Bring back wrestling as conduit for aggression
Hunter O. Lyle—Sports Editor
There seems to be a campaign going on around the country to make every aspect of life less combative and physical. From video games to school yard scuffles, everything seems to have become a PG-13 version of what it once was.
Even sports have seen a decrease in physical contest. The NFL is under heavy fire from discussions of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and on the collegiate level, football is on the chopping block in many universities around the nation.
In the NBA, where this movement can be seen most obviously, the league has moved away from the tough and rugged play of old, with fouls being called more frequently and broadly.
However, sports are a perfect home for physicality and aggression. Countless times, I have heard coaches talk about how players should “take it out on the field” or “put that anger to use.”
Southern athletics should consider bringing one sport that could be considered of a poster child of controlled aggression, back onto campus: wrestling.
During the 1980s, Southern had a wrestling program, and even made a trip to the Championships in 1982. The program continued to be a part of Southern’s athletic, until the late 1990s, where it was discontinued for reasons that can not be verified.
As a fan of any sport that combines physical challenge and prowess with skill and performance, I urge Southern to bring back the wrestling team, a program that was teetering on the verge of NCAA banners and recognition.
Wrestling, unlike any other sport in Southern’s athletic programs, pins one contestant versus another, both only able to win using their brute strength, sharp minds, and practiced strategies.
In many high schools and colleges across the country, wrestling is a major sport that attracts fans and spotlights. The reach of the sport goes beyond educational programs, as it is also a major event in the Olympics.
The sport, which was one of the first featured in the Olympics, is such a well-loved sport, that when it was removed from the Olympics in 2013, there was an immediate protest and petition to reinstate wrestling, which passed and will take effect in the 2020 games.
In most other realms of life, I can understand the shift away from anything that inspires hostility, but sports and athletics thrive off the mindset of enmity. Athletes know what they are signing up for when they agree to play a contact sport, a sport they most likely have been playing throughout their lives already.
Having a wrestling team would utilize and act as a conduit or a valve to tap into this bottled up energy.