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Monday, January 20, 2020

BRIDGE TOMMY, BRIDGE!

BRIDGE TOMMY, BRIDGE!

 

 In high school I was on the wrestling team.  I was not particularly good and I did not like the sport, but the football coach was also the wrestling coach and he wanted his football players to also wrestle.  He thought it would give his players more speed and endurance.  It was probably the reason our football team was not very big.

While other kids used the off season to rest up and put on weight, wrestlers fought to “make weight” or lose pounds in order to compete in a lower weight class.  Working out in sweats in a 90 degree gym and feasting on carrot sticks and celery during the teen years probably resulted in stunted growth for several of our football players. 

I never wrestled higher than junior varsity and my record was about 50/50.  I generally won by a pin, or lost by a pin; I just did not have the stamina to go the full nine minutes of a three period match.  Much as I despised wrestling it did provide some good stories.

In one tournament I was matched against a kid from Hunterdon Central, a known New Jersey wrestling powerhouse school at the time.  I expected a tough match and was surprised to find from the very start that my opponent was not a very good wrestler.  At the referees first whistle I had this kid on his back. 

He was not an experienced wrestler, but he was a tough competitor and would not give in to a pin.  He bridged (arching ones back while lifting your shoulders off the mat to avoid being pinned) the entire first period.  During the whole time I had him in a near pin, there was a loud clear voice from the thin crowd exhorting him to avoid defeat.

“Bridge Tommy bridge…move Tommy move…fight Tommy, move…bridge Tommy bridge.”

This voice did not stop for the whole first period as I attempted to pin my man.  In the second period I once again took down my inexperienced but gutsy opponent and had him on his back in a near pin situation.  The voice from the crowd rang out loud and clear once again.

“Bridge Tommy bridge…move Tommy move…fight Tommy, move…bridge Tommy bridge.”

For almost three minutes the voice did not stop rooting this kid on, and in turn he refused to be pinned.

The third period was more of the same.  I had “Tommy” on his back, and the voice from the crowd could not be missed.

“Bridge Tommy bridge…move Tommy move…fight Tommy, move…bridge Tommy bridge.”

With only seconds left in the match, my opponent’s strength finally sapped and just before he gave up and submitted to being pinned he screamed out at the top of his lungs,




“WOULD YOU SHUT UP MOTHER!”

 

As much as I hated this sport, it did teach me in later years to root for my own children silently.
Most of the time.
Re-run from January 2013

13 comments:

  1. For some reason, I thought there would be another word after 'mother.'

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  2. Bwahahahahahahaha. Moms can be a pain in the butt indeed.

    Have a fabulous day and week, Joe. 😎

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  3. Heeheehee! Poor guy, he sounds henpecked and he's not even married yet.

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  4. Heh, heh! I guess he showed her! Maybe the effort it took to holler those words is what sapped his remaining bridging strength.

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  5. I don't like wrestling and have never watched a match. my younger son used to watch WWW but I think he's moved on now.

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  6. Oh my, I loved this. Thanks for blogging it and making my day a bit brighter.

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  7. LOL! And here I thought it was sports DADS that made all the trouble at their kids games/matches.

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  8. Now that is what teachers would call "a helicopter parent". That was awesome.

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  9. My #3 son wrestled and I never enjoyed it...and I never yelled. I was always worried he would get scabies from the mats. Working in health care does that to your brain.

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  10. i never liked this game either but i was amazed to see that my mom enjoyed it in her late years
    it was annoying to see her cheering for players who were trying to almost break each others head

    haha i felt for the son as well lol

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