Monday, January 15, 2007
No actually I'm in Iowa
My phone rang just after I touched down in The Land of Five Seasons. I have no idea why they call it that, but the phrase caught my attention on a t-shirt in the airport gift shop. It was Doug calling me to tell me about Club DV8 the night before.
"No, actually I'm in Iowa."
That would be a phrase I would enjoy telling whoever called and one that would be repeated (aloud and to myself) all weekend. There is something about Iowa that is intriguing. It is a plain place without much to do or see, yet it possesses a false sense of importance. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is an incredibly boring place, because many people choose to live there. It seemed to me like a place that is on a different agenda. It is the epitome of "country", and it isn't even like Bakersfield or San Bernardino where they try so hard to be developed and instead end up with something awkward and even more foreign. In Iowa it is simply "country" and I was there for one reason.
As alienated as we all felt in a place like Iowa, we were not alone. On Saturday morning we weighed-in and gathered with wrestlers from across the country under the University of Northern Iowa's Uni-Dome. Thousandscame to see us all wrestle in the Cliff Keen NWCAA National Duals. The hundreds of participants represented all three divisions of the NCAA, the NAIA and the women's international freestyle competition. Among those in attendance were wrestling greats such as Cael Sanderson, John Smith, Dan Gable, Ken Chertow, Bobby Douglas and current nationally ranked wrestlers such as Nathan Morgan, the Askerin brothers, Johnny Hendrick and Manny Rivera. As if seeing all these people under one roof wasn't an amazing sight on it's own, to my further amazement I was greeted by a few inches of powdery snow on the way back to the hotel.
The whole weekend proved to be a stimulating experience. There was phenomenal wrestling, legendary wrestlers, a McDonalds with a replica airplane cabin that you could eat inside and of course crazy snow. Overall the trip felt like one long trip to one weird museum.