This post doesn't have anything to do with football.
There. I got that off my chest. It is so hard to be constricted by the confines of a football-centric blog. I'm breaking out. I'm getting crazy. Or, "Cray-cray" as we say in the uber-cool, hip, super-awesome circles in which I run. Fo' Shizzle.
Anyhoo. Wrasslin'. Or, actually, "wrestling," as the dictionary so strictly encourages it be pronounced. It is actually a sub-culture of football, as many children who play football ultimately also participate in wrestling. Just like Hell is a sub-culture of terra firma. But the co-participation is where many of the similarities end. If you've ever been to a wrestling tournament, you are going to understand everything in this post. You are going to stand up, like a person possessed by the spirit of the Almighty at a revival and sing, "You preach it sister! Hallelujah!"
If you've never been to a wrestling tournament, this is going to seem other-worldly. You will be confused. You won't believe it to be true. You'll call me a liar. A blasphemer of truth. An embellisher of facts.
You will be wrong. Go to one tournament. Just one. Smell the odors. Take in the sights. Experience the auditory assault. And you'll see. You'll be scared and permanently scarred, just as I am. Mark my words.
No, this isn't the name of one of your previous boyfriends. This, my friends, is one of the thousands of creepy, crawlies that your young wrestler can pick up on a wrestling mat. Scrumptious! Herpes, people!! HERPES!! Are you kidding me?!
See Mat Herpes. 'Zactly the same. Except you'll hear it in a sentence like this: "Ewww, you've got ring worm! At least it's not mat herpes, dude."
It is a good possibility every person in attendance has either been diagnosed with at least Type II Diabetes or will be soon.
Never Wrestled. Knows Everything.
This is the most common person in attendance at a wrestling tournament. And you'll be able to recognize them by a few tell-tale traits. First of all, you'll actually hear them saying, "I never wrestled. I knows everything." Secondly, they usually look like this:
And typically, they are yelling such gems as, "Go!" and "Get 'em!" and "Shoot the leg!" I always try to yell things I got from the first Karate Kid movie, like: "Sweep the leg! Or, "FINISH HIM!" (As a side note: Yelling, "Sweep the leg! and "FINISH HIM!" are apparently NOT acceptable, as I learned the hard way.) But, if all else fails, and you are not able to visualize the typical wrestling tournament attendee, just super-impose any of the creatures in the Hobbit on a gymnasium filled with rubber mats, and you'll have it.
Realizing that some of these people come from an hour or more away, need to be at the gym at 7 AM for weigh-in and then stay there for ten straight hours, I have to give a little leeway here. But, for the love of all things holy! I have seen fully-equipped tents, propane stoves, sleeping bags and a mini-generator set up in a section of bleachers. I had to put out a campfire once. Children are laying everywhere in various states of undress. Some are crying. Some are sleeping. Most are playing on some $498 electronic device. But to navigate around these little villages is absolutely treacherous. I dream of stumbling upon one of these little tent towns and just obliterating it like I am Gargamel and they are Smurfs. People! It is OK to be comfortable, but what you're proposing requires a building permit. COME ON!
Stand By Me
This, without a doubt, is the most amazing phenomenon I have ever seen. No matter how many millions of times the overhead announcer says, "Folks, if you are at the edge of the mats, please kneel down so people can see. Thanks." there are always those people that think that the rules don't apply to them. Just today, I saw a 40-something guy with the word "BULLDOG" on the back of his super-sweet wrestling shirt just stand there with his hands in his pockets. (Well, he was attempting to put his hands in his front pockets, but his short little arms couldn't reach over his massive gut, so his fingers just hovered pitifully right above the waistband of his jeans.) Hey, "Bulldog!" Why don't you park your patootie on the mat like all the other men with canine epithets, huh?! Good dog!
I like to call this "Worst Idea Ever." Because, by my best estimation, someone came to the decision to bring a stroller to a wrestling tournament like this:
"Is there going to be limited space to park a stroller?"
"Are there going to be bleachers where the stroller can't go?"
"Will there be rules about blocking the mat and the view of the wrestlers?"
"Does the possibility exist that my toddler will not want to spend any time in the stroller and it will function mainly as a huge shopping cart like homeless people steal from parking lots and load with all of their worldly belongings?"
"OK. I think we should bring the stroller."
Yeah. I don't even know how deep you want to delve into this one. Suffice it to say, wrestlers do weird things to gain weight or lose weight or keep weight. If there is an orifice through which to gain or lose pounds, they have figured out a way to exploit it. And when you cringe and twist your face up in a corkscrew when they tell you about it, they look back at you like, "What?"
So, there is your Wrasslin' Primer. I hope it proves helpful and you have learned something. I just love sharing my vast knowledge, because even though I never wrestled, I knows everything.