Johnny Manziel’s ESPY Win Demonstrates America’s Ignorance


Look, I understand there are bigger problems in this world than who wins an ESPY and who doesn’t, but something happened at the 2013 ESPY Awards that deserves, if nothing else, an angry rant.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, was voted by “the people” as the Best College Athlete. If the award was called “Most Popular College Athlete” or “Most Exciting College Athlete”, I wouldn’t be writing this. But the award was called “Best College Athlete.” Johnny Manziel should not have been in the conversation.

Cornell University wrestler Kyle Dake did something this year that may not ever be done again. He won his fourth NCAA Title in fours years in a fourth weight class. Only two other wrestlers in the history of the sport had won four NCAA titles before Dake, and neither of them did it at four different weight classes. Making Dake’s accomplishment even more impressive was the fact that he had to defeat Penn State’s David Taylor in this year’s 165 lb championship match to win his fourth title. Not only was Taylor the defending champion at the weight class, but he won the 2012 Hodge Trophy — basically college wrestling’s Heisman — awarded to the best collegiate wrestler in the sport. Quite simply, to be the best, Kyle Dake had to beat the best.

Yes, I’m biased. I’m a lifelong wrestler and I feel a special connection to anyone who participates in the sport. It is a bit of a brotherhood and we find ourselves defending each other and our sport with the biggest of chips on our shoulders. That said, I run a football website. I get paid by a second to offer fantasy football advice to the masses. It’s not like I hate football. I understand that it is the sport of choice for most Americans.

I’m just shocked that…well wait a minute. Maybe I’m not shocked that a nationwide internet vote decided that Johnny Manziel is a better college athlete than Kyle Dake. I suppose that’s what happens when you open up an awards show to the general public. The end result is something along the lines of the Kids Choice Awards, where Justin Bieber beats the Foo Fighters. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Perhaps perplexed is a better word. I’m perplexed at the continued lack of respect and attention the sport of wrestling gets from both the public and media. Mixed Martial Arts is currently the fastest growing sport on the planet in terms of popularity. The UFC is the flagship organization of the sport. Of the eight current men who hold UFC Championship belts, six are wrestlers by trade. A seventh trains with the Canadian national team. Wrestling is the foundation for the fastest growing sport on the planet, yet it is continuously ignored by the masses.

At the root of all of this is the nature of how the ESPYs are decided. An open, national vote is no way to lend credibility to any award show looking for it. Maybe they’re not. Maybe ESPN just wants an entertaining couple of hours on the most boring sports day every year to collect some advertising dollars and keep their customers — aka — their viewers happy with an award show that they had a say in. Well, even if that is the case, this time the customer was wrong.

Going forward, I’d like to see the ESPYs evolve to a point where the people have little or no vote or say. I’d like to see ESPN employees do the voting. I’d like to see an award show with a bit more integrity vs. just another popularity contest.

I’d like to see ESPN cover the sport of wrestling more than they do. I’d like to see a lot of things that probably won’t happen. Maybe what I’d like to see most this morning is Kyle Dake knocking on the door of every football groupie who didn’t vote for him and ask them to explain why.

BY J.P. SCOTT ON JULY 18, 2013

Follow @KIAFootball on Twitter.



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About J.P. Scott

Owner and editor of Know It All Football, contributor to and Member of the Football Writers Association of America.

212 thoughts on “Johnny Manziel’s ESPY Win Demonstrates America’s Ignorance

  1. Scott
    July 18, 2013 at 8:47 am

    The flaw with your rant is this: If Johnny Football wrestled Dake, Johnny would beat him.

    1. admin
      July 18, 2013 at 10:11 am

      Pretty sure you are trolling, but just in case you aren’t, I’ll just assume you’ve never watched a wrestling match in your life.

      1. Fuzzy
        July 19, 2013 at 2:43 pm

        In all fairness… I don’t think you’ve ever watched a football game in your life.

        1. admin
          July 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm


          1. July 24, 2013 at 11:38 am

            I know both sports pretty well as a fan, coach and participant.

            Dake deserved the ESPY.

        2. Oliver
          July 25, 2013 at 6:18 am

          I have I’ve played and coached Div. III FB. Great team sport where would your boy be without his offensive line? Joe best team player like the Heisman says, Wrestling one on one Drake is the best athlete.

      2. Greg
        July 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm

        What he means is that Dake’s feat is not as impressive because the best athletes gravitate toward the mainstream sports. If Manziel wrestled from age 5 instead of tossing the pigskin, he’d be better than Dake. Wrestling is a second or third tier sport. And this is coming from a kid who graduated with Dake Cornell ’13

        1. Jim
          July 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm

          You sound like a complete moron when you say ” If Manziel wrestled from age 5 instead of tossing the pigskin, he’d be better than Dake.” Kyle Dake is one of the best wrestlers ever and you are comparing him to Johnny Manziel and saying Manziel would beat Dake. Where Dake and Manziel differ is Dake is hard working and 100% dedicated, and wouldn’t show up late to a practice if he was hung over. To remember a bunch of plays and throw the football to another player is a hell of a lot easier than wrestling one wrestling match.

          1. John
            July 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm

            You have obviously never played football. Not that I necessarily think that Manziel would be able to wrestle better than Dake, just that Johnny Manziel is the most athletic college athlete currently. It takes a hell of a lot more than remember a few plays and simply throwing the football to another player, as you so elegantly laid out there. Also, obviously a college wrestler isn’t going to be spotlighted as much as a football player. It’s America. Football rules over all.

          2. Sam
            July 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm

            First of all, have you ever been an athlete? Secondly, to say that any other college athlete is more athletic than a very talented wrestler is ignorant, not to mention a 4 time national champion. For the most part, any talented wrestler can play any other sport well or above average, but have you ever seen someone who has never wrestled before try it? its comical. Not to mention, wrestling has been mentioned as the hardest sport in the world.

          3. July 24, 2013 at 5:47 am

            not to mention that Dake doesn’t smoke or drink…

        2. Clay Tucker
          July 22, 2013 at 12:56 am

          As a person who did both there is no comparison. Wrestling by far is more intense than football. The only reason people call it a “second or third tier” sport is because it doesn’t get the media attention football does. Just because it doesn’t have the advertising power of football doesn’t make it any less of a sport. Don’t believe me? How bout you go 3 periods with someone who can actually wrestle and see how you make out.

          1. Don
            July 22, 2013 at 4:59 pm

            I’ve played minor league football, and won an aau world wrestling championship. Football is a great sport, but nothing on this planet is as hard as wrestling. You can’t take a play off, or surround yourself with teammates that make you look good. This is an argument that no one will ever win, but the only people who will truly know the answer to this debate are those who have been apart of both sports.

        3. Andy
          July 22, 2013 at 11:16 am

          That is ridiculous to say that if Jonny was wrestling since 5, he would be better than dake. You don’t know ANYTHING about wrestling if you say that. Ray Lewis wrestled and placed 2nd his senior year of HIGH SCHOOL in New Jersey. An average wrestling state. He would’ve gotten around 6th in Ohio or Pennsylvania. and this is High School. I play both sports and I know and seen athletes that are just talented football but don’t manage well in wrestling or vice versa. I also know that being the best athlete on the football field does not necessarily mean you are the best football player. There are so many other key factors. That is the same for wrestling. More especially for wrestling than anything else.

          1. Jake
            July 27, 2013 at 9:40 am

            Ray Lewis took 2nd in Florida. Sorry I take offense to that since I am a New Jersey wrestler.

        4. July 25, 2013 at 12:31 am

          Amazing logic…stunning conclusion. I guess graduating from Cornell doesn’t mean what it used to.

