Ohio State Buckeyes last savored the sugary sweet taste of success in Big Ten Wrestling, and WOW what a season 2015 has been! This past weekends tournament performance was quite impressive both on the individual side of the brackets as well as the team coming together and earning 120 points in a tie with Iowa.
To watch Logan Steiber wrestle on TV is truly amazing. The dominance, the speed, the strength... amazing to say the least. But to witness such an athlete in his own house at the peak of his career... I struggle to find the words adequate to describe such a wrestler. Logan's last performance at St. John's Arena was arguably one of his most impressive. As he scoops up his 4th Big Ten title and heads for his 4th NCAA title (first in Buckeye history), his explosiveness and back control is unparalleled in collegiate wrestling!
The Buckeyes head into the NCAA tournament with the greatest prospects of winning a national title they have ever had with nine wrestlers hitting the mats in St. Louis. Logan Steiber was named most outstanding wrestler of the Big Ten (first ever from OSU) as well as the champions, and coach Ryan was named the Big Ten Coach of the year!
This past weekends Big Ten Tournament was a great time had by my family and I. I highlighted Steiber but in reality the entire squad wrestled well. Nate Tomasello put on a clinic defeating Delgado and moving on to take the title. Bo Jordan fought his cousin Isac Jordan (Wisconsin) in the finals getting narrowly beat in what was a great match. Good time spent supporting some of the most amazing athletes in Collegiate sports, all for $15 a session!!! The staff and customer service with the Ohio State Campus is typical of Midwest hospitality and care. Also met with a smile and a hello, the only gripe one could have about the weekend was the overwhelmingly stifling air, but alas... it is wrestling.
One noticeable exception to my above statements about Midwest pleasantries would be the Iowa contingent. Both fan and wrestler alike were rather disrespectful and unsportsmanlike across the board. From running off the mat without shaking hands, to leaving the medal podium prior to getting pictures taken with fellow champs when Iowa placed anything other then first, to the Iowa fans clapping only for Iowa wrestlers. I have witnessed this before on TV, but observing it for the first time in person was a bit of a slap in the face. The sweet couple I sat next to went to EVERY wrestling meet they could and said this was very indicative of Iowa and their fans. Jim told me he had even asked Dan Gable about it stating that Gable was much more respectful in his day. The response was a shrug of the shoulders coupled with "We have the mindset that we must dominate." Domination is one thing, but sportsmanship and respect are totally different. One cannot argue the results of such a mindset/program, but I certainly can (and will) call them on the methodologies. And shame on the majority of the fan base from Iowa too.
Overall I cannot suggest enough that you and your family support your local wrestling at the high school and/or the collegiate level. An amazingly affordable adventure for the entire family where you will witness some of the best athletes in the world!