Monday, April 21, 2008

Don't know much about history

Don’t know much about history

I swapped a couple of emails with Mark Palmer Saturday. Mark is a staff writer for whose Rev Rewind articles are among my favorite writings about the history of wrestling. (Mark’s latest is about Harold Henson, the first African-American to wrestle in the NCAA championships:

From our online discussions came a question, “Just how important is it for young wrestlers and fans to know the history of the oldest sport in the world?” Is it even important at all?

Certainly a young athlete doesn’t have to know that Wade Schalles pinned 530 opponents in his career to learn how to use the “spladle” – the pinning move that was invented and perfected by Schalles – and knowing the facts of Wade’s career won’t make the athlete’s “spladle” any more effective. However, knowing the full scope of Schalles’ accomplishments can give a young competitor something aspire to.

(For a synopsis of Wade Schalles career, see his National Wrestling Hall of Fame Distinguished Member biography at

The future growth of the sport must be built upon a respect for its’ past. I’ve encountered far too many young wrestlers and fans that don’t know of Lee Kemp’s impressive resume. To paraphrase a comment made by Mark in one of his emails, we may one day have a Hodge Trophy winner that won’t be able to tell us after whom the trophy is named. Here’s some help:

Dan Hodge, probably in the 1957 NCAA finals

What about international wrestling? Should this generation of American fan or competitor bother to learn about the greats from the past in other countries? Keep in mind as you watch this next match that Sergei Beloglazov was a 2X Olympic Gold Medallist, 6X World Champion and 2X World Silver Medallist and that John Smith won the Olympic Gold twice and the World Championship 4 times. This is true greatness.

Have you decided to learn more about the history the “world’s oldest and greatest sport? Good! Here are some places to start.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum

The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute
You can order all of Mike Chapman’s great wrestling books here. One of my favorite features on their website is an old clip of Vern Gagne and Dan Gable.

Sports Illustrated recently added the SI Vault to its website. This is a searchable database of articles written over the entire history of the publication.

This one is about Dan Gable – written in 1969.

Monday, April 7, 2008

This and that

This and that

Adam Frey

Shortly after the NCAA Championships Cornell University wrestler, Adam Frey, was in a car accident. His injuries were not life threatening, but an MRI revealed three tumors that subsequent testing revealed to be Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Danielle Hobeika immediately spread the word and created a website for Adam who is sharing his battle with the world through his blog. Please take a few minutes and visit the site and pass along your words of encouragement.

His family may also need help with the medical bills. There is a spot on the site where you can contribute. golf outing

Friend of the blog, Jeffrey Pape, president of sent the following press release:


Elmhurst, IL – April 1, 2008 - WrestlingGear.Com is planning a golf outing and fundraiser for July 29, 2008 at White Pines Golf Club in Bensenville, IL. WrestlingGear.Com will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary during 2008. In 10 years, WrestlingGear.Com has grown to one of the largest Internet/Catalog based stores in the country.

Money raised at the golf outing with support two organizations - the first is The Smile Train, an organization that helps kids and their families repair cleft lips. The owner of WrestlingGear.Com's son was born with a cleft lip. The second organization is still being finalized, but will be an Illinois based wrestling organization.

"This is going to be a great event and celebration 10 years in the making. We already have many of the top wrestling organizations in the country and the state behind this event. Not only will it be a great time, but we will raise money for kids with cleft lips and another Illinois based wrestling organization.

For more information or to be added to the golf outing mailing list, call Jeff Pape at 1-800-565-0995.

About WrestlingGear.Com:

WrestlingGear.Com, Ltd is one of the most visited wrestling websites in the country. Started in 1998, it now offers products from adidas, Asics, Brute, Championship Productions, Cliff Keen, Matman, Suples, and other major wrestling companies. Every year, more wrestlers “Get Ready for the Mat!” with WrestlingGear.Com. For more information visit:

About The Smile Train:

The Smile Train is a non-profit organization that provides services and programs in more than 60 countries — including the United States — has helped provide free surgery for thousands of children as well as free training and education for more than 15,000 surgeons and medical professionals. Additionally, The Smile Train is sponsoring major research projects that are searching for a way to prevent clefts. For more information visit:

2008 Dream Team Classic

The 2008 Dream Team Classic, pitting a national high school wrestling All-Star team against the best senior wrestlers in Iowa will be held this Saturday (April 12th) at Iowa City West High School. If you live in eastern Iowa, please get out and support these young men. There are some potentially exciting match-ups. Personally, I am most looking forward to the match between Oklahoma State recruit and Pennsylvania star, Jordan Oliver, and Hawkeye recruit, Matt McDonough.

Jason Bryant W.I.N. Magazine racism editorial

This week marked the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was a senior in high school when Dr. King and Robert Kennedy were killed and I remember those two days vividly.

In a year when the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum has chosen to honor the contributions to wrestling by African-Americans it is particularly jarring to have racism rear its ugly head at Nationals. I hope you’ll read Jason’s editorial:

Summer schedule

When I started the blog I didn’t know if I would have something to write about every week. As it turns out – I’m turning topics down.

It’s an Olympic year and there will be much writing in the wrestling media and on the internet about the Senior Nationals, the Olympic Trials and finally, Beijing. I will be doing a three-part series on women in wrestling.

Another topic this summer will be copyright law, video posting and the promotional implications for wrestling.

Last week’s blog

The “Banach is in trouble!” blog shattered all of my personal records for readership. I sincerely hope that that translated into donations to IPTV. What it did prove is that there is a large potential audience for historical wrestling video. If you happen to have (non-copyrighted) video footage from the ‘70s or ‘80s I hope you’ll consider posting it on youtube.