        5. jason
          July 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm

          Having participated in both at a high level, I have the utmost respect for the athletic feats that both of these men have been able to accomplish. Ill start this by stating that at a young age, if you are athletic, you are inherently good (at least average) at football. I knew at least a handful of college football players that started playing in the middle of high school. They were great because of their hard work in other sports and god given athleticism. On the other hand, I knew the same type of guys that were athletic, but didn’t want to play basketball and wanted a winter sport. I watched them come into the wrestling room year by year. A handful of them stuck with it. After wrestling my whole life, it came second hand to me. Taking the beatings that they did, day in and day out, was some kind of mental toughness that I convinced myself that I didn’t have. That being said, I think both Dake and Johhny are great athletes. Mid high school, throw Dake on a football team. Given his work ethic and athleticism, I wouldn’t be surprised if he would have been able to play D-III football. PRO Example: Brock Lesnar trying out for the Viking’s and making all but the final cut having not played a game since high school. However, throw Johnny Football in a 90 degree wrestling room in his sophmore year in high school, he probably wouldn’t make varsity. I would expect a slightly better than .600 record on JV. Throw him in a college room, and watch him get tossed by the 125 pounder. We are really comparing apples and oranges. But in all seriousness, Dake is like your grandma’s apple pie, and Johhny Manziel is just another orange. A dime a dozen. We will have another Johhny Manziel every year for as long as football is a sport. Tim Tebow won a Heisman once… Dake’s accomplishment is one that we may not see in the next 20 or 40 years and is certainly on par with the likes of Dan Gable and Cael Sanderson in their college careers. If wrestling is still an olympic sport by the time Dake gets his chance, and I hope it is, I only expect him to have the same olympic success. As far as Manziel goes, I expect that he will translate well to the NFL, but will not be a standout by any means. All things aside, by DEFINITION, the best athlete in ALL of college athletics is the winner of the decathlon.

        6. kip
          August 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm

          NO statistics or facts to back this up. Dake goes toe to toe with the best wrestlers in the world, and in many country’s wrestling is the mainstream sport.

    2. Jim
      July 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Are you froggin’ nuts?? No way Johnny beats Kyle in a wrestling match. Anyways, even greater than Kyle’s sport achievment is that he is a class act gentleman all the way.

      1. jbwilli
        July 19, 2013 at 9:14 am

        (No pun intended), but you do know what you get when you wrestle with a pig don’t you? You get mud all over you!

        It is obvious some comments are not even deserving of a reply (ala Scott above). Yes Yes Yes, the wrestling feat you so amply described is WAY more deserving of an award than any other collegiate athlete I have heard of in a long time. The real shame is the sports media did not publicize this nation wide. Thanks for sharing it with us who have a real knowledge of sports and human accomplishments!

    3. glenn
      July 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      u are a idiot johnny dumbass would be waded into a little ball of waste that he is

    4. Jim
      July 18, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      Unless Manziel is a wrestler, if he wrestled someone in his weight class, he’d be crushed. Drake would beat him handily, unless the wrestling we’re talking about is sumo.

      1. Lucas
        July 22, 2013 at 12:05 am

        Who the hell is Drake? Its Dake. Jim you know jack squat if you knew anything about either sport you would know that the only reason people float towards football is because its more popular and all tell you this much the second reason is because wrestling is 5x tougher. I wonder what the Manning brothers think about this outcome.

    5. James
      July 18, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Doubt it..he wouldn’t be able to make weight from drinking.

    6. Jon
      July 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      @scott, your obviously a moron!

    7. Sparky
      July 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      Your comment further demonstrates your ignorance……Johnny Football couldn’t beat Dake’s jockstrap

      1. Nate
        July 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm

        40 yard dash time ain’t gonna help him much on the mat.

    8. Utom
      July 18, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      Scott speaks the truth. Lol

      1. jaycal
        July 18, 2013 at 11:20 pm

        @Utom @Scott If you honestly believe a college quarterback would not only wrestle, but bet someone who could be thought of as one of the best college wrestle of all time… I feel bad for you because you have been very mislead.

    9. Nate
      July 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Jonny better bring some backup and a good amount of luck if you think that might happen there Scotty.

    10. Scottsanidiot
      July 18, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      And the ESPY for Dumbest Shit Ever Said on the Internet goes to Scott.

    11. red
      July 19, 2013 at 5:19 am

      If Dake QBd for A&M they would still have won 4 games. If Maziel wrestled 1000 matches against D1 wrestlers he woulsd win 0.

    12. JOANI
      July 19, 2013 at 6:06 am

      I am the mom not only football players but wrestlers too…And let me tell you although football is rough there is NO WAY football matches up to wrestling. . My son who did both beat him self constantly to be the better wrestler and HE WAS… Although he was great in football wrestling took so much more time and dedication and weight cuts and on and on.. So for you to say that you are obviously NOT nor ever will be a wrestler or sports fan… Go try it for a season then come back and tell which is the more deserving of the two.

        July 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm


    13. Rob
      July 19, 2013 at 6:24 am

      Not only would Johnny Football lose, I would bet that he would not even score a point. Not a take down, not an escape, not even a point for technical violation. Dake would humiliate him. This is not saying that Johnny is not a good or possibly a great QB but he is not even on the same planet as Dake as an athlete.

    14. Lavallee
      July 19, 2013 at 7:16 am

      your flaw is that Johnny couldn’t make it through 1 practice with Dake

    15. Adam
      July 19, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Are you drunk. You honestly believe johnny would outwrestle the best collegiate wrestler of all time. He ways a small 205, wrestling a guy who’s weight class is 165 meaning her probably cutes a cool 15-20 natural body weight. Your crazy.

    16. Mike
      July 19, 2013 at 8:09 am

      sorry to tell you this bro…. but Johnny football would have to be carried from mat if he wrestled Dake… dude is a freak of nature…

    17. Sean
      July 19, 2013 at 11:29 am

      You my sir, are either not funny or a complete idiot

    18. Ryan
      July 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm


    19. BOOSH
      July 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm


    20. Steve
      July 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      You are an idiot.

    21. andrei
      July 20, 2013 at 11:56 am

      youre retarded

    22. Don
      July 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks for illustrating the point quite well… know nothing about athletics or athletes.

    23. siah
      July 20, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      They qb is 6’1 and weighs 200ibs yet looks small to the 160 ibs champ. Dake wouldn toss him like a rag doll

    24. John Carpenter
      July 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Scott, you know nothing about wrestling, and I don’t mean that in a condescending way. When kids would come from football to wrestling practice for their first time, they would think it would be be a piece of cake. They had had to endure two a days after all. After they went to the bathroom to puke, many football players would go on to become great wrestlers, but no one, not even Johnny Football could have ever touched Kyle Dake on the mat.

    25. Jake
      July 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Are you dumb? If you put Johnny on the mat with Dake Kyle would pin him in under a minute. Don’t talk about things you have no idea about

    26. josh
      July 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      i voted for my man drake we wrestled together in high school. and johnny wouldnt beat him if they wrestled.

    27. mike
      July 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      hey scott, shut the fuck up 🙂

    28. July 21, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      HAHA! No way dude but good try!

    29. Mike
      July 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      I am assuming you are just being silly, or maybe you really are that dumb. The real problem with the rant is that even if it were just espn employees that made the vote Manziel still would have won. Wrestling doesn’t make money that’s the bottom line. So it’s not covered like the mainstream sports. I bet there were a handful of other male college athletes out there that also deserved the award more than Manziel. But none deserved it as much as Dake. He did something never done before and that may never be done again.

    30. Colin
      July 21, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Pick any athlete in college football today within 50 pounds of Dake and have them wrestle. I would gladly put all the money I have on Dake to win just so I could double up. There’s no one under 215 lbs in football that can beat Dake in a wrestling match. Period. I can’t tell if you’re a knowledgeable person having a good troll or if you just don’t know anything about wrestling. If you’re the former, congrats, I bit. If you’re the latter, please set up a match between Dake and Manziel; I would love to watch Dake pick him apart. I’d put easy money that Manziel doesn’t score a point on Dake. Saying that ‘Johnny Football would win’ is as ignorant as saying Dake would be able to cover Calvin Johnson man up on every route for an entire game. It’s just not realistic.

    31. July 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      Sorry there Scotty Boy, Johnny Foosball wouldn’t last 5 seconds with Drake.. ONLY reason why this pompous ass won the award is because ESPN only cares about Football, Baseball, and Basketball..

    32. July 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Scott you really have know clue about what you are talking about. Johnny M. not only would not last 1 min. with Dak, he could possible get hurt in less than 1 min.. Dake is a world Class Athlete. Johnny M. is not even the best QB in College football.. Winning the Heisman is no more than a Media machine to promote a kid.

    33. July 21, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      I doubt you know much about wrestling or you wouldn’t have made such a stupid statement. If Johnny Football wrestled, then I could maybe understand your statement.

    34. July 21, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      I doubt you know much about wrestling or you wouldn’t have made such a stupid statement. If Johnny Football wrestled, then I could maybe understand your statement. By the way, our son was a wrestler and a Division 1 football player. Wrestling made him a better football player.

