08 March 2007

Are You Ready to RUUMMMBBLLE?

So, the Male Offspring got a busted lip at his last match. The boy kept wrestling, too! They disinfected the the mat, and WrestlerBoy had to go stand over the "blood bucket", which is considered amazingly cool in the wrestling world. The boy got back in and wrestled two more rounds. He did not win, because the referee did not know a pin from his ass.

No, seriously, he didn't.

I know, I know what you're thinking. I thought it too: I was turning into one of those sports parents. So, before I lost my mind and pulled a Flying Insane Wrestling Dad move on the ref, I remembered that I don't actually know that much about the finer points of wrestling. Looked like a pin to me, but what do I know? The ref is the expert, right? Actually, no. My suspicion about the ref and his lack of familiarity with said ass was confirmed by the coaching staff and two wrestling parents who are Freakishly Knowledgeable About Wrestling.

Apparently, it was not the only bad call, judging by the barely suppressed outrage of the coaches and those parents freakishly in the know. Fortunately, this was a middle school match, and good sportsmanship prevailed. One coach did have a burning question for Bumbling Ref, after WrestlerBoy's match:

Coach: No disrespect intended Sir, but how long have you been at this?
Bumbling Ref: Actually, this is my first match ... please bear with me.

What's that? You say it's only middle school? Please. Obviously you have never witnessed two young athletes battling for the title of King (or Queen) of the Mat. It's brutal. I thought football was bad. They may plow into each other on the football field, break a bone or two, but this is a whole'nuther level of brutal.

This is hand-to-hand combat, people, this is some serious shit. No shoulder pads or helmets on the mat, just your shiny spandex singlet between you and your grunting opponent.

And I'll tell you something else, these young athletes have already stepped up to the mat just by putting that singlet on.

Think about it, these are adolescents fresh in the throes of puberty. They're either smack in the middle of a growth spurt, trying to figure out their new body and how to hold the damn razor, or they haven't hit the growth spurt yet, and are feeling self-conscious around the guys who already have leg hair, an Adam's apple, and a six-pack. And you want to wrap all that up in some spandex and send them to grapple around with -- omg -- another guy? In front of an audience?

Please. These are some tough motherfuckers before they even hit the mat. You put that singlet on and grab another guy's ass while your face is buried in his sweaty armpit. Now try it at age 14 and do it in front of a screaming crowd.

And that does not even address the possibility of wrestling a girl.

Yes, I am all for girls kicking ass on the sports field. Or mat. Three years ago, Teen Demon was the first girl to play on the middle school's football team. She was on the line, people, not kicking field goals. The next year, two more girls followed her. Way to break barriers, baby. Now she cheers for her high school wrestling team and kicks ass on the track team. It gives guys pause to know she can likely kick their ass. While in her cheerleader skirt. So yes, Title IX all the way.

That said, coed wrestling brings different issues. Again: 14, puberty, shiny spandex, grappling around together on the ground in front of an audience. Try these scenarios on for size at that age:

  • You get beat by a girl.

  • You beat a girl.

  • You wonder where it's okay to grab.

  • You have a physical reaction to being wrapped around a real live chick. In front of your parents. In a spandex suit.

  • The reality of straddling a girl and physically forcing her into submission, when she's desperately fighting to get away freaks you out and just feels wrong.

  • The idea of letting her up just because you can't handle her girlness seems disrespectful to her as an athlete.
You see what I'm saying? These are some tough young men and women. We don't have any girls on the middle school team, but there is a young woman at the high school who absolutely rocks. She went to State this year. Hell, yeah!

Anyway, Male Offspring's lip is still looking mighty rough, but he didn't need stitches. He's still drooling a bit. There was much grumbling about Bumbling Ref, but the coaches coached, did the post-meet locker room talk, modeled good sportsmanship. The guys know how they wrestled.

As for the parents, I did hear tell of a covert take-down plot, but that was just a baseless rumor.

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