Editor's Note: The Mile High Challenge is taking place this weekend at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley. Come see wrestling legs in action!
I've been to a lot of wrestling tournaments. More than I care to admit. And I've come to the conclusion that wrestlers have a problem. It's with their legs.
Legs frequently seem to be out of control in wrestling. They're always flailing around. Sometimes the opponent can even use your own legs against you. I mean, really, isn't that a little bit too much?
My sister-in-law, when her son started wrestling, was horrifled. "Why does that person want to cram my son's face into the mat?" She was so upset that she bribed him to quit wrestling and play LaCrosse, which is much daintier. His father was in full agreement since he had participated in judo as a young man, and found that wrestlers just didn't display the same manners and courtesy on the mat as judo-ers. "In judo, they bow to one another in respect." Yeah, not in wrestling. They simply grapple one another, attempting to show fierce dominance.
I think my sister-in-law was asking the wrong questions. I want to know why that person is trying to rip my son's limbs from his body. Or twist them up so much he looks like a pretzel? Or use them as a handle to grab and push into positions that no legs should be in?
Did you know that if a wrestler grabs his opponent and picks him up by the legs in the right way, he can throw the other guy clear across the room? Well, actually, he's only allowed to launch him across the mat. After all, there are some rules in this sport.
Besides the issue of what a wrestler can do to an opponent's legs, there is the issue of what to do with their own legs. It just seems like they get in the way, you know what I mean? Here they are, busy cramming their opponent's face into the mat like good wrestlers do, (actually, it's the back of the head they want to cram into the mat, so they can pin their shoulders down and hear the victory smack from the ref, but who's quibbling over such minor details?) and, suddenly, the other guy manages to grab one of the crammer's legs. Next thing you know, they've changed places. Now the opponent is doing the cramming, which is not a good situation. It's always better to be the crammer than the crammee.
Another problem, is that I'm pretty sure that sometimes a wrestler goes into a match with one set of legs and swaps with the other guy before it's all said and done. I mean, haven't you ever been watching a tournament, and you're sitting there watching four legs flail around and you realize that you can't tell which leg belongs to which wrestler? Finally, when the match is over, your wrestler's legs don't seem to be working really well. They're wobbly, and he seems to be limping a bit. He wasn't limping before he went into the match. It's my theory that the other guy swapped his leg with a bum knee for my son's healthy leg when nobody was paying attention. Fortunately, they usually get used to the new legs pretty quickly, so they can go wrestle again.
Other times, though, the opponent gives my son his own legs back, but damages them in the process. One time I got a call from my son on the way home from a tournament in Las Vegas. "Mom, my ankle really hurts. I think it's broken."
"I was in a match, and the other guy pinned my ankle to the mat with his knee. I think I heard something snap."
"How many matches did you have to miss?"
"None, of course," he replied. I can hear him rolling his eyes over the phone. "I wrestled ten more matches after that. I tried to swap legs with the opponents, but they were too canny to let me do that. So, I'm bringing home the one with the broken ankle. Sorry about that. But, now it's an interesting combination of purple and green colors."
See what I mean? Legs just cause all sorts of problems for wrestlers.