Analysing the Brent Metcalf – Darrion Caldwell Match

Friday, April 10th, 2009 | Columns, WIN Magazine | No Comments

This article appeared in the issue of WIN Magazine after the NCAAs:

The Brent Metcalf-Darrion Caldwell showdown on Saturday night, March 21, has generated as much excitement as I have seen in many years. The huge crowd was roaring all the way through the match, and buzzing for an hour afterwards. Since then, the chat rooms are full of chatter, much of it good and some of it way over the line, about the two wrestlers and what transpired.


There has been a ton of analysis. What is indisputable is that North Carolina State’s Caldwell wrestled a brilliant match, both in terms of strategy and execution. It was a marvelous performance by a superb athlete.

What has mystified many is that Metcalf, nearing legendary status for his incredible endurance and conditioning, seemed to tire noticeably as the match wore on. How is that possible, many are asking? How can someone who trains like Brent Metcalf be fatigued?

What I think many people are overlooking is the impact of two key factors:
Expectation anxiety and emotional fatigue!

Both are little known aspects of sports competition. They exist, nonetheless, and stepped to the center mat during the 149-pound bout.

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What Ronald Reagan Thought of Nile Kinnick

Monday, March 9th, 2009 | Columns, Iowa History Journal | 1 Comment

This article appeared in Iowa History Journal issue number 1:

It was on October 30, 1990, that I found myself face to face with Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States of America. Just two years out of the White House, he was visiting his hometown of Dixon, Illinois, for what would prove to be the last time, and was meeting a group of thirty Dixon citizens. As the executive editor of the Dixon newspaper, I and my wife, Bev, were invited to meet Mr. Reagan.

The former president worked his way around the small circle, shaking hands as he was being introduced to those assembled. As he moved toward Bev and me, I wondered what I would say to the man who had served his country in the highest office for eight years and was also acknowledged to be the leader of the Free World during that era.

All three of us – Mr. Reagan, Bev, and I – had Iowa roots. I was born and raised in Waterloo, while Bev grew up on a farm south of Waterloo, near Eagle Center. In the mid 1930s, a young Ron Reagan worked for radio stations in both Davenport and Des Moines before heading west to California, and his destiny.

I knew everyone in the room would be talking to him about Dixon, as there were several former classmates in the group, and other longtime Dixon political figures. So, as Mr. Reagan came closer, I decided I would ask him a question about Iowa.

Tall and very impressive in his dark suit at age 79, he stood in front of Bev and me and we shook hands. He spoke softly and said he was happy to meet us, and was about to move on to the next person when I spoke out:

mike with ronald reagan reagan
“Mr. President, I know you used to broadcast Iowa football games in the 1930s, and so I wondered if you ever met Nile Kinnick.”

He stopped in his tracks, looked at me again, and smiled faintly.

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