Sports are a major part of the American culture

Sports are a major part of the American culture. Every weekend there is a football or basketball game that is being tuned into by television watchers around the country. For high school sports such as football, they are the main focus of the fall semester and every school takes pride in their team whether they are good or just horrible. Where I am from the football team members are treated as higher humans, even if their season is just humiliating.

Then, there are the secondary sports that are behind football such as baseball, cheerleading, and dance (also known as the pom pon squad). These sports deserve the respect they receive, but one sport that is always left out of the picture is wrestling. Wrestling is the world’s most difficult sport because it requires much dedication and demands more mental and physical strength than any other athletic activity.

Wrestling is man’s oldest sport dating back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. When people think of wrestling today they visualize two guys, in a ring, surrounded by ropes, beating each other up with chairs and other objects with the sole purpose of almost killing each other. This is what the great sport of wrestling has been changed into by business men, in order to make high television ratings. True wrestling is a sport where two competitors try to score takedown points, back points, and if all possible pin their opponent’s shoulders to the mat. There is hard, physical contact, but it is not allowed to do anything resembling a street brawl such as punch, kick, or bite. Sure wrestling sounds boring and it may even appear boring to a first time viewer, but once the sport is understood it is the most exciting athletic event to witness.

The sport usually argued against wrestling as the “king” of all sports is football. Football is the second toughest sport because of the hard physical contact made every game. Wrestling has it beat in difficulty due to the hard wear and tear on ones body. Well what makes a sport difficult? First, take a look at how many people are on the team near the end of the season. This is the time where all the quitters have been weeded out and only the toughest and most dedicated are left standing. On the wrestling team I was a part of for all four years of high school, there were usually between seventeen and twenty-five left at the conclusion of the year that started with almost three times as many people. Football always has enough members to fill up a side line which shows that wrestling is not as easy to stick with unless someone is a big die hard.

Important aspects of high school life are the social events that take place year round. Almost all athletes can find the time to go out with friends, go on dates, or go to parties to just celebrate being alive. For a wrestler these are not options if great success and accomplishments are desired. Much time must be put in after practice working on the technical areas, which are essential, and losing those precious pounds for the next match. Wrestlers do not even have the energy required to go out and have fun because this would be far too exhausting after a hard day of practice. Much of adolescent life that a teenager wants to engage in is put aside for a more serious matter by those who feel wrestling is important enough to make that sacrifice. This is another reason why some people can not stick with it because they can not sacrifice all that is needed to be successful in this sport. Wrestling is great because it brings out the true character of those who participate.

Wrestling is a one man sport. The team is involved in some senses, but when there is a match going on, no one on the team will be there to pull up the slack, unlike in football in which someone else could make the block that someone missed by someone on a play. Compared to football wrestling has as much physical contact but with one little difference; wrestling is constant for six minutes with maybe a total of a 10 second break between periods. In football, there is a minute break for every five seconds of play giving the players a lot more time to rest. This forces wrestlers to posses a good combination of endurance and muscle strength and a “never say die” attitude.

The main objective for athletes of any sport, especially football, is to eat, get stronger and bigger, and to always be hydrated to ensure maximum playing potential. This is where wrestling takes a different route. One controversy wrestling possesses is the art of weight cutting. After a long, hard practice wrestlers go to the locker room to weigh themselves to see how much, if any, food they may eat and still be in their desired weight class.

During my senior year of high school, I cut weight from 115 pounds down to my weight class of 103 pounds. Everyday for about four months I would consume a maximum of three oranges, two fruit snack packs, and a couple sips of water if I could afford them. The scary part about the sacrifice made here is that success could still not be achieved. After all the discipline put forth to not eat and suffer the long nights in bed with an empty stomach, matches could still never be won. This is how the mental aspect of wrestling comes highly into play and this is a main reason that people can not endure this sport.

Wrestling has been and always will be the toughest athletic activity in the world. People do not see this because the sport is not widely known. Maybe this is due to how wrestlers act as people. Great wrestlers never really talk about what they go through every day because they know that no one will truly understand what they are feeling. This sport is not possible to explain, no matter how many pages are written about it. No one can fully comprehend the pain, blood, and sweat that are put into wrestling in order to be great until they have experienced it for themselves. Only then will it be seen why wrestling is the toughest sport, and maybe then it will begin to get the respect it certainly deserves.

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