    35. brian armstrong
      July 21, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      The writer makes an awful arguement. If your only arguement is that drake did somethinf that may never happen again than johnny can argue the same point. He is a freshman that won the heisman. This will never be accomplished again.

      1. The ignorance is astounding
        August 20, 2013 at 9:50 am

        Lets see if Johnny can win it 3 more years in a row then. An avid football fan as you may be I guarantee you would change your mind if you were familiar with both sports.

      2. chachi
        October 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        lol funny seeing as redshirt freshman jameis winston is by far the heisman forerunner. dake did the near impossible where as a freshman in collegiate football can excel based on the talent around him. the two arent compareable in any way not in professionalism and for damn sure not in their dominance of their sport.

    36. mark
      July 22, 2013 at 8:51 am

      maybe if they did wrestle Manziel would realized that he should stop show boating and get back in the gym

    37. wally
      July 22, 2013 at 11:10 am

      are you on drugs?

    38. Kevin
      July 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      are you stupid or something

    39. Steven
      July 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Johnny couldn’t even handle a passing academy because he got dehydrated and even woke up too late. He does not sound elite or possess dedication.

    40. Ryan
      July 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      The great thing about a wrestler like Dake is he does what he does (among hundreds of other wrestlers) because he has heart, passion, desire and several other qualities that have made him a very impressive person. Yes. I have played football and wrestling is my true love as a sport. Some athletes need the big lights, the big crowds and the attention. Dake does what he does because he has what so many athletes have lost…heart. Dake is a great kid. He has 4 NATIONAL titles. ESPN has nothing to offer him from my viewpoint. He is a class act off the mat as well. Thank you for writing the article.

    41. Bill
      July 23, 2013 at 4:18 am

      What an ignorant comment from someone who has never wrestled or played football. Guess this Scott guy is just a spectator in the world of sports!!

    42. Sharon
      July 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Ha ha, and again I say ha! You know nothing about a world class wrestler!

    43. marty
      July 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      you stupid fuck. i’ve played high school football and i’ve wrestled. let me tell you, wrestling is about ten times harder physically and mentally.

    44. mark
      July 23, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      a couple other things for Dake: he won Sports Illustrated’s College Athlete of the Year award AND did all of this at an Ivy League school. Ivy league schools don’t cut you a break because you’re an athlete and they also don’t give sports scholarships.

    45. Steph
      July 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      I think that your comment is ridiculous…My boys have both played football for years as well as wrestled and they will both atest that wrestling is way harder than football. Lets see Johnny do a double leg, single leg, sit in, sit out, sweep single, ankle pick, arm bar, cradle, stack….there are too many moves to mention…their coach has wrestled for 41 years and says he still don’t know it all and he was undefeated at a college for 3 years straight…I am pretty sure that a football player after a few years know most of the game. Wrestler’s train harder than most…without the gratitude that a football player recieves. Only the uncommon succeed at wrestling. It is a tough sport ..that is why they are few and far between when it is highschool time. Ask any highschooler. Our football team had 50 players..our wrestling team had 35 and shaved down to around 20 because they said it was too hard and these are former varsity football players. In my opinion, the wrestlers don’t get enough recognition. However, when it does come to football season, the wrestlers are first string. Why, because they know how to get low and take your legs out from underneath you, not to mention they are usually strong as oxes because they train so hard. If you have ever been tackled by a wrestler you will know it because they ALWAYS FINNISH THEIR MOVE!!!

    46. Dude man
      August 14, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Are you fucking kidding me you piece of dog shit Johnny manziel would get his ass beat cause wrestling is the toughest sport in the world and kyle dake is the best at it for his age and has done something no one has ever done unlike mr manziel who is an idiot and gets in trouble for stupid ass shit which has been done so many times before, so go suck a dick bitch tits.

      1. Manziel sucks ass compared to Dake
        August 14, 2013 at 11:50 pm

        As a football player and a wrestler. wrestling is the hardest sport in the world and I love it 4 thousand times more than football. It takes so much more toughness and hard work than in football. It is just you and your opponent not you being a bitch behind your offensive line crying when your vagina hurts. Kyle dake would put Johnny manziel in a pretzel making him wish he wasn’t the biggest idiot in the world. He would make him stay sober real quick you shit ass.

    47. August 30, 2013 at 10:18 am

      That is about THEE funniest thing I have ever heard…or sad…probably just ignorant will suffice.

    48. frank
      November 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

      I put my money on Dake,

  2. Mike
    July 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    This is not only a flawed argument, it is also foolish. It is flawed for a few reasons. #1 What you are saying with Dake is more of a “career” achievement, the ESPY’s are a year by year award show, they don’t take into account career accolades, only what that athlete and/or team has done in the 364 days prior. #2 If you are going to knock the ESPY’s b/c they go to the public for their award winners that is a bit ridiculous b/c that is what the ESPY’s are built on, “The Fans”. #3 ESPN offers the nominees to the public and the public chooses from those nominees. Dake was not even an option so the public never could have voted for him. So you shouldn’t title this “America’s Ignorance” when America never had the opportunity to vote for Dake.

    The foolish aspect comes from the fact that you are asking the general public to acknowledge and appreciate wrestling on a national level. That is and always has been a foolish request. I respect the sport of wrestling and I respect wrestlers however wrestling never has been and never will be a predominantly popular sport on a national level. There is no “real” pro-wrestling association, there is no money in the sport, there is no exposure in or for the sport and now disgracefully there isn’t even a place in the Olympics for the sport. The only people who appreciate wrestling are one’s who wrestled themselves or family members of wrestlers.

    This argument from wrestlers falls on deaf ears, always has, always will. Asking the general public to acknowledge collegiate wrestling is like asking them to acknowledge collegiate lacrosse, both great sports, just won’t ever happen. If you want popularity, exposure, national recognition…don’t wrestle. Play football, basketball, baseball, hockey or play individual sports like golf or tennis.

    1. Jake from Statefarm
      July 18, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      actually, you could have voted for Dake. He was an option for best college athlete.

    2. Bry
      July 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Mike you are the example of “America’s Ignorance” Dake WAS nominated and WAS an option for the public to vote on. Just on his achievements this year he should have been in the running, while Dake was a returning national champ he also had an undefeated senior season and beat another returning champ for his last title.

    3. Joey Blow
      July 19, 2013 at 6:30 am

      I don’t disagree with the fact that wrestling will never get the respect it deserves, and I don’t think you can deny that it is not a very enjoyable spectator sport relative to other things. That said, the rest of what you said is mostly absurd. The one thing that caught my attention that leads me to believe you are especially uninformed on the subject is the comparison to college lacrosse. Lacrosse is an enjoyable spectator sport with lots of scoring and a growing professional league/market. Don’t mark my word, but with the exception of this last year the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship game has been the most attended NCAA final for a few years (more than basketball, less than football but that’s not an NCAA final). If I were a betting man I would expect lacrosse to be a major professional sport in the next 15-25 years. So the wrestling thing is unfortunate, and it needs more support from the professional MMA world. Dake’s achievements are unmatched in the college sports world today and will probably remain that way for a long time.

    4. Brian
      July 19, 2013 at 7:44 am

      @Mike — you didn’t seem to catch the point of the wrestling rant, mainly, because you are an ignorant American the rant is intended to criticize. Dake was an option, and was at the top of the polls, because this year he was a phenom. He accomplished more in 2 days of wrestling this year than JOHNNY FOOTBALL did in 364 prior to the awards.

      We are all dumber having read your comment. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    5. Mike
      July 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Who needs money in a sport that is based on pride and self determination.. A wrestler does not need a whole squad with him when its just 1 v 1. None of the sports you named above takes the heart and will that wrestling does. And for you to stay there isn’t a place in the Olympics for it is a fucking shame when it was one of the first sports EVER in the Olympics from the time of the Greeks. For them to take it out makes me never want to watch the Olympics again.

    6. Bob
      July 20, 2013 at 1:27 am

      Hey mike are u retarded before u trash wrestling get ur facts straight, dake was an option, and why would u leave ur sport huh wrestler wrestle not for money but for pride something a football player won’t understand cause I’m pretty sure they lack discipline and tht lack of knowledge for respect cause they trash there opponents all the time and don’t forget how many went to jail, wrestlers don’t go to jail cause there disciplined. What we do is not for popularity it’s for pride. All those football players all they care about is money. If you haven’t noticed wrestling is the most original sport and was the most lofty sport in the ancient games now it doesn’t mean as much but to the athletes it does. Think football players are cool most were wrestlers but couldn’t handle the hard work and went to an easier sport

    7. wrastling
      July 20, 2013 at 7:35 am

      @Mike your fucken retarted dake was an.option you dumbass you know nothing your probably a grown ass man who fingerfucks his asshole all day. Wrestling is the greatest sport of all time im a wrestler at college going into my sophmore year and all my life my accomplishments and fucking killing myself on the mat to become something that nobody could become a great wrestler. Your a ignotant retart and i hope you fall of the face of the earth.

