Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

In the wake of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision today to remove Wrestling from the core sports in the Olympics, I have felt compelled to write my own semi-relevant opinion on the topic. It is important to me because I have a deep love and admiration for pointing out other people’s stupid mistakes. Some may say I have an urgent desire to burn out other people’s candle to make mine burn brighter. Or I just have too much time on my hands.

But anyway….on to the IOC…

The decision made by the IOC today regarding wrestling was stupid. Wrestling is one of the oldest, if not THE oldest sports. It dates back 15,000 years as proven by cave drawing found in France (don’t believe me??…Hit up Wikipedia, because that is where I just stole that factoid from about two seconds ago. So you know that it is almost, possibly, could be potentially true). I am sure that right now oiled up Greek men are rolling in their graves at this decision.

While most of what I write may be bullshit, I do happen to know a thing or two about wrestling. Allow me to elaborate (or ramble on for a few pages, if we are being honest). My first introduction into wrestling came in the late 80s early 90s. It was not the Olympic or amateur sort, but the professional, tad bit more theatrical kind. Thankfully, unlike my peers and a generation of young fans I did not buy into the Hulkamania craze. Even in my youth I knew then that “vitamins and prayers” were actually code for slutty, untalented, bad driving offspring and sex tapes you couldn’t sell to the horniest of sheltered 12 year olds. In absolute truth I did not know that at the time (although I did suspect it). My hatred to Hulkamania came because my older brother hated Hulk. Simple child math, my older brother was cool, so Hulk wasn’t. Instead I became fascinated with his favorites: Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, Million Dollar Man and most of all the late great king of the Slimjim himself ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage (can I get an “ooohhh yeeaaah”). Yes I will freely admit that many years of my youth were spent watching grown men wearing fluorescent tights and hiding male pattern baldness, jumping off turn buckles and flying off ropes. Occasionally I do still tune in, because frankly, it still entertains me. Simply put it is escapism. Although every time I do tune in I have to listen to my wife say: “And how is this different than Young and the Restless??” Then I try and explain, which does not go well. Ten minutes later we have to stop ourselves as we realize that we are debating which is a more pure art form: Professional Wrestling or Soap Operas. Obviously this can only be settled inside a steel cage match pitting Victor Newman against Cactus Jack.
I digress…..

My interest in professional wrestling led to my best friend and I wanting to try our hand at the amateur version. Of course our high school offered no such outlet, so we created a team (which I believe still exists to this day. I have no proof of this, but I like to think that it does). I should preface this portion by saying that I have that athletic ability of a very unathletic shoelace. Conversely, my best friend was a naturally gifted athlete and went on to do fairly well, but who cares about that. If you want to read about his achievements, go read his blog…Oh wait he doesn’t have one (Again, I have no proof of this, but I like to think that he doesn’t). So there I was, a scrawny 16 year old kid dressed in an unflattering blue singlet armed with only the athletic ability that God gave to Jared ‘The Subway Guy’ and a good understanding of what constitutes a bodyslam and a chairshot. I faired excellently…Even as I wrote that last sentence I could feel your doubt in me. And you are correct dear reader, I faired terribly. My first meet didn’t start well. They booking committee (probably not what it is called in amateur wrestling) put me in the wrong weight class. A lighter weight class you say…?? Of course not, our hero was put into the goliath weight class. As I stood toe-to-toe with the seething giant in front of me, I realized that there was no escape…The white circle painted on the mat prevented my retreat in all directions. Lurch lunged at me and the extensive amateur training I had, had over the last week and a half went out the window. I had to rely on instincts alone, and those came from hours and hours of watching and practicing pro wrestling in my basement. I side stepped him and wrapped my arms around the back of his neck applying a perfect (???) full nelson. I had him…and the giant was angry. I used my legs to trip him and we both went tumbling backwards in a heap. Somehow I held him down for the count. I was officially 1-0 in my amateur wrestling career. This would be my only victory in sports…ever. I lost my next 11 matches. I will save you the pain of hearing about it.

What I gained in that season of wrestling (there was not a second season for me) was a respect for the ancient sport. It is hard. Go find a solid wall and push against it as hard as you can for five minutes. How tired and sore are you? Now imagine the wall pushing back. Or imagine the wall throwing you on your head, driving your own knee into your nose and holding you there for a count as blood trickles into your eyeball. Trust me, it sucks.

Wrestling is the most basic, grueling and arguably the most psychological sport there is. At this juncture I would like to point out that speed walking is an Olympic sport. Yup. Speeding walking. Think about that. Well, I guess I have never had to wrestle my way to a missed bus.

Speaking of stupid decisions…..Emilio Estevez’s lack of screen time in Mighty Ducks 3.
Just saying.

Till next time.

P.S. Follow me on Twitter….or don’t because no one else is. @gskewedview Just joined and either no one wants to talk to me, or I am not doing it right…Probably the former.