Is Blogging Real? Is Wrestling Real?

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August 18, 2010 by David Gillaspie

The following comes from Mark Palmer, the college wrestling writer for and

Tap the links below and you’ll stay up to date on current big time wrestlers, coaching changes, and wrestlers in MMA.  I think we can agree that more wrestlers in MMA will take it where it needs to go.

Follow College Wrestling Examiner Mark Palmer on Twitter.

He’s got it covered.

Mark called me from Cincinnati after he wrote the examiner piece below and we talked three hours.  He said he might do a piece on me based on my background, my book, and my blog.  You’ll find wrestling fans and sports fans all your life that sound like someone you’ve known since the eighth grade.

Mark is one of them.

“Immediately after posting the story on the Dan Gable profile in the Dubuque Tribune-Herald, I came across a blog about the legendary wrestler/coach also worthy of your attention.

David Gillaspie is the author of a book Wrestle With Care: Inspirationals from Life With Sport… and a blog, DG’s B&B.  In the blog, Gillaspie writes about many topics.  However, as he says in his profile about himself, “You’ll find many posts about amateur wrestling.  Why?  Because I follow Dan Gable’s quote, included in comments from Terrence, ‘wrestling’s not for everyone, but it should be.’”

Gillaspie identifies himself a wrestler, having wrestled in high school, some in college, at an all-Army Team training camp, and, as he says in his profile, “and, my biggest match: I wrestled Parkinson’s Disease.  My father in law had it and we made a deal that we’d kick Parkinson’s butt as long as we could.”

-I do identify myself as a wrestler, but not the kind Mark Palmer writes about.  I was a late bloomer, got recruited for small college football before wrestling, had a great extended wrestling season my senior year, met Dan Gable in Iowa, and that was it.  Wrestling.  My older brother didn’t wrestle, my younger brother did.  The only reason I wrestled was because it was the only good team in my high school of losers.  If I didn’t find wrestling I would have quit sports after separating my shoulder my sophomore football season on a varsity team that went 0-9.  I was prime for the picking, and Dave Abraham got me into his wrestling room.  If you read this and you’re not a wrestler, call your local coach right away.-

“In his July 15 installment titled “The Stream,” Gillaspie writes passionately, articulately and movingly about the sport of wrestling… weaving Dan Gable into his presentation, and referencing Gable’s one loss in his entire high school and college wrestling career: to Larry Owings in the 142-pound finals at the 1970 NCAAs, his last college bout.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Dan Gable is the greatest winner of all time, the only person who forced his way to the top of his sport, then turned around and forced the teams he coached to the top.  The force is definitely with him.

His wins set him apart, but that one loss made him the best ever.”

For those who appreciate greatness in wrestling — and writing — Gillaspie’s blog is rewarding reading.”

– I don’t remember everything about the three hour conversation with Mark Palmer, but I think I mentioned Ken Kesey and John Irving, the wrestler/writers I look to in hard times.  There might be others, but these are my two guys.  Kesey is out of the Wallace Stegner program at Stanford; Irving from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.  Education didn’t seem to hurt either one.  It won’t hurt you either.

I wrestled a kid from Kesey’s neighborhood of Pleasant Hill.  I pinned myself with a bad throw when I was ahead late in the match, but the kid was going to college on a scholarship…to Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.  That’s right, I got beat by a future clown.  You can’t make that up.

Irving wrote a book titled “The 158 Pound Marriage.”  Is that a wrestling title, or what?  It might be ‘or what’ but it’s still a great title.  While at Iowa he said he worked out in the wrestling room, that there was always someone he could deal with coming back off an injury.  You’ve got to like that. –

“Thanks to Matt Krumrie, wrestling writer/editor, and author of the book The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling Camps, for making us aware of to David Gillaspie’s blog.

Want to stay on top of the latest news in college wrestling? If so, subscribe to College Wrestling Examiner!  You’ll be automatically notified every time a new story is posted here. To sign up for your FREE subscription, click on the “subscribe” button at the top of this page.


David Gillaspie: DG’s B&B home page… July 15 blog: The Stream

David Gillaspie’s book: Wrestle With Care: Inspirationals from Life With Sport

InterMat Rewind: Gable-Owings: 40 Years Later

Dubuque Tribune-HeraldIowa’s amabassador: Gable talks about past and future

Dan Gable: Official website

Fans of Dan Gable Yahoo group: Unofficial tribute to Dan Gable, with photos and info

College Wrestling 101: Links to articles answering basic questions about wrestling, including rules, scoring, uniforms, more.”

– As much as I hope all wrestling dreams come true, that all sports ambitions and potential are realized, there’s more to DG’s B&B.  Everyone reading this has superior balance and strength.  Every wrestler in the history of the world is superior to every other athlete, though we don’t need to crow.

What makes this blog real is an email from a reader who’s name I don’t have permission to use.  Call her ‘Nona’, who writes, “David, Thanks for the inspiration. My mom has Parkinsons and I am her caregiver.

Although she is still somewhat mobile I was online looking for therapy that will help and came across your blog.  I will now attempt to see myself as her coach and encourage her to see it too. It will be so much more fun to try to battle this together, than me just following along to help her.”

This lady gets it.  She may not hit the wrestling room, but she knows the drill.  If she reads DG’s B&B she’s in the game.

Wrestling is the game, and it’s up to those on the mat to reach out and make a difference to your families.  Coach up your parents, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles.  You’re a wrestler, you’ve got the goods.  You’ve got something to say, so say it to those who matter.

If you read this blog, you know you  matter more than I’ll ever say, but I’ll keep trying.  What else would you expect.

Mark Palmer writes:

“For those who appreciate greatness in wrestling — and writing — Gillaspie’s blog is rewarding reading.”

That’s the standard, greatness.  It’s mine, yours, and anyone worth a damn.  Try and live up to it.

Thanks, Mark.

(the pic is from Valencia, Spain at the La Pepica restaurant near the Neptuno Hotel, where Hemingway ordered paela, a Spanish dish with a loose translation of Rice-A-Roni.  Rice-A-Roni is better, but that’s our secret.  Paela wasn’t great, but Hemingway still is.)


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