      1. Jayne
        July 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm

        Sports aside, you should spend a little more time learning how to spell, communicate and put forward an argument better. I think you missed a few classes.

        1. Steph
          July 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm

          Well, maybe he spent too much training rather than spelling because he has only himself on the mat, not a whole team to depend on. My child has spent the last 7 years training to be the best. They cannot blame their teammates only themselves. They are the best of the best!!!! Don’t you say a word. I have watched my child train so hard it would bring tears to your eyes because they love the sport. He is only 12 and he has trained since he has been 4 because he wants to and loves it. He probably does more in one practice then you have all year!!!!! You know nothing about the sport, if you did you wouldn’t spout such

    8. Tom
      July 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      HA. You know who else appreciates wrestlers fortune 500 companies, because they know how hard working and how much mental toughness and self discipline wrestlers have. So no we might not have a pro sport or anything like that, but many wrestlers end up being very successful.

    9. July 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      You fucking moron, wrestling was reinstated in the Olympic program. You fucking idiot, Dake was an option for the award. You’re right about one thing and one thing only: wrestling isn’t about popularity, money, exposure, or recognition. Wrestling is about heart, self-improvement and a primal motivation to win and dominate those inferior to you. Wrestling got me into an Ivy League school. You should probably shut your ignorant mouth.

    10. cory
      July 21, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Cael Sanderson won an espy, and “pros” for college wrestlers is called the ufc

    11. Mike
      July 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Check you facts before you blast them on the internet… Dake was a voting option in this category.

  3. Evan
    July 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Good article and argument however wrestling just isn’t a well respected sport in the US. Did you not think it would turn into a popularity vote for an ESPY?

  4. The REAL Scott
    July 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I have great respect for Johnny Football, but Dake would eat his liver and then use his Cornell education to explain why he is the best college athlete. Heck, Taylor is a better athlete than Johnny. Great article and rant. Besides, ESPN is run by a bunch of jerks.

    1. Billy
      July 19, 2013 at 12:39 am

      David Taylor is a better athlete than most college athletes.*

  5. frank
    July 18, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I agree 100% with this, a Heisman comes around every single year, but a 4 time NCAA champion has only happened 3 times EVER!!! If johnny wrestled Dake he would end up in a hospital bed asking the doctors what a double arm bar was. It’s really obvious that the people who have never wrestled always have something to say, but when it comes down to it, wouldn’t have the balls to live through one day of practice. Wrestling is by far 10times harder and more demanding than football. Kids in high school come out of football season straight into wrestling season and still get sore for a week after their daily double/triple sessions. Lets see it will only take one more year for another football player to win a Heisman, and it will probably take another 10-20years for a wrestler to complete a feat like Dake has.

    1. Wes
      July 19, 2013 at 1:00 am

      I agree that its rare but I’ll go out on limb to say that either Chance Marstellar or Aaron Pico will win four titles, If not both, maybe Kyle Snyder if he wrestles in college

      1. Michael
        July 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm

        I don’t think there’s a soul alive who will be able to beat Marsteller once he starts his college career with Sanderson

  6. casey ramirez
    July 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Johnny beat kyle dake in a match what a joke dake is perhaps the greatest ncca wrestler ever if not number one then two behind cael sanderson

  7. Shane
    July 18, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    The biggest issue i have with your complaint is you make it seem like UFC is becoming popular because of the wrestling that is involved. I bet if a poll went out, 90% of UFC fans would say they watch it just in hopes of seeing a knockout and some blood, not a submission. However, I do agree with most of your complaints, BUT, do you really think most ESPN analysts would vote much differently?

    1. Carson
      July 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      To put it into perspective what Dake did was like winning the Hiesman four years straight at 4 different positions… It’s unheard of and he should have won the espy.

  8. Tonya Russo Hamilton
    July 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Very well said! I have often thought the same of the connection between wrestling and MMA and wondered why that alone has not elevated the sport of wrestling in recent years.

  9. Matt Francis
    July 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Spot on!

  10. Utom
    July 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I believe wrestling is the most demanding sport, but I don’t believe wrestling has the best athletes. That’s why I disagree with you. Yes Dake’s accomplishment is amazing and I can’t take anything away from the guy. He’s one of the best at what he does and probably the best college wrestler of all time. We have state champions here in wrestling that play football as well. Many kids are one of the best in wrestling, but when it comes to football they are just average. So I’m sure if some of the best football players decided to wrestle and dedicate themselves to the sport they would dominate like some have in the past.

    1. Bill
      July 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Utom… To be frank, this article best describes ignorant people like yourself. Agreed wrestling isn’t recognized publicly like football is, but to say that football players would ‘dominate’ in wrestling like ‘some have in the past’ is a joke. Granted there are a select few. You run hard in football for what? 20..30 seconds tops? then you get another 25 second break IF your team is still on offense and you don’t even get the ball every time. Wrestling requires you to be on the mat ALONE. No one there to help save you, no one to tap in. Just you and some other guy who has nothing else on his mind than coming after you. AND its for a full three 2 minute periods with no break. My guess is you are a former high school football player who stewed in your ego from the cheerleaders.

      Kyle Dake is a much..MUCH better athlete this year and the last 4. He deserves the recognition, but probably won’t care. Because people who wrestle due it for the love of the sport, not the money, fame, or ridiculous celebrations. Maybe there will be more ‘classy’ football players who fight dogs, rape girls in bathrooms, murder people, send pictures of their dick to news reporters….I could do this all day. Football is full of degenerates. I say give johnny is award so it doesn’t taint the sacred sport of wrestling.

      1. Kevin
        July 19, 2013 at 1:54 am

        No offense, but to call him ignorant for this article is a mistake… Kyle Dake has done what has never been done in the sport of wrestling (which is the oldest sport in the entire world) granted there were no ESPY’s back then… But that’s besides the point, these type of polls shouldn’t be based on American perception, at least not for this grand of an award… I’m not saying your argument is invalid, rather just giving more credit where credit is not due

  11. Ty McCullough
    July 18, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    You’re 100% correct. Couldn’t agree more. I guarantee you that almost every NCAA wrestler is a better athlete that that QB. Not to mention Kyle Dake, and his unbelievable accomplishments he should have won without a question. But you’re right, not many are into wrestling but thats only because they CANT HANG!!

  12. lol hehe
    July 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    but the thing one cares about wrestling

  13. Alex
    July 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I wrestled Dake in College… He is a freak of nature and has more talent than any football player I know. There’s a reason why other countries laugh at American football. Idk why its so popular in our country…..Our country could use more people like wrestlers.

    1. Alex's Daddy
      July 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Our country could use all the dumbasses like you shuttin the fuck up!

      1. Wes
        July 19, 2013 at 1:04 am

        You’re an idiot…

  14. Kevin G. Drendel
    July 18, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I played football, had the most tackles on the team. I also wrestled. There is no comparison to which is tougher. Not even close. The wrestler wins every day.

  15. Bobby
    July 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Mixed Martial Arts*

  16. Adam
    July 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    The thing of it is… Hockey players are the best overall athletes.

  17. seriously?
    July 18, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    that was a good article, but to use ignorance like that is hypocritical, bc hes being ignorant in not reflecting what manziel accomplished, in a sport where there is no weight limit, you dont get paired up against people of your own weight class, look at the size of him, and he has to go up against and get hit by MEN probably 2x, 3x the size of him, some unhumanly fast and quick for the size they are, and for weeks on end, every day, maybe a cple days rest a week, and be brutally punished. and the fact that the espys is who performed the best in the last 364 days, for a freshman KID right out of highschool to do what he did against MEN, future NFL players, in my opinion, is more of an accomplishment then a senior doing what hes done against his own weight classes competition for the past 4 years. Although i could really give a damn who won the award, alls it is is a trophy, and thats pretty incredible what that guy did in wrestling, but the espys is exactly what it was, a show for the people to vote who they liked best, so to complain and compare 2 completely nonidentical sports like that is crybaby whining.

