Colon unleash his prison strength on the world? This will be exciting, and I can’t wait for it all to get going.
The NWCA All Star Classic will be awesome this year. Sure, there are only a few entrants that have been announced, but the event always delivers. Also, it’s being hosted by our spotlight team, University of Northern Colorado, so having some behind the scenes discussions with them about the event will be cool as well. Also, I really like seeing these random posts for the eligible AWL wrestlers for the draft. Sammy Brooks, Isaiah Martinez, Frank Molinaro, Bryce Meredith, Alex Dieringer, it’s a loaded senior level draft, and should be a blast to watch. Especially with team captains, Kyle Dake and David Taylor. Anytime we can get those two going head to head, I’m in, even if it isn’t on the mat. I’d watch Dave v Taylor in a best of seven Connect Four match up. More interesting though, is how many completely stacked teams there are in college wrestling this season. I don’t remember a time when there have been this many loaded lineups. Penn State, sure, but after the defending champs, we’ve got Oklahoma State, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, NC State, and Ohio State, with DEEP and dangerous lineups. There should also be a couple teams trying to claw their way back into relevancy. Michigan State and Oklahoma come to mind as teams that haven’t performed to their historically high standards, but who I believe are well on their way up, and will open some eyes this season. Finally, this all will end in Pittsburgh. I’ve spent some time in Pitt while visiting friends in college, and it was fun when I had no money and wasn’t 21, so I can only imagine what it’ll be like as an adult! This will truly be a college season to remember, and I couldn’t be more excited to get started.
Lastly, I needed to take a moment to answer the best Twitter question that I’ve ever been asked to date. Our friend “@JerseyHokie29” asked us “which would be the hardest animal to wrestle, grizzly bear, gorilla, or giant octopus?” At first thought, Giant Octopus seemed like the right answer, I mean, 8 arms, weird sucker things, and a mouth with a toothed tongue that can inject small amounts of poison. Then I remembered, you can’t bite anyone in a wrestling match, so that limits what the octopus could do, and the term giant is a little misleading. It’s “giant” in relation to other octopus, but the average “giant” pacific octopus weighs about 33 pounds with an arm span around 14 feet. I’d be shocked and befuddled if I couldn’t beat a 33 pound octopus, on a wrestling mat, when it’s not allowed to bite me. Grizzly bear seems like the next logical choice, and in doing some research, I learned that was in fact the right answer. Assuming weight classes aren’t a thing in this match up, bears are simply bigger than gorillas, and despite gorillas being very strong, overall a bear is stronger. In my research, I learned that the general consensus is that a grizzly wins a fight with a silver back gorilla 9 times out of 10, and so therefore, I trust it would also be a better wrestler. I also read a story about a grizzly fighting a moose, where the bear got one good right hook in, and decapitated the moose. That’s all I need to declare the grizzly bear the champion. To sum up, I can beat a giant octopus, I can’t beat a gorilla or a grizzly bear, but I REALLY can’t beat a grizzly bear, and probably nobody can… Except for Dan Gable.