Friday, November 5, 2010

The Russians are coming - volume 2

Two weeks from tonight (November 19, 2010) I’ll be in seat 1 of Row 12 in section GG in Carver Hawkeye Arena as the Hawkeyes kick of the 2010/2011 wrestling season. For the first time in four years Brent Metcalf will not be in the lineup for the home opener.

Brent will be wrestling that night 935 miles from his former teammates at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. He’ll be joining other American freestyle stars Angel Escobedo, Shawn Bunch, Trent and Travis Paulson, Jake Herbert, J D Bergman and Tervel Dlagnev in a dual meet against a team from Russia.

Last year I was lucky enough to attend a similar event in Mount Vernon, Iowa on the Cornell College campus. The gym was packed and the crowd was boisterous. It was heartening to see so many young wrestlers there. I sat just a few feet away from the North Cedar kids club and, boy, did they seem to be enjoying the action.

It may seem strange, but kids in Iowa have far more opportunities to wrestle and attend wrestling events than kids in New York City. Al Bevilacqua, Michael Novogratz and the rest of the folks at Beat the Streets are working to change that. They firmly believe that the surest path for the growth of wrestling is to make it an urban sport. It’s hard to argue with their logic.

Al wants to take as many Beat the Streets kids as possible to the USA vs Russia freestyle dual. Why shouldn’t they have the same opportunity as youngsters from Stanwood, Lisbon, Solon and Mount Vernon? To help Al meet his goal, we’ve made this meet a Tickets for Kids event.

Thanks to the kindness of Eric Betterman of Tickets for Kids now has a website and is capable of receiving online donations. Here is the link to the USA vs Russia page. If you have any questions email me at If you are a traditionalist like me and prefer to send a check, please make it to Tickets for Kids and mail it to:

Tickets for Kids
c/o Jim Brown
130 24th St NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4936.

There’s no time to waste so please act today.

Have a look here at some of the kids you’ll be helping.

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