    1. Ass cheese
      August 15, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      Hey shit stain there may be weight classes but there are no 400 lb linemen protecting you so you don’t hurt your clam while you are getting punched in the face with a cross face and slammed to the ground from a double leg or a mat return you cum dumpster.

  18. Jay
    July 18, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Good link here.

    I was a state champion in 1998 and went pro in mma in 2007. I also played football. I don’t know how many football players came down to wrestling practice to prove it was easier and couldn’t make it thru one practice.

  19. July 19, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Good arguement but I do have to agree with mike wrestling just isn’t popular. I use to wrestle my self and though I haven’t followed wrestling in awhile you just don’t hear about it or see it on tv very often. Most people in America don’t do research when voting for something like an espy. They vote for people they like and know. I personally do not vote for espy’s but you gotta remember the espy’s are a bunch bullshit and are there for a popular vote. If you want more proof, the Miami heat won best team award. I find that bullshit. But again it’s a fan based popular vote. You have a great arguement but wrestling just isn’t well known and not will it ever be.

  20. g unit
    July 19, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Great article/argument. Thank you giving Kyle Dake some well deserved attention. I was also dissapointed that Jordan Burroughs was not at least a nominee for male Olympian of the year.

  21. Kevin
    July 19, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Well said bud, I’m biased as well because I’ve wrestled my whole life as well as on the same national team as Kyle, sure he has no idea who I am and that’s perfectly fine but for someone to do what has never been done, compared to something that’s seen every year is ridiculous just to let you know I also play D1 football as well…

  22. Kaitlin
    July 19, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Toughest sports:
    1) water polo

    Period. End of story.

    1. OF Joe
      July 20, 2013 at 12:10 am

      Boxing is much tougher than football. Water polo is extremely tough but wrestling is incredibly intense. Never a rest (ie: leisurely swim when whistle blown). Water polo arguably is hard just not close to wrestling intensity.

    2. Peter G
      July 21, 2013 at 12:42 am

      Hahaha. Water Polo? I used to actually think that water polo was the other tough sport on campus and then the water polo superstar decided to come out for wrestling. He just couldn’t handle the endurance and believe it our not the physicality of wrestling. You may have to re arrange your listing Kaitlin.

  23. Doug
    July 19, 2013 at 2:59 am

    Wrassling is your classic hobby sport. A hobby sport is one taken up by non-athletes who get cut from their hockey or basketball teams because they aren’t athletes. So instead of competing in sports where there is a large pool of real athletes they instead join a sport like fencing or wrasstling that only other sucky kids play so they can then be the best of all the sucky kids. Then they whine like little sissies when no one cares about their “sport”. If Dake was such a great athlete he would’ve excelled at a sport that actually matters and pays money and if Manziel concentrated on being johnny wrassling instead of johnny football then he would be the WWF champion too.

    1. Drakes
      July 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

      WRESTLING (have some respect) is not a hobby. It consumes almost every aspect of life when an athlete is in training. It takes more physical and mental tenacity, dedication and perseverance than any other sport on earth. Ask any professional athlete in the world (football, soccer, baseball, etc…), and I can almost guarantee that if that athlete has had any experience with collegiate or international wrestling, there would be no hesitation in an answer stating that wrestling is much more demanding than their own.

      Wrestlers do not care about recognition, and for you to imply that wrestlers are “sissies” shows your pure ignorance and lack of experience with the sport. But hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, regardless of how useless and uninformed they may be.

    2. franklin
      July 19, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      Tough guy saying shit on the internet…. the fact is ur an ignorant piece of shit and have no idea what ur talking about… try lasting a full minute with burroughs and dake than tell me their sissies… wrestlers dont wrestle because they got cut dummy… they wrestle because its a lifestyle, passion and they dont just wrestle they live it… it by far is the most demanding sport and for u to sit here and say shit about something u never have done shows ur ignorance… doug id be glad to show u whos the real sissy if u were man enough to post ur facebook link haha i thibnk not bitch

      1. Doug
        July 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm

        Yes, wrassling becomes a lifestyle and passion when you get cut from the basketball team. It’s a hobby sport in that it is not popular and is a hobby like sailing that you can compete in but there aren’t very many good athletes competing in it relative to real sports. You wanna wrassle franklin? I would put you in a lion tamer and then power bomb your weak ass before i probably would finish you with a leg drop off the ropes ya punk.

        1. Peter G
          July 21, 2013 at 12:48 am

          Nice one Doug. Wussies usually troll like you are doing here. It’ a pretty safe thing to say from mommy’s basement. I would bet that you would be a really friendly guy or girl in person. Head on down to a wrestling tournament sometime and share some of these views with the ‘hobbyists’. Good luck with that. I look forward to ignoring any more of your posts.

    3. NoHandedDuck
      July 21, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      @DOUG – I like how you explain that a sport that matters is a sport that pays money. I will use your example, not mine, to make a point. What takes more heart, mental toughness and dedication: an athlete working his way to the top for fame and money OR working his way to the top simply for the gratification of knowing your the best and did it by yourself? You simply know nothing about the sport, WWF isn’t the “Super Bowl” of wrestling, the Olympics are. There is no “Olympics” for American Football. Wrestling is globally known as “Man’s Toughest Sport”. There is no competition between the toughness and athletic ability of a wrestler and a football player. Every football player that has wrestled will simply agree that wrestling is far tougher than football. Most “Athletes” in football that tried wrestling either couldn’t make it to the college level of wrestling or dropped out because wrestling was too tough. NOT because of the fame or money!!

  24. Espy is just a pop contest
    July 19, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Velasquez, Jones, Weidman, GSP(though not in college), Bendo, Cruz, Johnson Damn that is 6 0f 8. Wrestling>all other discplines( that don’t include trying to kill someone.) There is almost no reaon to complain about this the ESPY’s are all popularity and very little deserving. Play of the year should of went to Ibrahimovic or Khalil Edney. But one is a swedish soccer player and the other a HS Basketball player. Clowney won by doing something that’s seen every sunday in the NFl, a big hit.

  25. Brad Monty
    July 19, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Ask NFL players, ray Lewis, roddy white, kroy bierman, Stephen Neal what sport is tougher? I am sure there are more state and national champions playing in the league. Just a statement of fact!

  26. Brian
    July 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

    If this is such a tragedy, one that you saw coming, why is it that the first time I’ve heard about this kid is right now? If you and your brotherhood promoted awareness for the subject and the sport maybe your article wouldn’t sound like a kid in the back of the class whining about not being called on even though he never raised his hand.

    Regardless of what can be said about Manziel personally, he was the best athlete in the most popular sport this year.

    1. arthur
      July 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      genius… jk u fucking idiot

  27. k-swiss
    July 19, 2013 at 8:30 am

    So, first you blast the credibility of the ESPY’s but then complain when your boy didn’t win?

    Basically, you’re upset that Dake didn’t win an award which means nothing in the end? Even if he had won, it would have only been bc people heard his name in 1 article or in the top 10 on sports center, not bc they respect his achievement or followed his career.

    Accolades like this mean nothing. Dake is the best wrestler in collegiate history, most fans, followers, and experts on the subject agree – and I’m sure that means more to Dake than any ESPY award would, so why do YOU care when im sure he doesn’t?

  28. July 19, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Couldn’t agree more, J.P. If the award is truly looking at the level of achievement, there is no arguing that Dake shines brighter. As it is however, votes like these are based on popularity votes which makes sense for the ratings I suppose. As a former wrestler myself, I know that our sport attracts far fewer fans than football – but I would argue that our fan base, especially the ones who used to wrestle, have a much deeper respect and appreciation for wrestling than any other sport’s fan base. Thanks for shining some light on this popularity bias and recognizing one of today’s greatest athletes!

  29. timmy
    July 19, 2013 at 9:19 am

    This whole comment thread is so biased. Wrestling doesn’t get credit because people don’t want to watch it. It’s that simple. If you want recognition, play sports that are recognized. Don’t play sports that only a handful of people give a shit about. Manzel was the best college athlete in the most recognized sports; hence he get recognized.

  30. clay
    July 19, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Wrestlers are typically the kids in high school who couldnt hack it at any mainstream sports like football, baseball, or basketball. It takes so much more athletecism to be and excel at a division 1 starting quarterback positiion that I now know for a fact the only reason this article was written was because you were at one point in your life, a wrestler. This article is completely biased and when the facts are considered there really isnt any comparison between johnny football or dake. Johnny Manziel is in fact the best college athlete by far and comparing him to a wrestler is a joke.

