Monday, September 24, 2007

Goals for the season

The 2007-08 college wrestling season is fast approaching. Official practices begin this weekend for many schools and the first meets are just a few weeks away. If they haven’t already done so, wrestlers and teams will soon be setting season goals for themselves.

Why shouldn’t we fans also set goals for ourselves? I have.

I will help increase attendance at college meets all over the country.
I will help reverse the trend of wrestling program elimination – not just stop the elimination – but do anything I can to help schools add wrestling.
I will bring new fans to the sport.

Right now I’ll bet you’re wondering – “How does this short, fat, middle-aged goofball in Cedar Rapids, Iowa think he can have any impact on college wrestling?” Darn good question. The first step is to stop asking myself that very question and just start doing every little thing I can think of to reach my goals. I took my first step Friday. I bought two more Hawkeye season tickets than I have in the past. I’ll give those away for some meets and take a couple of extra kids to others.

Today’s blog is the second step in reaching my goals. I’m drafting you to help. Please join me. If you’re tough enough to take on these challenges – here are some things you can do.

Buy season tickets. This seems like such a simple thing, but I know that there are some of you who don’t support your favorite team or sport by doing it. If college administrations start to see an increase in both revenue and attendance they’ll find it harder to eliminate teams so nonchalantly. If you already regularly get season tickets, get two extra this year. If you’re one of my few readers who isn’t really a wrestling fan, but you want to help me “tilt at this windmill”, buy a season ticket or two at the nearest college with a wrestling team, send it to me and I’ll see that a kid gets it.

Attend more meets. I live in a hotbed (maybe THE hotbed) of college wrestling. I can walk to Coe College meets from my house and have to drive less than 2 hours to attend events at Wartburg, UNI, Loras, Luther, William Penn, Cornell and Augustana. In addition to my normal Hawkeye schedule I have vowed to attend at least 5 more events at a variety of these schools. For my readers in the Midwest – remember – both the Division II and Division III nationals will be held in Cedar Rapids on back-to-back weekends this year.

Buy tickets or attend the NWCA All-Star meet. The National Wrestling Coaches Association is using their annual all-star meet as a tool to fight the elimination of wrestling at the University of Oregon. The event will be Monday, November 19th at McArthur Court in Eugene, OR. You can order your tickets by calling (541)346-4461. If you cannot attend, but still want to support the meet – just order the tickets (2 reserved seats will only cost you $30), send them to me and I’ll get them into the hands of someone that can go.

Send this blog to a friend. I currently have about 400 regular readers (the issue about Danielle Hobeika drew 650 views). Copy the link to that got you here and email it to a friend – or five.

Give to Save Oregon Wrestling. A group of dedicated enthusiasts are working hard to save the University of Oregon wrestling team. Go to and find out how you can help.

Support Eastern Illinois Wrestling. William Perry, the new president at Eastern Illinois University has agreed to consider a proposal to reinstate the wrestling team. You can email your support for this proposal to

Support Grandview College Wrestling. Last week Grandview College in Des Moines announced the likely addition of a wrestling team in the 2008-09 season. Email your support of this action to athletic director Troy Plummer at

Support “Giving Nationwide”. While not specific to college wrestling, The Oregon Wrestling Forum has developed “Giving Nationwide”. The concept is simple – any wrestling organization can post its’ specific needs (money, mats, headgear, etc) on the site. Current listings range from kids’ clubs to a university that is trying to start a club team. Check it out at

Come on folks – let’s all work to make this the most successful college wrestling season ever.

By the way – if, as I have suggested above, you need my help in distributing tickets, email me at and I’ll send you my address.

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