Friday, April 27, 2012
WHY SHOULD I BUY YOU AN IRISH SINGLET?
John, my nephew Allen's son, was in a wrestling tournament on Saturday in Columbus. He did very well, placing SECOND in his weight classification. I assumed the wrestlers were also in an age classifications, but I learned that John, a Freshman, could be wrestling guys as much as four years older. John's matches to get to the Final were thrilling as he dispatched his opponents with great aplomb. His final match ended with a score of 6 to 4. John's opponent was three years older and that greater amount of experience was probably critical. John's first match was around 3:30 PM and his last one after 10:00 PM. All that wait-time must be exhausting, physically and emotionally!
Usually there are just one or two people in the wrestler's corner. Allen was in John's corner and another of the coaches, Dr. Mark, came over to watch the match and Dr. Mark told one of the other coaches to come with him to the corner; that made 3; one of John's friends was relaxing on the floor after his match; I said, "You should go over there." He hopped up and went over to the corner. That made 4. I thought, "Hell, I've never been in a corner before; this will be a new experience!" That made 5 in the corner!
It is customary for the opponents to go to the other corner to shake the opponent's coach's hand after the match. John's opponent started shaking hands and he asked, "WHERE are you all from?" He looked stunned when he shook my hand! Later, he came by and said, "I hope he wins the Final." I was touched by his class and graciousness after having witnessed some very poor sportsmanship. As we were leaving for the evening, we saw him and his father and he asked John's age, etc. I told them they should come to the tournament in Washington C.H.; he and John exchanged phone numbers. I told his father what a fine son he had reared. It was a pleasure to meet Cole from Gallipolis, Ohio.
I saw a Russian guy (with cauliflower ears) who has a wrestling training business. One of his students is the one who won the Final with John. Another of his student's wore a singlet with CCCP on the front--and I swear this is true--there were pictures of Lenin and Stalin on the rear! Allen said, "They should've put Trotsky's picture on the front." We saw several coaches wearing wrestling shoes. I asked if they also had singlets on under their clothes!
The funniest moment: a father and son were hurrying by and we heard the father say, in exasperation, "Why would I buy you an Irish singlet--we're Italian?"