    1. john
      July 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      So wrestlers are the the scum of athletes? Go ask any football coach with a defensive frame of mind, They want any and all wrestlers they can get.

    2. Bryant Blanton
      July 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      I played football and wrestled in college (granted D2, not D1), and I played wide receiver, quarterback, and punter ( three pretty athletically-demanding positions), and wrestling is hands-down the tougher of the two sports. I was also a three-time all American and national champion in wrestling. I’m 6’1″, and 184/215 lbs, so I wasn’t one of the unfortunate wrestlers who lack the physical gifts of size necessary to play other sports. I was also all-state in football and all-region in baseball in high school and I played with AJ Green in high school, and our coach ( John McKissick- winningest coach in footballhistory) was quoted numerous times saying I was the best athlete on the team. I’m only saying this to demonstrate the point that wrestlers are tremendous athletes, and have superior body control, agility, body awareness, etc. The knock against wrestlers is that many of them are simply too small to realistically compete against the huge individuals of other sports, but that shouldn’t be taken into account when assessing athletic ability. and, when discussing the bias towards wrestling in some of these comments, let’s keep things in perspective. someone said Manziel was competing against men 2-3x his size. WTF?!.. I don’t know of any 420-630 lb college football players, especially ones who move like ninjas, so there goes that whole argument. and when speaking in terms of this year alone, Dake beat Taylor (a 3x ncaa national finalist, only lost to two people in 3 years) a total of 3 times, including winning his 4th title, at a 4th weight class, with all the pressure, etc. That’s almost comparable to a football player winning multiple Heisman’s at multiple positions.. not to mention his feat was unheard-of. Now, back to the issue.. hats off to Johnny Football for a truly amazing season, and if Dake’s gonna lose to someone, I can stomach Manziel the best, because ultimately it is a popularity contest, and that’s the real issue. Manziel was a freshman who flew under the radar and had very little expectations or pressure all year, so much of his success isn’t surprising. if he backs it up with the target on his back, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, but until then, I’ll remain in the disappointed minority who wishes the toughest and purest sport of all time was as popular and respected as it should be. pardon us for being passionate, but there are clearly more people who are passionate about football, as evidenced by the ESPY vote, so let’s keep that in mind before bashing us wrestling fans. At least we’re not the ignorant bunch.

    3. Joe
      July 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      That’s funny, because after being in high school up until two years ago, half of our football team tried to wrestle and quit because they couldn’t cut it. One of them plays at VT, and another is a Baltimore Raven, and they couldn’t even handle wrestling at the high school level. Wrestling is for the men while the boys go play in the grass.

  31. July 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I agree with Timmy, yea, the wrestler’s stats are amazing. But college wrestlers can compete in the Olympics. College football player cant play in the NFL until their Junior year. Thus, it is not the highest stage of competition for him yet. He will get his props when he brings home the gold. No espy until you are a household name…….everybody knows that. PS. beating Alabama on prime time tv is more impressive to me than stuff that may be televised on EPSN ocho. Sorry dude, wrestling is one of the oldest sports in existence. if the mass media doesn’t give a shit about it now, it prolly never will.

  32. July 19, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I really liked your article, but the problem is that the ESPY’s are a direct reflection of the corporate sponsors they represent. Wrestling is an amazing sport, but you’re never going to see 100,000 screaming fans watch a match (unless of course it’s WWE….lol).
    As a guy who puts on Full Contact Alumni Football Games ( for a living, I’m a little happy about the pro-football bias. It helps feed my kids and alumni football is one of the most fun things you can do with your clothes on. Contact me if you want to do an article. Take care!

  33. Garrett
    July 19, 2013 at 10:57 am

    While wrestling plays a large part within MMA, it is most definitely not the foundation. Saying that wrestling is the foundation of MMA, simply because many of the current champions were previously wrestlers, is similar to saying that Passing is the foundation of football, simply because many of the high powered teams have a very impressive passing game in today’s game.

    It’s just not true.

    While passing is important, the sport started as a running only game. On another note, saying that passing is the foundation would be saying that defense, special teams, rushing, etc. are all secondary to passing.

    If any single martial art were to be the foundation of MMA, I’d be inclined to say that it is Brazillian Jui-Jitsu. There are guys in MMA who are wrestlers, kickboxers, judokus, muy thai specialists, boxers and so on, but there isn’t a single person in MMA who hasn’t trained in BJJ, and if there is they won’t be there long.

    1. Peter G
      July 21, 2013 at 1:04 am

      You make some good points Garrett, and I actually agree that everybody pretty much has to add BJJ to their skills to compete in MMA. I was just talking to a buddy of mine the other day who has a dojo in my town where he is the BJJ insructor. He won the world championship several years back. I was talking to him about it and he said that his keys to success were his fitness and Wrestling. His BJJ skills were obviously pretty good, but he told me that if a situation was even, his FU attitude defeated the better BJJ skilled guy. Now that is not to say that Anderson Silva is not an insane athelete and a master of his craft and the same goes for GSP, but a top notch wrestler has a leg up on most of the competition in MMA.

  34. Brett
    July 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

    While Dake’s career accomplishments are second to none, I must remind you all again that it is based on accomplishments in the past year. While Dake’s accomplishments are still amazing, which is why he was nominated, it does not excuse the hypocrisy that you all are showing. Manziel didn’t just have a good season and happen to win the heisman. He broke the SEC single season record for total yards with over 5,000 and led his team to an 8-2 record in the toughest conference in the nation in both his and his school’s first year in the SEC. This is a conference that has won the last 7 national championships and touts defenses that are loaded with NFL talent and absolutely stifle top offenses in the nation on a consistent basis. That is a freakish accomplishment as a freshman. To act like his accomplishments are nothing and that he just happens to be the most popular athlete is ignorant. While he is the most popular athlete, his accomplishments to speak for themselves. Also, while we all know that Dake is a freak of nature athletically, saying that all wrestlers are better athletes just because the conditioning and work rate is more demanding is equally as hypocritical. What you are essentially saying is that all good wrestlers are better athletes than everyone else simply because wrestling is the most physically demanding. I have a lot of respect for wrestlers because they are nuts and do work so hard, but you cannot make an argument that someone is a better athlete simply by the sport they play or the condition they are in. Athletic ability is specific to a sport. While Manziel wouldn’t last a second wrestling the people the Dake had to take on, I doubt Dake would last a second playing QB for Texas A&M. The fact that Dake was even nominated shows that the sport did get recognition, but let’s not belittle Manziel’s accomplishments simply because he won a popularity contest and he isn’t a wrestler.

    1. Huh?
      August 15, 2013 at 12:19 am

      Wanna post this bull shit a few more times

  35. andrew
    July 19, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Kyle is more accomplished, Johnny is the better athlete. Johnny runs a 4.4, can throw a football 70mph, a baseball 90 mph and can dunk. no comparison.

  36. Brian
    July 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

    It clearly is a popularity contest. I was pissed when I saw Dake didn’t win! Living in Chicago, I was also pissed that the heat won a lot of awards when the Blackhawks clearly should have won some of the awards they won. LIke college football is watched more than college wrestling, I guess the same goes for the NBA and the NHL. With some many heat haters, how did they win all those awards, makes me think its not just a fan vote

  37. Andy
    July 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    You guys are fools if you thought that comment was for real! Learn to spot a troll when you see one. Good one, Scott. I commend your troll’dom.

  38. Tim Brown
    July 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Most top wrestlers, like the Undertaker or Triple H, didn’t even wrestle in college – so to say Dake competed against the best of the best is probably a bit misleading here. I hate to admit it, but Manziel was more deserving of this award

    1. admin
      July 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks for the troll!

  39. Brett
    July 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    While Dake’s career accomplishments are second to none, I must remind you all again that it is based on accomplishments in the past year. While Dake’s accomplishments are still amazing, which is why he was nominated, it does not excuse the hypocrisy that you all are showing. Manziel didn’t just have a good season and happen to win the heisman. He broke the SEC single season record for total yards with over 5,000 and led his team to an 8-2 record in the toughest conference in the nation in both his and his school’s first year in the SEC. This is a conference that has won the last 7 national championships and touts defenses that are loaded with NFL talent and absolutely stifle top offenses in the nation on a consistent basis. That is a freakish accomplishment as a freshman. To act like his accomplishments are nothing and that he just happens to be the most popular athlete is ignorant. While he is the most popular athlete, his accomplishments to speak for themselves.

