2x All-American Will Lewan (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
I got a call from my old friend today (this already sounds like a Springsteen song) inviting me to his high school Hall of Fame induction next month and I couldn't be prouder of my old teammate.
Wayne Rogers has been the heart and soul of Saddle Brook Wrestling for 30 years. In our three years together, "Butchie" was the ultimate teammate and always the hardest worker and toughest guy in the room day in and day out. He pushed you to be better and didn't make you do anything that he wouldn't do himself and beat you at. As one of the smallest schools in North Jersey, we never had a large roster and mostly had a hard time finding success. Wayne and his fellow seniors just wouldn't be denied and led us to a district title. Unthinkable at the time considering where we came from. Then he took over the head coaching gig and won a couple more district titles when you could still field a team at a small, public school. I know in the grand scheme of things a team district title may not mean as much anymore, but it was a huge deal when the Smashing Pumpkins ruled the airwaves! Memories fade through life but that's still a weekend I'll never forget and I owe it to Wayne and the rest of my fellow Falcons for giving it to me.
It also got me thinking about the old days a bit and how my wrestling journey has been such a strange one. Getting this call made me realize how strange it is that while at least in the Twitter wrestling community, I'm pretty well known amongst a certain sector but how in my own hometown and area, I don't know anybody. I could go to the NCAA tournament and maybe get recognized by like ten people, but around here I'm just some guy named Ian who can slide in and out of any event unnoticed. My point is, I wish I had been more involved in the sport throughout my life and kept more relationships with my wrestling brethren. It's funny, you spend four years of your life during your teenage years and the memories you make there stay with you forever. I can't wait to see my old mates again and I'm sure it will be like we never left each other. These are the guys I grew up with. We sweat and bled together. We cleared out the cafeteria every day to create a makeshift wrestling room. We starved together. We won and lost together. We kept the secret about playing manhunt in the park instead of jogging around town or whatever we were supposed to be doing. Anybody who's been on a wrestling team knows exactly what I'm talking about here. Not everyone can be a state, national, or world champ. For the rest of us, the bond is all we have.
Alright, enough with memory lane, someone asked a question about my favorite fruit and I'm not getting paid by the word.
If you could eat one fruit for the rest of your life, what would it be? Richard "Bat" Mann
Pineapple, hands down. I don't even know how to elaborate on this. I just love pineapple. Lately, I've been grilling sliced kielbasa and pairing it with fresh pineapple as an afternoon snack.
Should the requirements for a tech fall be lowered? Microfish65
Absolutely not. If anything, they need to be raised if the scoring changes get voted in. Wrestling needs some kind of exhibition season so I can see how these changes go in real matches. It may not make much of a difference but it just seems a little extreme to do it all at once and completely change the dynamic of a wrestling match.
How many three-point takedowns will Gable score in his triumphant return to the mats? Carl Fronhofer
Carl! So good to see you! Are you implying that Gable is coming back to college? That shouldn't even be legal at this point. But while we're on the subject, I'm so thrilled to see Gable Steveson back where he belongs. Gable, You have the rest of your life for WWE, MMA, mailbag successor, or whatever you want to do. You're a generational talent here and in the prime of your career. Let's make some more history on the mat before setting your sights on the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns.
What's your favorite potential rule change? Any other rule changes you'd like to see? Earl Smith
The riding time/turn point is intriguing to me. I'm interested in if it actually leads to more turns or if it's really that difficult to turn a guy, while you're on top for an entire second period. Let's face it, putting your opponent on his back is literally the point of the sport and it's the rarest thing we see, because it's extremely difficult and there are other ways to win. I feel the long-term effects of this could lead to more pins. Or it could mean nothing, but it is something to keep an eye on.
And just get rid of headgear. These guys only wear them in an actual match and all it leads to are debated headgear pulls and deducted team points. Some guys are taking laxatives to make weight and you're concerned about their ears.
What TV show are you currently watching? Have you seen any good movies lately? Fantasy College Wrestling
Lady Jags and I are currently buried in this little heartwarmer called Succession. She's also digging on Perry Mason and I haven't paid much attention, but it looks pretty good. We also just started season three of Ted Lasso so we can see what's up over there. The new season of Party Down was pretty good and you can finish it in about three hours. I recently saw a little flick from India called RRR that was well done. It's basically half musical and half Django Unchained. So if you have three hours and enjoy some insane action scenes, check it out at your local Blockbuster.
Which wrestler will benefit most from the potential three-point takedown? Baby Grajales
Will Lewan. His entire overtime sequence will be thrown off. It's like wrestling's version of baseball's ghost runner rule for Lewdog.
30 days on an island stranded. Fred Bear Bulldog
A) Royce Alger
B) Mark Schultz
C) A Minotaur
Sir, this is a mailroom. Well, I think that's it for this week. US Open next week! Gable! Spencer! Zane Richards!