Monday, October 8, 2007

6 things that are good for wrestling


Martin Floreani must certainly be working harder than anyone in the country to promote wrestling. If you’re a wrestling fan and haven’t yet been to - go now. It’s a treasure trove of match videos (including the 1972 Olympics), unique interviews, photographs and articles. Martin’s series of video interviews with national team members and coaches leading up to Baku were stirring.

Here’s a sample.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum

This is a “must visit” for any wrestling fan. The Hall of Fame not only recognizes the accomplishments of America’s greatest competitors, it honors great Americans for whom wrestling was an important part of their lives.

IPTV, CSTV and The Big Ten Network

Iowa Public Television has broadcast college wrestling for over 25 hours. Thanks to them tens of thousands of potential fans have been able to see John Smith, Randy Lewis, Cael Sanderson, and the Brands brothers wrestle.

College wrestling has never been primary fare on sports television. The few matches that are carried by IPTV, CSTV and The Big Ten Network (if they can stop fighting with the cable companies) are bread for the starving.

The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum

Mike Chapman, the museum’s director and curator may well be the sport’s top historian. Like the Hall of Fame this is a “must visit”. Don’t let the name fool you. It really isn’t entirely about Dan. In fact, the area dedicated to “old time” professional wrestling is one of my favorites (my grandmother loved The Crusher).

If you’re traveling to National Duals in Cedar Falls or the Division II or Division III national tournaments in Cedar Rapids this season, be sure to include a trip to the museum.

Women’s Freestyle

Women’s freestyle wrestling became an Olympic medal event in 2004. Its’ success will only benefit all aspects of the sport. One more wall of prejudice is being destroyed and opportunities for girls and women to participate in the “world’s oldest and greatest sport” are growing. The pioneering Tricia Saunders is a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and wrestlers like Kristie Marano, Sara McMann and Patricia Miranda are medalling on the world stage.

Internet “Magazines” & “Newspapers”

For years local newspapers were the only source of information the casual wrestling fan had. Sadly, many of the writers didn’t know a takedown from takeout Chinese. The internet provides a medium for talented, knowledgeable writers like Jason Bryant, Mark Palmer, Stephen Stonebraker and others to “publish” interesting articles that can help bring new fans to the sport and convert casual fans into true “wrestling geeks”.

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