    Also, while we all know that Dake is a freak of nature athletically, saying that all wrestlers are better athletes just because the conditioning and work rate is more demanding is equally as hypocritical. What you are essentially saying is that all good wrestlers are better athletes than everyone else simply because wrestling practices are the most physically demanding. I have a lot of respect for wrestlers because they are nuts and do work unbelievably hard, but you cannot make an argument that someone is a better athlete simply by the sport they play or the condition they are in. Athletic ability is specific to a sport. While Manziel wouldn’t last a second wrestling the people the Dake had to take on, I doubt Dake would last a second playing QB for Texas A&M. The fact that Dake was even nominated shows that the sport did get recognition, but let’s not belittle Manziel’s accomplishments simply because he won a popularity contest and he isn’t a wrestler.

  40. Nick
    July 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I didn’t even wrestle d1 and I would put a beating on Johnny football in a wrestling match. No doubt!

  41. Will
    July 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I think that Manziel deserved the award. If you have to continue to justify why your sport is superior to another, maybe it isn’t. The fact is no one watches to dudes grabbin each other. Sorry I have tried to watch wrestling and I find myself disinterested. I have never seen wrestling on ESPN, which is probably why a wrestler didn’t win. I did however make a point to watch Manziel play, simply because he was electric.

    1. Bryant Blanton
      July 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      isn’t football 11 dudes grabbing 11 other dudes ( or at least trying to)? justify your argument with something at least minimally respectable, rather than some ignorant hatred for a great sport.. let Dake “grab” on you for a while, and you’ll think differently.

    2. Cornell big red
      August 15, 2013 at 12:14 am

      The NCAA finals and the Olympic trials are on espn you fucking idiot so good try u sack of dog shit

  42. Lawrence
    July 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Wrestlers are cut from a different cloth…..
    Read the article….
    “Navy leaders have conducted numerous studies in an attempt to find common personality traits, characteristics and experiences shared by those who graduate from BUD/S. One group has always stood out amongst the rest – candidates with a background in amateur wrestling have historically passed BUD/S at a much higher rate than all other candidate populations. Experienced frogmen, many of them former wrestlers, believe that wrestling requires many of the same individual qualities needed to successfully complete BUD/S. They cite such qualities as mental and physical toughness, work ethic and dedication, endurance, self-reliance and the ability to perform under pressure as being some of the major traits shared by successful wrestlers and Navy SEALS alike.

    Wrestlers are viewed by many as the toughest athletes in the world and it is not surprising to members of the wrestling community that their peers enjoy great success during while serving in special operations units. One active duty NAVY Seal, who cannot be named in this article, was an NCAA All-American as a college wrestler, placing 5th, 3rd and 3rd at the Division I national tournament. He believes that “the transition from wrestler to Navy SEAL is a natural one, both mentally and physically” and that his many years of wrestling were directly responsible for him successfully graduating BUD/S and ultimately becoming a Navy SEAL”

    Article Source:

  43. K. Butts
    July 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Good articles always solicit lots of commentary, and this one certainly did. The comments were just as interesting as the article. As a (mediocre) amateur wrestler myself, my opinion is biased for sure. If you never wrestled you will never understand. Period. And unfortunately it will probably always be a small, yet elite group. The amount of athleticism and endurance required for those 6 minutes is equal to that required for an entire football game. And yes I recognize the different skill sets….. It’s almost impossible to explain to a non wrestler.

    Lawrence’s comments offer an interesting point I had never heard before. Should have been a SEAL….if I could swim gooder.

    Oh and I think we have all been at a party where a wrestler and a football player get in a fight….. I’ve never seen a football player come out on top. Ever.

  44. David
    July 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    “Only two other wrestlers in the history of the sport had won four NCAA titles before Dake”

    Well no other player has ever won the Heisman award as a Freshman, so I think Manziel’s accomplishment was greater. Not to mention this is an award for the best college athlete of the year, not of the past four years, so why should the things Dake did in the past 3 years help him win an award that is purely for the 2013-2014 season?

    1. admin
      July 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      David, I also said Dake was the first to do it at four different weight classes. It had never been done and he had to beat the defending champ at 165 to win his fourth.

  45. dj
    July 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Manziel would never lose to Dake in a wrestling match. He is too quick and wouldn’t get taken down as he is running away.

    1. Bryant Blanton
      July 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      then he would give up large quantities of points for stalling or fleeing the mat, resulting in a Dake win

  46. john
    July 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Kyle Dake is and was THE BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE of the past year. His accomplishments go far and beyond a Heisman trophy. He accomplished a feat, of winning 4 NCAA titles, that only 2 other Collegiate wrestlers have ever accomplished, by concluding this season with his final championship. He purposely moved up a weight class to wrestle arguably the second best wrestler in the country, and a wrestler who will be in the conversation of GOAT, by beating David Taylor. He finished his senior season undefeated. And for those of you know do not follow the sport, he nearly defeated an Olympic Gold Medalist two weeks ago when he faced Jordan Burroughs, who is widely considered the best wrestler in the world. Manziel won the Heisman, which obviously places him on a mighty pedestal, but so did a dozen other college football players whose names won’t ever be mentioned as the greatest in their sport. Manziel also had the help of two all america’s blocking for him in 2012 with Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews. Kyle Dake capped off his unbelievable career and untouchable season by himself. Manziel’s season was also impressive, but 13 games he fell short of victory twice, and against LSU was completely shut down. In Kyle Dakes 37 senior matches, he didn’t lose once. Manziel face 6 teams ranked in the top 25 over his 13 game season, Dake wrestled 18 top 25 wrestlers, and 7 wrestlers in the top 10 during the past year.

    If the award is supposed to go to the most deserving “Best Male College Athlete of the Year,” there is no argument that Dake is the clear winner, but as stated by the original author, the ESPY’s are a popularity vote, not a vote for the most deserving. Also, I am a former college wrestler, hs football player, and lacrosse player. @clay your comment is so ignorant and you obviously no nothing about sports. Wrestling is the last sport to turn to if you can’t make it through a football practice. You can be a top football or basketball recruit in the country without any athletic ability, if you are lucky and grow to be 6’10 or have a huge frame, you won’t find that in wrestling. Also, Dake was a 3 year varsity baseball player and track star. Get your facts correct.

  47. Matt
    July 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Awesome, I can’t wait to watch Dake when he turns pro and joins the WWF…or whatever it’s called now :-I

  48. Trey
    July 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    We all can look back at our middle school, high school and college careers.. the best athletes play Football and Basketball in this country. With that said, it is not far fetch that the Best Male ATHLETE was given to the best Athlete in the Most competitive Athletic gifted field. Adding to his accoumplishments was Johnny’s youth and betting the #1 college program that is stacked with some of the best Athletes in the WORLD. So I tip my hat off to the Wrestler. Love the sport. Went to Iowa and know what it’s all about. The award could have went either way.

    1. trey
      July 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm


  49. Sean
    July 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm is a team sport…Johnny football had a lot of help this season. For those of you non wrestling fans….most boys growing up don’t choose wrestling because it is too hard. Not because it is unpopular. Wrestling is the oldest sport and very difficult to master. Not knocking football, but guys you obviously never wrestled, lost when you tried, coped out and called it gay or were just too plain lazy to do it. Wrestlers run, weight train, swim, do gymnastic, and oh yeah wrestle for hours and drill the same movements thousands of times… you see how ripped Dake is and almost every other college level and international wrestler. Dake has done something no other person has done in over 100 years. Manzel’s feat has been done…he was the second youngest Heisman winner…did Texas A&M even win the National title? That’s a Big no. Dake won 4 in four years! Many of you sound like the dudes that use to think they could beat a wrestler…the same guys running for their life after they try. Why do you think mostly wrestlers win in the UFC? Wrestling can be unpopular because there is little flash and marketing, but but its a grown ass man sport and deserves respect!!!!

  50. Nick
    July 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    As much as I dislike Manziel you didn’t mention he was the first freshman EVER to win the Heisman. Redshirt or not. Just saying. Not to mention he did it against SEC defenses. Very very biased.

