|PERSISTENT CLOUDS ON THE EASTERN HORIZON|
|IS THE ROOSTER A CHICKEN?|
I have watched with interest the recent news story about the high school wrestler who forfeited a championship match with a girl wrestler because he said it was against his religion. Perhaps it was, but more importantly it would have been extremely embarrassing, win or lose. Win and he would have been judged an overpowering bully (look where he grabbed her, did he have to be so rough?), lose and he would have been a wimp. He would have lost either way, and it was unfair to put him in that situation. You can say the same for other extreme contact sports, like football.
When I was in my early twenties I had some young farmer friends, tough as the proverbial nails, and one of them was a young woman, the sister of several brothers who were virtual wild men. I had heard stories of her wrestling the young Mexican migrant workers who came to their farm every fall. Her brothers would set up the match and make a lot of money betting on her. As far as I know she never lost a fight, and I doubt the young bucks held back at all as there could be serious money in the game.
Then one of the brothers set me up on a date with his sister. Mind you, she was a pretty girl in every respect and actually rather charming. At some time in the evening I put my arm around her, and it was like putting my arm around the biggest, toughest of her brothers. Solid sinew and muscle. I was no physical slouch at that time, but I knew right then I would not have bet on myself in a wrestling match of any kind with her. No thinking guy wants to bet his male reputation on an actual fight with a girl, regardless of religion, title or money. The young wrestler obviously considered discretion the better part of male valor. Call me chicken, but I would have done the same.