On Sunday, I attended an Iowa State wrestling dual for the first time in nearly a decade. I’ve taken the bait and am 100 percent sold on Kevin Dresser’s vision for Cyclone wrestling. However I must admit, yesterday’s 35-6 loss to the No. 7 Hawkeyes was incredibly eye-opening to even the most casual of casual fans (that’s me).
There are a few reasons why after this awfully up and down season I am more interested in Iowa State wrestling than ever.
— As I wrote about last week, there is something that burns within me as a person that is in love with the process of building a program. It’s been a blast to sit back on the outside and watch Dresser attempt to establish a proper culture at what was once a titan in the sport.
— The history of the Dresser staff and the University of Iowa is incredibly compelling to me. This is real-life stuff we’re talking about within a rather small, niche sport community. When I was in college, Brent MetCalf was Public Enemy No. 1. We all hated that guy. Now, he’s one of us!
That was the first ISU wrestling dual I have attended in almost a decade. T’was very humbling, to state the obvious. Almost eye-opening as to how far ISU has fallen. Still doesn’t deter my excitement for the future though. Can only go up from here!
— Chris Williams (@ChrisMWilliams) February 18, 2018
I attended the dual with a good friend, diehard wrestling guy and believe it or not, classy Iowa fan. I learned so much more based off of the education he gave me during our four-hour day full of grappling. He too is all-in on Dresser – as is any smart wrestling mind I’ve talked to – which makes me even more excited about the future.
About yesterday’s post-dual drama…
When Iowa forfeited 197, my immediate reaction in the stands was that Tom Brands was doing it as sort of a pity move towards Iowa State. Full disclosure: Sitting in the stands, I had no idea what Iowa’s situation was like at 197. I do know that watching a crowd half full of Iowa fans chant “Let’s go Hawks” inside of our cathedral, my pride was already wounded. I would have rather Brands thrown somebody out there and shut the Cyclones out than take a freebie, but that’s just me.
Then after the match, this happened.
Head coach Kevin Dresser had some tough words on Iowa deciding to forfeit at 197. #CFTV #Cyclones pic.twitter.com/KdiA3dTawq
— CycloneFanatic.com (@cyclonefanatic) February 18, 2018
My reaction after watching this while pulling into my driveway: “YES!”
Granted, I lack proper perspective when it comes to the longterm strategy of what is going through Tom Brands’ mind. I really have no idea and honestly do not care.
I don’t even know if I agree with him, but I’m glad that Dresser said something, anything that made a rather boring day kind of interesting.
I’ve heard that Coach Zadick was awfully animated behind closed doors too.
I can’t wait for Iowa’s return to Hilton in two years. I have no idea if the Cyclones will be in a position to possibly win, but I do know that it will be a hell of a lot more competitive than the display we saw on Sunday.