Bronco Wrestlers worth price of admission

I, like most Bronco fans see a Friday night in winter as the halftime of a Bronco Basketball Thursday-Saturday doubleheader. But last night while sitting at home listening to my two youngest offspring argue with me about watching Animal Planet the entire evening, I remembered there was going to be a rare Boise State Bronco home wrestling match beginning at 7 p.m. in the Pavilion. I quickly set my plan to escape the terrors of watching a Wildebeest mate all evening.

I mentioned to my wife how great "mommy" time with the kids would be on this particular evening, particularly without daddy there to hog the computer or put an end to that great children's programming. Besides, no bars were planned, no clubs, and no friends. Actually, I made it sound like it was going to be a chore to leave the confines of my home just to attend a college-wrestling match. And to be honest I wasn't so sure it wouldn't be. You see I haven't been to a college-wrestling match for some 20 years. But last night, unlike other nights, it just felt like the right thing to do (avoiding the children's programming not withstanding). With the eventual wife's blessing and a crisp $10 bill in my pocket for "spendin' money" I was on my way, not knowing what to expect and not even sure what it would cost to pry my way in the door. I drove into the Pavilion parking lot immediately noticing it had the appearance of a Bronco Basketball game. No difficulty getting a parking place at this event. Now for the important observations:

Admission Prices
The courteous ticket lady told me it would cost 5 big ones to enter the hallowed halls for the nights event, I thought this is good because I had brought $10.00 and would have money leftover for a Bronco Meal with the wife never knowing! Heck if the kids never give back the extra change while buying a candy bar, why should I have to cough up the change from my night out. Don't quote me but I believe the kids prices were $2 if I overheard correctly. So Basically a family of 4 can enjoy the match for about $15.
Grade A

The Venue
In the past most of the matches have been in the old Bronco gym. This is one of the reasons I have never gone. If I want to see a wrestling match at the equivalent of a high school gym, I'll watch High School wrestling while I'm there. It always seemed a disservice to the Bronco wrestlers in my mind. But tonight it was at the Pavilion. I entered the Pavilion and noticed a fairly good crowd was on hand. The mat was set up on the east end of the Basketball court (covering the colored pin-wheel design I like so much). The student side was closed off. Seating was available on the east end Parquet, and the east half of the south side parquet. I couldn't help but think if they put up a blue curtain on the west side of the mat, we could call it the "super spectrum" or something stupid like some other schools do! This definitely beats the old gym. Although its a lot of seats to fill. They dim the lights to give it that flair which I definitely liked.
Grade B+

The Crowd
Although I planned on sitting alone, a gentleman that sits directly behind me during Basketball games was there to see what I gathered was his first ever match. So I sat by him. The crowd was made up of families young and old. Many High School wrestling coaches and their kids were there. But many people who appeared to know nothing about wrestling were also in attendance. The east end Parquet was about 1/3 full and the south east side parquet sections were fairly full at least 65% of the way up then it began to thin out. Overall numbers were good even though you basically have to find out about matches by word of mouth. A few young kids behind me were ready to leave 5 minutes after it started, but that's to be expected. If your child's only view of wrestling has been the Hulkster on a Saturday morning cartoon, you may not want to make a college dual match the first real life wrestling he or she sees. There is a beauty to the sport that many miss. It's the 4 to 5 moves a seasoned veteran like Ben Vom Baur thinks of in advance, before he even makes the first. It's like a human chess match with spurts of lightning quick action and brute strength. Most people there tonight seemed to "get it". The only negative was the reactions of the Boise State fans. If there is such a thing, they were way to polite. Wrestling is about yelling and screaming. It's hard, cold, and blue collar in every way. The polite applause is nice if you're at Aunt Edna's Spades tournament with 20 other octogenarians, but this is wrestling, it ok to get loud.
Grade B

The Team
Once the announcer began the "face-off" I realized I only paid $5 for a chance to see a Top 20 college wrestling team. I had heard a lot about the Broncos but it had never really sunk in. Going into Friday nights PAC-10 match with Cal. State Fullerton, the defending PAC-10 Champion Broncos had a dual meet record of 3-3 and an InterMat ranking of 14th in the country. Four Bronco wrestlers were ranked by InterMat and two wrestlers, 125 pound Ben Vom Baur and 149 pound Collin Robertson were ranked as high as 4th and 8th in the nation respectively.
I was now excited and hoped to see a great match and I did, by the Broncos that is. The Titans of Fullerton had no answers for the methodical Broncos. Every Bronco wrestler was calculating and cunning. The Bronco grapplers would strike lightning quick and with a surety that would be expected of a top collegiate wrestling team. The Broncos dominated this match from the get go. Beginning the night at 184lbs, the train rolled out of the station. Along the way, Vom Baur, Rushton, Vigil, and Robertson all were impressive. The 10th and final match of the evening was to be the Broncos only loss, but by then the scoreboard read 32-0 and it was a moot point.
Grade A+

I never got my Bronco Meal, as I was too busy enjoying the Bronco action. The night was a great success. I got away by myself for a night out with the Broncos, saw collegiate wrestling again after a long hiatus, saw why the Boise State Broncos are considered a Top 20 wrestling team, and best of all I got to skip the wildebeest mating. Next time the Bronco wrestling team is in town, I recommend everyone else do the same. They're worth the price of admission.
Grade A+

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