Last week former Cyclone and Hawkeye great was on 1650 The Fan in Waterloo to discuss his thoughts on a variety of wrestling topics on the radio program ‘On The Mat’ with host Kyle Klingman.

Starting the interview off Gable stated his intention for wrestling, to be the same level where basketball, football, and baseball is. Which is obviously the dream that all wrestling fans would like the direction of the sport. Getting it there on the other hand will be another matter.

Gable spoke on what wrestling needs to do to get to that next level on the radio show. “A little bit clearer understanding on what it (the sport) is. Most sports are pretty clear, putting a ball in a goal, getting a ball across a line.” Gable says that wrestling struggles based on the fact that it’s not always so cut and dry in our sport. Wrestling has a more subjective element to it. For instance scoring back points on occurs when the referee deems that a wrestlers shoulder blades have broken the 90 degree plane. “It’s not easy to understand to the mainstream….which has hurt us with sponsors.” Gable concluded.

Gable was able to briefly mention a benefit to wrestling that gives it a leg up on other sports. “Wrestling doesn’t need padding, we just have a garment that is kinda…out there.” Of course the garment that is ‘out there’ is the singlet which has led me to wonder what do you think about the singlet? Is it time to make a change or are you deeply rooted with the garment? If you are for the change leave a comment down below on what sort of change you would prefer.

Gable makes an awesome point though in this interview about how the fact that wrestling is not a collision sport. In a world where world class quarterbacks like Joe Namath and Brett Favre are worried about the consequences of playing America’s most popular sport, turning to a sport that doesn’t have the same amount of violence can be a great alternative. That’s not to say wrestling is a zero risk sport, after all we saw Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter tear both hamstrings earlier this past season, but when it comes to concussions and long term mental effects, wrestling certainly has the edge.

Gable had a few more good thoughts at the end of the program.  On Tony Ramos and Brent Metcalf making the World Team he had this to say, “I’m excited about getting some medals, and I like gold medals… Just making the team doesn’t set too well with these guys.” He went on to praise Ramos’ performance in Madison, and was pretty happy that Hawkeye Thomas Gilman made the Junior Team, and Matt McDonough trying to make the University Team. He summed up that anything that bring attention and all the success that these guys have will help raise the program back up to the pinnacle of college wrestling.

Gable also had some nice things to say about what Coach Jackson is doing at Iowa State calling him a winner, and also that Coach Schwab in Cedar Falls is bringing UNI back into relevance. His final thoughts on wrestling were related to Jordan Burroughs having a shot at John Smith’s record, which was 6 straight World and Olympic titles. Gable said that Burroughs is obviously on track, and if he get’s that record, it will be because of David Taylor and Kyle Dake. Those two wrestlers make sure that Burroughs is training year round and that he never can take a day off because it only takes one mistake for a guy of that caliber to beat him and end his dream.

All-in-all I really enjoyed the interview with Gable so if you haven’t listened to it first hand I would suggest that you do so as there were some elements that I wasn’t able to address.

A couple other bullet items to get to:

  • Jason Bryant must be trying to get on Hawkeye fan’s good side as he followed up his Short Time podcast of Tony Ramos, with Brent Metcalf. Or it could be he is doing these interviews because they are the talk of freestyle wrestling right now (and they make up one third of the current men’s freestyle team). Much like he did with Ramos, Bryant talked with Metcalf about the role his marriage plays into his wrestling, and he also touches on Metcalf’s late brother Chase, who passed away in a car crash. These are the kind of interviews that make you feel like you are really connecting with the interviewee as Metcalf is a pretty open book.
  • Also, going on last week was the Cadet freestyle and Greco team duals with Illinois taking both titles for the second straight year. It’s not really Iowa related, but being as Illinois is Iowa’s neighbor to the East, and Iowa has done a pretty good job landing a couple great wrestlers from Illinois over the last few years, it’s worth noting that right now the youth wrestling is really good over there.
  • FILA is working on updating the name and logo for the sport to “United World Wrestling”. Intermat has the story and you can see the tweet that FILA released this weekend:

  • The final note from the weekend was of course Greco-Roman World Team Trials were taking place in Florida this weekend. Former Panther Jordan Holm made his second World Team at 85 KGs by 9-1 and 8-0 over Zach Nielsen in the best-of-three finals. Match 1 and Match 2 (still behind paywall) are both up on Flowrestling.

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle

8 thoughts on “Digging Into Dan Gable’s ‘On The Mat’ Comments”
  1. I don’t know if I’ll ever get on the good side of some Hawkeye fans! I remember one year, the Clone fans said I was Iowa biased and within the same week, Hawk fans said I was anti-Iowa.

    Appreciate the comments on the recent podcasts. We’ve got a pretty diverse group of guests coming up, with the World Teamers sprinkled in. Tony and Brent were the most quickly accessible. They just happened to work out in that particular format. It was a pretty heavy Hawkeye Week with Ramos-Gable-Metcalf all in a row.

    1. Well you certainly made a really good attempt at getting back into their good graces! I know I really enjoyed all three pieces this week.

      I know we had a disagreement on your redshirt ranks this last winter, but you were pretty cool about it. For what it’s worth, I still think Gilman should have been ranked over Tomasello.

      1. I don’t hold any grudges with disagreements on the boards. I honestly don’t even remember the conversation because it was simply a difference of opinion, nothing I’d take completely to heart. If there’s good stuff out there to consume, I don’t mind any back and forth, it stimulates discussion while not doing it for the sake of website traffic and sacrificing the core mission of what we’re trying to do.

        As far as the three shows, I’ve always felt Kyle has the ability to draw good responses out of his guests. That’s what I loved about working with him at Wrestling 411. He wasn’t afraid to ask the question. I picked up a few things from him during our time up in Minnesota five-six years ago. My goal has always been to inform AND educate. The podcast is just another way we can do that.

        1. It wasn’t a very memorable disagreement. I just tried to make the case that Gilman deserved to be the #1 125 back up over Tomasello. Not like it was something you didn’t expect coming from the fans in Black and Gold.

          You two did a very good job, and it was awesome how much time you got with Metcalf.

  2. I think the Hawkeyes could improve the color of their singlets. I’d suggest Maroon and Gold.

    1. An interesting theory. I would think Minnesota would be more concerned of keeping their top end talent in Maroon and Gold before they worry what color Iowans are wearing. 🙂

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