--- On Wed, 11/18/09, ethan lichtblau <email@example.com> wrote:
I know of you from my old wrestling coach, Ron Pollack. I know that you wrestled at NYU,and that you won the Met Championships. I am writing a book about my own experiences in wrestling, judo, and ju jitsu. I wrestled in the Met champioships in 1984 when they were held at NYU, and I remember seeing an old newspaper article they had on display that talked about you winning the Mets in '72 or '73. You beat Pollack in the finals. Pollack's coach was quoted in the article as saying that Ron "gassed out", I'm assuming from nerves. I am really interested in the phenomenon of "choking" in a sports event due to being nervous. I was wondering if you had any memories you could share about this particular match? I know it was a long time ago, but if you do remember anything I would appreciate whatever you could share.
18 Nov 2009 22:50:55 -0800
Subject: Re: Your NYU Wrestling Experience
The mother of one of our team mates worked with Ron Pollack's dad who kept telling her how badly Ron Pollack was going to beat me (some others played him up saying he consistently beat his team mate stu pruzansky by substantial margins and other such things). In fact, he took an early lead with a take-down that he was quite good at and I was looking for (something between a firemans' carry and a barrel role). However, by the end of the match, he was quite haggard, in tears, and I actually had to hold him up on the podium. My tougher match was the semi's where I met two-time defending Met Champion Ed Rufrano (he got a special trophy for scoring the most team points over a period of time). He was quite strong and although I won, I had slipped a cervical disk (for which I ultimately needed traction - I couldn't even do a push-up after a couple of days which is very humbling when one relies so much on will-power). I had also beaten Ron in the finals of the Freshman Met Tournament. I was injured by the end of the season in the two prior intervening years (interestingly, the neurologist for the herniated disk pointed out that my bones were relatively small compared to my musculature/body-mass). I was fortunate to have a great coach in Roger Saunders (Roger and his brother Richard, a former CIA Agent/Mechanic, were both National Champions). I couldn't imagine Roger saying one of his wrestlers "gassed out", even if true. Ron certainly didn't "choke" in the first period, if at all.
Roger Saunders was my coach at NYU and clearly, a great one at that, who subsequently went to Bloomsburg where he was ultimately Athletic Director on last info. Bob Metz had quite a few winning teams at FDU, but he was not Saunders whose brother's wrestling success I alluded to so as to emphasize his wrestling prowess as no fluke. The last I heard of Dave Pruzansky he was diving out of a window of his house to evade police who had busted his drug-dealing operation. As a wrestler he was no joke and you did well to beat him and are too modest. I included reference to pruzansky because they developed a very curious, bizarre, and almost gang-like mentality within their "wrestling click". Upon information, many (if not all) of their clique "amped up" on amphetamines before their matches. Very close to their clique was the very weird and corrupt ref spike israel. The very quiffy spike israel had a "little buddy" jim fiore and had recruited David and his little buddy (among others) to Temple University to which he had some connection, and actually attempted to recruit me to same. I didn't take him seriously; firstly, because he told everyone he had been a state champ (bull s**t); secondly, because he had screwed me in a high school match wherein I had pinned leonard pruzanzky in the first period (I had him on his back almost the entire first period and israel gave me no back points, 2 or 3 for near fall, let alone the pin, and just the takedown and I lost by a point on riding time-leg ride). In an open tournament (I think Stroudsburg?), I was looking at the seedings/pairings/chart and David came up behind me pointed to my entry and said to the guy he was with that I had beaten his brother leonard. Roger required our team during one Christmas break to compete in my first and only free-style tournament. I was up two weight classes and
David won quite handily. That was the third time I had beaten Ron and frankly, I did grind him into the mat and kick his ass for the late balance of the first period and the remainder of the match.
The following is a reply on facebook to someone who said I beat him in wrestle-off and
completes my wrestling story.
Good luck to you in all your endeavors.
Thank you for your gracious and overly humble comment. Over time, such things become less and less important and I can't say that I actually recall that, per se. As we both know, wrestling was never a pleasant undertaking and although I respect(ed) the sport, I made it a point never to set foot on a mat off season. You may also find it somewhat ironic that I actually had made the basketball team (Hubie Brown for whom I had high regard was varsity coach and Richie Szura the J.V. coach), which sport I enjoyed; and in a meeting arranged by Dan Deluca (I had won a tournament in junior high and the match against the rival Thomas Jefferson Junior High) with Coach Szura wherein Szura nicely but candidly told me that although I had made the team, "that I wasn't the tallest of angels" (which I thought was very funny and we all laughed) and essentially I'd be warming the bench while Deluca guaranteed me a varsity letter for wrestling the easy matches since varsity wrestler Richard Zocco was having difficulty making weight (he never made weight). As trite and cliched as it sounds, it was the varsity letter guarantee that sealed the deal (and in my mind, the prospective "help with the babes therefrom" - actually, it was only the pretty sophomores with whom it ultimately paid dividends so to speak - how very high school). I had a great Coach in Roger Sanders who recruited me to NYU (Roger and his brother Richard, a CIA agent/mechanic, were both national champions). Wrestling has always been an important learning experience for me. Such a kind and humble remark as yours
deserved a greater explanation.
thanks for all your info. Interesting that you should mention Spike Israel. I am assuming that the word "quiffy"
is code for "gay". Spike was coach at Tenafly
High when I was in high school, and was known to "like boys".
Apparently he taught the Tenafly guys only one move, the Granby roll, which they were all quite good at,
but very little else. Besides Ron in the early '70's and Steve and
Dave Yale in the later '70's Tenafly basically had no decent wrestlers during
that period. Not really sure if this was a coaching issue or recruiting
issue. Our high school (DMHS in Englewood) had former state champ
Bob Hurley (Bergenfield) as our assistant coach and former state runner
up Reggie Williams (Hackensack) as head coach, and we also fielded very
few good wrestlers during those years.
"As a wrestler he was no joke and you did well to beat him and are too modest."
To reiterate: you are far too modest!
Good luck to you in all your endeavors.