The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 11, 2014

Harold Raker's high school wrestling column: Talk of the crown

I hate to do this in my first column of the season, but I am asking your indulgence while I rant about something that I will loosely relate to high school wrestling.

After watching an incredible BCS national championship game that even the accidental comedian, ABC's Brent Musburger, could not tarnish, I made the mistake of staying up for the post-game interviews.

When you are watching great athletes making incredible plays it is easy to get lost in the entertainment value of the game.

Then they ask these athletes to speak in public.

And when you listen to these stars butcher the language so badly you're not sure if they are still speaking English, it hits you like an Aaron Rodgers spiral at close range: These are not college students, at least not in the true sense of the term.

Oh, did I say I would tie this to high school wrestling? Yes, but not just wrestling, instead all high school sports. In fact, make that all youth sports.

When you hear these guys, and you are in my profession, you can't wait to interview a high school wrestler. Or a Bucknell, Susquehanna or Bloomsburg University athlete. Consider it a cleansing.

The funny thing is, as I arrived in the office the next day and checked my email, there was one from Jim Dalpezzo, a friend in the Lehigh Valley, and ardent supporter of small-school football, particularly Susquehanna.

He also emailed to rant about those BCS interviews. So there at least two of us who found these comments disgusting.

Dalpezzo also made the point that allowing those guys to speak in front of a national television audience is an affront to all Florida State University graduates. Well, maybe not the ones who are now playing football on Sundays.

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