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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    Jagger's Friday Mailbag - 2/17/2023

    Patrick Glory at the 2022 NCAA Championships (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)

    Well, it’s the last weekend of duals for the season and that makes for a sad Jagger. I don’t know what it is about the second half of the regular season that makes it go by so quickly. Maybe it's the anticipation of getting through the winter. Maybe it’s the lack of holidays as a distraction. Maybe it’s Maybelline. All I know is that it’s almost over and Hayden Hidlay was so upset about not having duals to watch anymore that he came out of retirement and started wrestling again just to have something to occupy his time with until next November. So, without further ado, let’s get to the final dual meet mailbag of the season.

    Cleveland State’s at Rider this Saturday. I need to know if it’s Taylor Ham or pork roll, and if there’s any recommendations for dinner Friday night. #GoVikes Devin Schroder

    You’re in pork roll country, my man. I live in Taylor ham country. What does it mean? Nothing, really. Except it would behoove you to get a PR/TH, egg and cheese on a bagel while you’re in town. It’s fine, you don’t have to make 125 anymore. Then, as my dear friend Dan Seifring pointed out, you can drive ten miles to De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies. I trust Dan’s opinion on food. Besides co-running WrestleStat, he has a secret life as a dessert-testing, Tik Tok influencer. Not making this up. Enjoy the weekend in Jersey!

    What skill position player (WR/QB/DB/RB) from the Super Bowl do you think makes the deepest run at NCAA’s. I like Jalen Hurts squat numbers, but Iike AJ Brown’s size. The Kid Smoke Drip Costanza

    The funny thing about football and wrestling is that a guy like Hurts plays quarterback and if he wrestled he'd likely be a heavyweight. Football players are just huge. Get him down to 197 and I think he’s absolutely lethal. I do think James Bradberry could make some noise as long as he doesn’t get called for a headgear pull. Too soon? I don’t care. Too soon is what I do.

    Who finishes higher at NCAA’s between Missouri and Iowa State? Pelikan Head

    You have to take Mizzou right now but it’s still very close. ISU losing their 125’ hurts and the Tigers are just so strong from top to bottom. They’re also more of a veteran team. Swiderski and Paniro Johnson are both stars in the making, but March can be harsh to freshman wrestlers. Bastida has shown he’s jumped levels but the struggles on bottom are still visible, but he won’t outscore Rocky Elam in the tournament overall anyway. The good news for Cyclones fans (myself included) is that this team isn’t going anywhere and should only improve on what has been a sensational season.

    Why is the Indiana State Finals way better than New Jersey’s so-called State Finals? Indiana Mat

    Because it isn’t? Don’t get me wrong, I dig the single-class tournament over whatever it is they do in states like Virginia and Georgia but there’s one thing you don’t have, Atlantic City. I’m sure John Mellencamp Arena or wherever you have it is nice, but it’s not as fun as Atlantic City.

    The smartest thing New Jersey did in recent years was moving the whole thing up a day to get the finals on Saturday night instead of late Sunday afternoon. The problem was that by Sunday most fans have checked out of their room and don’t want to hang out until 4 PM to watch the finals. Now. you’ve got everyone locked in for Saturday night then they can go party somewhere afterward. A genius move from a genius state. Maybe I’ll finally make my way down there one of these years.

    You want to come to Big Tens with me? I have some extra tickets. Oldest and Greatest

    I just told you I don't even drive two hours away to go to my own state’s tournament. Go to Michigan? In March? Alright, I’m in.

    Have you visited the EIWA Tournament Central? Kevin McGuigan

    I did now. Did you know that this is the 119th edition of the tournament? Almost as old as I am! I mean, the Titanic hadn’t even been built yet when they had the first one. Teddy Roosevelt was coaching Army at the time. Daton Fix was still in redshirt. Yale had a wrestling team! And why don't they have a team, anyway? Get off the yacht for a minute and put a headgear on.

    Should the NCAA implement a mandatory smoke break between periods two and three? Or should it just be before overtime? Really need to see who has the gas to finish the match. Joel (football hater)

    Definitely between the last two periods. I’m not really the biggest fan of overtime since it’s usually because two guys refused to do anything for seven minutes already and I just don’t need more of that. Sure, a tight, low-scoring match between two top guys with a lot on the line is interesting, but that’s not always the case. Now you make two guys suck down a heater between periods, I guarantee you someone is going to their back and that match will be more exciting for it. Think of it like the runner on second rule in baseball.

    Is Jags a "duals should always start at the lowest weight draw/pick last match" guy? Rhino

    I suppose I’m indifferent to it for the most part. It’s the transition from heavyweight to 125 that bugs me the most. I do find the strategy, if any, interesting and would like to discuss it with a coach one day to see if it really matters to them that much.

    Should there be a special mat used only for Jagger Night? If so, what would you like the design to be? Old School Wrestling Clips (Stalemates Award Winner)

    Well, my gothic friend, Jagger Night at Rutgers is already plenty special. But I admit a personal mat would be icing on the cake. They already start duals off with the symbolic Jagger smoke so let’s really up the celebration here. Luckily, my good friend at Virtual NCAAS already designed a mat for the occasion. If he’s reading this, maybe he will even tweet it out for you.

    Should college wrestlers be able to wear Luchador masks while competing? Hijo de JL Vice

    Absolutely they should. We also need more aerial maneuvers from the lightweights.

    Does Rutgers go 10 for 10 on Natty champs this year? Who do you think has the best shot at bringing gold back to Jersey? CEO of Italians

    I don’t see why not. Surprised it hasn’t happened already. Other than that, I guess Pat Glory has the best chance of bringing gold back. It looks like his shoulder is ok after last week and if he can hang with Spencer until the smoke break between periods then he’s got a real shot at it.

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