Wednesday, May 17, 2006

USA Wrestling: The Little Sport That Could

For those of you that read this and know me personally you may have expected wrestling to be a regular topic in my blogs. I haven't written about wrestling yet for many reasons, but mainly just because there isn't much news in the wrestling world now and days worthy even of this lowly blog. However, there is one thing I would like to say about wrestling, specifically USA Wrestling, the organization that sponsors our Olympic Team and that is: "Someone needs to take action to save wrestling from the downward spiral it is been taking in previous years before it gains the repuation of "sports" like table tennis or Jai Alai..Yea I said it Jai Alai!"

If your not a wrestler then you don't know what I'm talking about so let me fill you in. Any serious wrestler has to become a member of USA wrestling, because it is the only way you can compete outside of school competition. USA Wrestling is the organization that facilitates all national and state-wide freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling. It's like AYSO, or YMCA basketball but for all ages.

Unfortunately, wrestling participation and support at all levels has been gradually declining. As a Southern California resident it is sad to see sparse attendence at local wrestling duals and events. California produces arguably the best wrestlers in the nation. The past couple of years California saw several National Senior Champions (Brian Moreno 112, Jake Varner 189 just to name a few). The reality is that hardly anyone would know who the hell Brian Moreno is but we all know Sebastian Telfair and other high school phenoms of basketball and football do I have to remind you of names like Lebron or Kobe?

These problems can be resolved with better management and marketing on the part of USA Wrestling. Wrestling is truly an exciting, skillful sport that requires talent and is one of the oldest sports ever. What more do the guys running this organization need? The sport practically promotes itself. With the rising population of MMA (mixed martial arts) and the comeback of boxing, there is no reason the US would deny the glory and drama of wrestling. The solution is exposure. Get the national championships aired on TV and give the audience a personality to root for. They should be portraying wrestlers as professionals, technicians, strategists, and athletes not animated, juiced-up crazies like Kurt Angle.

I hope one day people can give wrestling and wrestlers the respect they deserve. With the help of business saavy owners USA Wrestling can spearhead a world wide revival of the sport. And wrestlers can be hailed like the demigods they were in ancient times.

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