Hey there, Tim Riley.
This is a black and white picture of a very creepy looking and mustachioed Dan Gable helping to relax the muscles of Iowa 126 lb all-American Tim Riley.
I imagine Dan Gable as a different man now. Someone who's seen a different side of life than shaved Dan Gable or even bearded Dan Gable. the conversation here involved talk of strange women (and, yes, strange men) in strange places. Bearded Chechens encouraging Gable to guzzle much hard alcohol until the cozy bear rug looked very cozy. As with many of the wild places, it was hard for Gable to identify the gender of the Chechens in question.
Gable notices something about Riley's hair. It reminds him of a young Amish wrestler he encountered while on a spirit journey in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. The young person there was strapping. Well built. Again, the gender was questionable. There was an opening. Gable took it. The consequences of the taking of the opening are unknown. But a glance at the expression of Gable's face here shows that those consequences may have had ramifications that made the man from Waterloo a coach with sides even he fails to understand.
The following exchange seems fitting now:
You'll get pinned. The words snarl and snap as they come from Gable's mouth. How could anybody allow himself to get pinned? Suddenly, he's focusing on the efforts of 126-pound Iowa senior Tim Riley, who's clearly at the brink of mental and physical exhaustion. "Riley," barks Gable, "you have to move your feet more in order to create openings." With that, Riley quits and walks off the mat.
"Sorry you couldn't make the end of practice," Gable calls after him.
"I could have made it," says Riley, "I just didn't want to."
"Naw," says Gable. "You just weren't tough enough to make it." Gable shakes his head sadly, as if unable to grasp how an athlete—especially one of the best collegiate wrestlers in the country—couldn't finish practice. The next day, of course, Riley is back with an apology and excuse, and of course Gable takes him back.
Riley isn't comfortable with the life mustachioed Gable has seen - the life that even regular Dan Gable would be somewhat concerned to face. Riley fails to be a great wrestler, fails to learn everything from mustachioed Gable, because Riley could never drunkenly let go and say yes to whatever strange Russian jabbering came forth from the mouths of those Chechens. Mustachioed Gable was tough enough to accept those openings into the spiritual side of humanity that the great mystics and the crackpot mystics discuss. Mustachioed Gable found the wrestling of Rasputin to be remarkable. Creepy mustachioed Gable knows he could eliminate the tenseness in Riley - in all of those wrestlers - if he could just convince them to let go and accept the disturbing facets of being human. Then and only then will the dream of ten Hawkeyes standing atop ten podiums at the national championship be completed.
Ten mustachioed Hawkeyes.