NCAA World Championships?

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March 23, 2010 by David Gillaspie

Why not?  Who on this earth is a better collegiate style wrestler than the NCAA champs?  If Greco and freestyle have world championships, why not collegiate?  If Major League Baseball gets a World Series without leaving the country, why not collegiate wrestlers? 

The NBA and NFL have world championships with as much of the world involved as Omaha.

Collegiate wrestling should push for the World Championship designation since they do so much for other sports.  Did anyone notice the repeated ads for the women’s basketball championship?  It ran a few times.  Are wrestling fans a cross over audience? 

You’d think so. 

Wrestling fans support women’s basketball, they must, otherwise the smart guys in advertizing wouldn’t waste the money running ads during the finals.  Of course it could have been in-house ads for ESPN, but they are still airing.

Wrestling fans are sports fans, but they also enjoy fashion.  How else can you explain a Penn State singlet that looks like a swimsuit from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  Maybe that’s why Cael Sanderson joined the Nittany Lions.  Wrestlers are tough, but place one in a 1920’s swimsuit and you’ve got an edge that’s hard to beat.

Speaking of hard to beat, did this years championships bump wrestling’s GPA higher than ever before?  Cornell University took second place with 141 pound freshman Kyle Dake winning a title.  Harvard’s J.P. O’Conner wins another at 157. 

When guys from the Ivy League take the top spot on the podium, you know something is going right in wrestling.  With that said, what more do you want from the sport?  Or, what don’t you want?

I like that ESPN ran the tournament over the air.  I didn’t like the double screens.  I don’t need Quentin Tarantino camera acrobatics to keep me awake and interested.

If ESPN wants to use camera action to cover matches, then hook up an overhead like Monday Night Football, and put cameras around the mat to cover all the angles.  Who wouldn’t want to see the matches jump-cut from back to front to overhead now and then.  Add some slow-mo in the match review.

The coaches in the tunnel doing interviews during matches seemed odd.  Barry Davis wanted to watch his guy.  Kevin Jackson seemed very comfortable.  Did I miss Tom Brands?  He’s the last guy I’d expect to see chatting on camera with a guy on the mat. 

Maybe his crazy eyes from Iowa aren’t ready for prime time, but his team was.  From a championship a year ago with no individual champs, to swamping the tournament this year, Iowa laid down the standard: win the team title on Friday night.  What will it be next year, win the team title on Thursday night?

Some blame Iowa domination for the decline in wrestling programs.  I don’t.  Instead I slam on my Hawkeye hat while I wait for the other programs to catch up.  Where is Iowa State?  Oklahoma?  Oklahoma State? 

They are all behind Cornell. 

If outsiders see wrestlers as biscuit kicking hayseeds honing their rodeo skills on the mat, how do they explain Cornell?  They are the problem, not Iowa. 

Tip your Hawkeye headgear to Big Red in the Big Time.

And don’t forget WRESTLE WITH CARE @


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