“It never gets old.”
– Jim Miller, Wartburg College wrestling coach, circa 2003 (credit to LeRoy Gardner III for the quote)
When a team wins, and wins, and keeps winning, there is a fear that each win becomes a “ho-hum, no big deal” type of win. Fans start to take it for granted, automatically assuming each game, match, or duel, is a win. When that happens, then it doesn’t feel “special” and “fun” for those who follow a team and the athletes themselves.
Don’t tell the Wartburg College wrestling team that it’s no big deal that they have won 158 consecutive IIAC dual meets, six National Duals titles, 8 Division III National Championships since 1996, finished 1st or 2nd in the National Tournament 15 out of the last 17 years, and every wrestler is ranked in the Top 10 in each of their respective weights.
It is a big deal. A very special “big deal.”
This morning, at venerable Eby Fieldhouse at Coe College, the Knights are going for their 20th consecutive Iowa Conference wrestling title.
Let me say that again. Twenty in a row. The Iowa Hawkeyes won 24 Big Ten titles in a row.
That’s nothing to sneeze at.
And each one is as special as the last one. That’s why it never gets old when “Milboy’s Army” steps onto the mat. It’s a model of consistency. To be the best, you work hard to stay on top and beat your opponents. From Coe to UW-LaCrosse to rival Augsburg, everyone wants to take the best shot at the Knights.
That is why, in the eyes of Wartburg fans across the world, what the Knights have accomplished in nearly 2 decades is remarkable, amazing, and special.
I just gave you a few reasons on why I think you should watch the tournament tonight on IPTV tonight at 8:30 (tape delay), watch it IPTV online once the tournament concludes, or if you like taking risks, travel to Cedar Rapids and head to Coe to see it for yourselves.
To see a model of consistency right before your eyes.