Wow. What a meet! I read through some of the open thread from the meet and saw a lot of disappointment with the final result, which I think would be reversed had the tiebreaker gone our way.
As a whole, it would have been nice to see more of our guys pressing the action early on in order to gas their opponents. Whatever, Montell was the only one who I was supremely disappointed in and he won his match.
Wrestling really is the ultimate spectator sport and last night proved how great an electric atmosphere can be.
I saw one comment in the open thread wishing for more fanposts, so here are my slightly drunk recollections of last night.
1.) Iowa City was pretty cool last night. The students are still on break so the fans from CHA took over the town. At 5:30 you couldn't get a table anywhere in Coralville. We went downtown and decided against the Airliner because it was so packed. We went to Pints and I tried to remember what the hell this building was before this bar. As a former student, man has downtown changed. Taco fucking Bell is closed. What the fuck? Our struggle for a cab from downtown to the arena at 6:30 reminded me somewhat of my college years.
2.) Walking up to the arena with a few extras for sale I was amazed at the demand for tickets. I wanted to get in the arena and got my tickets for cheap ($7/ticket if you buy 20 or more) so I sold them to the first offer for basically break even and went on my way. The scalper immediately went across the street and held them up for $15/ticket and sold them before I could cross the fucking street. Dickhead. In retrospect, had I not been buzzed I would have realized the situation and that he was a scalper and just walked across the street and sold them myself, fuck it.
3.) My friend commented on what it must be like for an opposing team to come into an atmosphere like this. Oky St gets about 6,000 for their biggest meets. Oky St never seems to disappoint and always seems to have one wrestler act out after an emotional match, last night was no exception (more on that later).
4.) Would have been nice to see Telford wrestle a closer match and get the crowd going right from the start. Oh well, we were overmatched and Telford will get better.
5.) It was certainly nice to have McD to get things going. He's still not Metcalf but he's as close as there is in the country to a wrestler who is worth the price of admission on his own, I my humble and incredibly biased opinion. Still would have been nice to blow that one even more wide open. I wonder what it's like to be John Smith and tell one of your wrestlers to go out there and play keep away so as not to get tech'd. That's right Oky St fan, you know that's what happened, and you know that's what you were hoping for too. That's why you're Oky St and we're Iowa. Fuck you!
6.) What the fuck Montell? You get a second lease on your wrestling life, followed by a free pass, and this is how you come out in a huge spot? Doesn't seem right. I found myself hoping that he was just under the weather (which is a weird thing to hope for). Ugh, I'm done talking about it.
7.) Nice to see Metcalf at intermission. Nothing spectacular but I'll be rooting harder for him than any other Olympic athlete I can remember watching. Mocco came out to boos but was able to turn them around with a fairly spectacular performance against this guy*. I was surprised to see Brands in his corner but was told that Mocco's transfer coincided with Brands' departure from the Iowa squad and the story I got made the transfer seem less appalling. Apparently the hard feelings harbored by Iowa fans toward Mocco are not shared by the Brands brothers.
8.) DSJ would have turned this meet around. Oh well. That's how it goes sometimes.
9.) The only way that I can describe the way Evans works from the top is like a predatory insect. It's really a treat to watch him work. It would have been nice for him to have a little more time to work that because I'm certain he would have gotten the pin.
10.) We're now speculating about the score and it appears that the next match will determine if this thing ends in an Iowa victory or a tie. My friend informs me that there are no longer ties. Oh shit. What can the criteria be? There have been no pins or tech falls. Major decisions are even and no more are likely to come. It can only really come down to match points or takedowns. Telford got beat bad. McD won fairly big. Who the fuck knows? What about takedowns? Fuck it, we're probably losing a tiebreaker. Let's win this next one.
11.) Lofthouse v Perry. Wow. I really hope we get to see a rematch. The match itself was incredibly entertaining and incredibly frustrating. What happened next was bizarre. I missed Perry's shenanigans at the end of the match that led to the shove. Brands clearly got out there and pulled Lofthouse back first and Smith happened to be in the area and thought that might be a good idea too. At least that's the way I saw it. Things got a little dicey from there as we all know. I'm not sure what they showed on tv but it was surreal.
Gable was doing commentary and was sitting at the end of the scorer's table right next to the Oky St bench. Immediately next to Gable was an Oky St fan in a black cowboy hat (he's been sitting in that same spot every time I've seen Oky St in CHA, he must be a big-time Oky St wrestling donor). After the handshake double-take Perry ran in that direction and hit the gap between Gable and the cowboy hat guy and ran to the tunnel behind the scorer's table and in front of the first row at CHA. Needless to say he was getting lambasted by the fans in the front few rows as he ran to the tunnel. Perry gets to the tunnel and what I saw next sent tingles down my spine. Some albino man in street clothes sprints into the tunnel after Perry.
Wait, what? Did Uncle Luke just run into the tunnel to confront Perry? Is there going to be a fight? Why didn't I get seats by the tunnel? I know those are the best seats. Everyone in that area is crowded around the tunnel watching whatever is happening. Damn, I wish I knew what was happening.
Once everything cooled down for a minute, I looked down and saw John Smith all fired up walking away from Gable and turning back and saying something as if finishing up a heated conversation. What the hell just happened? Did Smith just yell at Gable about something? My friend explained that there is more respect between these two staffs (including Gable) than an outsider might expect. He speculated that Smith may have been getting after the cowboy hat guy for letting Perry get by him and Gable happened to be there and may have chimed in. Who knows. The whole thing was crazy.
11.) There could have been even more drama because college wrestling really is pretty fucking crazy. I thought for sure that the George Mason kid was going to wrestle at 197. I was anxiously waiting to hear the boos and see something crazy happen there. I'm told that it was actually the Iowa administration that put the kibosh on his transfer, although I expect most fans in that arena didn't know that and would have soundly booed him. I didn't see if Oky St announced both or not before the meet. So I don't know if Smith was trying to avoid more drama or if it was because, as I was told, Roschalt beat the George Mason kid recently. Carver would have exploded if he would have wrestled and if Gambrall would have beaten him. If this meet gets released on DVD, this needs to be the alternate ending.
12.) If Gambrall beating the George Mason kid is the first alternate ending can the coaches wrestling off in a tie breaker also be included. At one point Guerrero was pointing and yelling at the Iowa bench at which point my friend wondered aloud why Guerrero would be doing that given that Terry has thoroughly beaten his ass on multiple occasions. Also, it sounds like Tom and John Smith have some history on the mat and would be a phenomenal matchup. Just another interesting a crazy dynamic of this meet. Football in general, and the NFL in particular, dominates the sporting landscape in this country. In the NFL when one coach squeezes a little too hard during the postgame handshake it's talked about endlessly. Seriously, would anyone who knows the situation be surprised if, at some point in the future, Terry Brands runs across the mat and beats up one of Oky St's coaches?
All-in-all, it was a fantastic and disappointment time inside CHA. Anyone who ever gets the opportunity to attend a dual of that magnitude is robbing themselves of a great experience by passing it up.
*Seriously, if there ever were a battle involving Germany that was to be decided by their greatest warrior battling against that of their opponent (a la the opening scene from Troy), the guy wrestling against Mocco would be Germany's representative in said fight. He didn't look to be that great of a wrestler but he appeared to be more suited for a Roman colosseum than Carver Hawkeye Arena. Mocco just looked fat but damn he's smooth out there.