Several years ago, while wearing ungodly short school-issued track shorts, I was running a 1600-meter race in Sabetha, Kansas. Coming around the final turn, I was neck and neck with another kid for the lead. Waiting at the final turn was my youth wrestling coach. He yelled out, "wrestlers never lose."
Little did Mr. Knipe know, I didn’t go out for wrestling that winter, and I promptly lost the race. But he wasn’t wrong. The kid who out-kicked me down the stretch turned out to be a pretty good wrestler.
Anyone who’s ever tried it will tell you wrestling is one of the most challenging sports in the universe. To finish a match not feeling like you’re going to die is a minor miracle. To finish a match victorious is a completely different plane of success. To do so over and over and over again? Well, that just makes you a more amazing human being than I can possibly fathom. This week, we got to talk to two pretty damn amazing human beings, former Husker All-Americans Jordan Burroughs and James Green.
This past season, James became just the second wrestler in Nebraska history to become a four-time All-American (joining Bryan Snyder), while Jordan is the only Husker wrestler to win two individual national championships. Jordan also won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic games in London. Both are now on the U.S. national team, representing our nation, the Huskers and their home state of New Jersey.
So naturally, in the midst of such legends, we asked them the obvious question: who was your favorite professional wrestler growing up? We asked them a bunch of other things too, and they were super gracious about all of it.
Unfortunately, there were four phone lines involved when we interviewed them (one for us, one for Jordan, one for James and one for their agents), so the audio quality is a little less than standard. But be like a wrestler and power through the tough moments. You’ll emerge as a champion of life in the end.
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