One of the major deficiencies of NCAA wrestling is its failure to take advantage of it’s massive built in brand appeal. There are truckloads of college co-eds, locals with a surfeit of state pride, and wal-mart fans looking to jump on the band wagon, yet the only opportunity college wrestling affords this potential fan base to get hip to the sport is during one weekend a year when most of the country IS busy watching bounce-throw-hoop-ball. Additionally, this event, the only one televised on ESPN, is a completely impenetrable wrestling tournament, involving 8 mats, 60+ schools and 330 participants. That event would be the current NCAA Wrestling Championships, duh.
What would be great is if wrestling acted like every other team sport on the planet and added some sort of team based playoff round so that casual fans could flip on a match and cheer for their favorite colored uniforms. They don’t have to know the different between a turk and a whizzer, but they can enjoy our modern day gladiatorial combat in a casual setting and high-five when the right part of the scoreboard is lit up.
Basically, college wrestling is a FPS for hardcore gamers when it needs to be more like Candy Crush.
Thankfully, certain big brains in the NCAA wrestling world have put together a might fine proposal to help remedy that deficiency, in the form of a totally righteous dual meet tournament with team championship ramifications. In the 2 weekends before the conference qualifiers, the top 24 teams in the nation will square off in an attempt to be crowned dual meet champion, earning points for their team score along the way.
The best part of the proposal is it leaves the individual tournament completely unchanged. Team points will still be earned by individual wrestlers at the main event. They will just now be added to the scores already earned in the dual meet phase. Sounds rad to me. Who doesn’t want to see all the best teams mix it up in a dual meet royal rumble?
Well, I guess these folks don’t:
Yeesh. Sorry guys, don’t mean to pick on you but from your reactions you’d think someone just suggested that they add ball room dancing and karaoke components.
How do you not want more awesome dual meets on the college wrestling schedule? Why is the lack of a team playoff round not a “broken” aspect of NCAA wrestling that desperately needs “fixing”? WHY ARE COLLEGE WRESTLING FANS SO INDEFATIGABLY MISERABLE???
I have no answers, and I am at a loss for words (except the ones I already typed, of course). However, should this new proposal come to pass, and I quite emphatically hope it does, I DARE these so-called wrestling fans NOT to watch any of the dual meets. Go ahead, try and ignore this dumb, stupid, terrible, idea. It would take an astounding amount of self control to deny yourself the pleasure of following this proposed dual meet tournament, and perhaps I could learn something from such a Herculean effort of self-deprivation. Like reaching another level of zen or something. Or i’ll just SMH, whatevs.