  51. Joe
    July 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    first off, take the people voting out of it right? Thats the only way a wrestler would get ANY votes to begin with, ESPN voters would obviously be biased towards a football/basketball player. SECOND, i think people are misconstruing the word ATHLETE; wrestlers do one thing well, wrestle. Ever see most wrestlers try to play another sport? Almost comical to watch a wrestler shoot a basketball or throw a baseball. I’d like to see Dake run a read option and try to read a 6’5 270 lb Alabama D-end. A heisman trophy winning dual threat read option quarterback is less “athletic” than a wrestler? gimme a break. We get it, wrestling is hard…but why downplay what Manziel has done because the greatest accomplishment in wrestling history cant even overshadow a redshirt freshman QB. get over it

  52. Kevin Martin
    July 20, 2013 at 1:10 am

    I, for one, really despise comment threads where people stoop to calling each idiots or anything else for that matter. Each person is entitled to their opinion and they are also entitled to express it…constructively. Please be respectful of each other’s opinions.

    That being said, any discussions where anyone attempts to compare athletes from different sports is like trying to navigate a minefield! Each sport has its own unique demands, both mental and physical. Therefore, it is extremely difficult, in my opinion, to choose a single athlete, regardless of sport as the overall “best athlete”.

    The only athlete I’ve been exposed to whom I might be inclined to say could really get this kind of nod would be Jim Thorpe. After all, he was successful on a national and international level in multiple sports; a very rare talent indeed. However, again, this is only my opinion.

    Recognizing that the ESPY awards are based on a popular vote by fans, then it isn’t surprising that the winners in different categories will be those who have received the most exposure. It’s no secret that the exposure for football, basketball and baseball at any level is greater than that of a lot of the other sports cited within the comments, including wrestling.

    And, to me, therein lies one of the key points of Mr. Scott’s article. Exposure is critical when the award itself is voted upon by those who have been so exposed. What if wrestling or lacrosse or water polo or (you fill in the blank) received the same exposure as football, basketball or baseball? Would the vote have been the same? Who knows!

    Most of the lesser known sports have struggled with exposure due to a number of factors, among them: no solid professional rank to aspire to, fan’s lack of understanding of rules, strategies and tactics. This is by no means an all-inclusive list.

    However, one thing that all them share is a lack of exposure from the media. Again, we can have all kinds of arguments as to why that is, but part of the reason football, basketball and baseball have such a large fan base is the exposure provided by the media.

    The lesser known and lesser exposed sports do try to gain the attention of the media. However, they usually meet with either silence or resistance. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong; just saying that’s the way it is.

    So, who is really the “Best College Athlete” this past year? Johnny Manziel? Kyle Dake? Or is it someone from another sport to which I haven’t been well exposed? Holy cow! As I stated in the beginning, I wouldn’t even want to try to tackle that one. I respect each for his accomplishments. ESPN has the right to create their own awards show and they have the right to set the voting method and criteria for those awards, which is what they have done.

    Now, with all of this said, it should be noted that I wrestled in junior high and high school, and I have been involved in high school wrestling for over the past 25 years. Hopefully I have been unbiased and objective in my thoughts. However, I do wish the national media would have given Kyle a little more recognition for his amazing achievement.

  53. Drew
    July 20, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Not to downplay the significance of Dake’s feats but don’t forget that Manziel won the Heisman as a freshman. Nobody has ever done that in history before. You are taking a lot away from Manziel and his impressive feat with this article which makes you, the writer appear ignorant and uninformed.

  54. Robert
    July 20, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I would respect Manziel more if he and his teammates would take those sissy pads off and play the sport the way God intended it.

  55. Jim
    July 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Let’s face it. ESPN sucks! They just want to make the masses happy. The ESPY’s are all about making money, not about being right. This is more than evident in their other awards shows, i.e. the Joke Walker award. When was the last time it was given to the best instead of the popular?

    Boycott ESPN! Just turn it off. There is plenty of other stuff to do.

  56. cal
    July 20, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I’m afraid this blog/whiny rant doesn’t quite show me a demonstration of American ignorance, rather a butthurt former division 3 college wrestler manchild crying into his computer. IT’S THE ESPYS

  57. Chris
    July 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    First off great article. I have to chime in on the non sense being posted. As much as I appreciate individual opinions I always find myself completely astonished by the ability for many people to comment on issues who obviously have not first hand experience or knowledge of the subject. I was a Division 1 wrester, and catcher on the baseball team. Johnny Football may be an overall better athlete. Mental and physical toughness isn’t something acquired through the wrestling, it’s the admission fee. I can tell you on more than one occasion, when myself and/or my wrestling buddies had beat the living hell out of quite a few football players for being drunken assholes, pushing girls around, or just plain asking for it. In all my life I’m quietly waiting for a big dumb son of a bitch to mouth off and the bigger the better, they think nobody can fuck with them and I love. It always makes me smile a little before I put them down. Bottom line, don’t fuck with someone that can put down, choke you out, or break an appendage within seconds. It’s just not smart. And for anyone that thinks a college wrestler can’t do that, go ahead and test your luck.

  58. Ben
    July 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Although I understand the reasoning behind the article, this whole argument itself is silly. The highest award you can receive in any sport is to be the champion of that given sport. Dake has already received this. There is no champion of music, or film, perhaps that’s why there is a bit more serious thought put into the Grammy’s and the Academy Awards.
    The ESPY’s, however, are not serious. With awards like “best team”, where the women’s olympic gymnastic team is up against the Miami Heat?? Or best play?? It is clear the ESPY’s were created for fun and for fans to see their favorite athletes dress up in something other than their uniform for one night, there is nothing serious to be taken from them. This is like arguing over the “best kiss” winner MTV Movie Award. Most popular wins, that’s all.
    Johnny Manziel was most popular, Kyle Dake wasn’t. Dake get’s his praise in the gym, where it matters. Manziel gets an award to put on his shelf that no one gives a shit about.

  59. Jason
    July 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I’ve never wrestled a day in my life, but I couldn’t agree more. I don’t think it should be left up to ESPN employees because then all it would be is Lebron dunked the ball with his left hand, lets give him every ESPY that we can possibly think of. ESPN is equally ignorant because they don’t understand how much harder one sport is compared to another.

  60. Johnny Football
    July 20, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Too bad the only people that watch wrestling are other wrestlers and their moms.

    1. John
      July 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      In my father’s generation a dual meet would fill a gym as much as a basketball game. Wrestling fell from popularity when it went to a tournament heavy schedule. A tournament may be better for the athlete but duals are better for the sport. People are more willing to invest a couple hours on a sports event than a whole day. Duals are much better suited for tv as well. If schedules put more emphasis on duals it is possible meets like Penn St Osu could make tv and get more people understanding what they are seeing and generate more interest.

  61. Brandon
    July 21, 2013 at 9:01 am

    In high school football was a simple game that served as a warm-up for wrestling season. It wasn’t until November that I started breaking a sweat.

  62. David
    July 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks for the great article. As a Big Red alum, was cool to read, but I am left with the thought…why did I never go see him wrestle? It never occurred to me and now I am sad for having missed the opportunity.

    1. Alex
      July 22, 2013 at 12:29 am

      People who kee saying Johnny would win In a wrestling match or dake playing football don’t know what they are saying. They are two entirely different sports. I’ve done both and I can honestly say wrestling takes more out of people. Wrestling is one of the oldest sports played but yet one of the least watched sports. Dake had an amazing career and so will Johnny. All I’m saying is that you can’t compare these two people, both sports take different kinds of skill.

  63. ryan
    July 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    You people are a joke.. none of you would make it through 1 week of practice with Dake.. Many girls play football, name 1 girl national champion.. Wrestling get’s no recognition, If you haven’t ever wrestled then don’t bash the sport, It takes a man to wrestle and succeed.

  64. Billy Bob
    July 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Who cares, real wrestling involves choke slams and great story lines

  65. DillonWV78
    July 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    This video shows why Dake should have won

  66. July 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    On top of all of the dumb arguing, you guys are missing the point that Dake is better at wrestling than Manziel is a football. Dake is one of the greatest college wrestlers of all time (2nd to Cael Sanderson IMO). Manziel is a great football player, but he is a long way from being one of the greatest of all time.

  67. July 22, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Wrestling has always been the sport where non-athletes go to participate. I’m not saying this Drake guy is not an athlete, but when you speak of wrestlers and awards for “best athlete” you are walking on shaky ground. Congrats to him for winning the National Championship, but leave it at that. I’m sure he got some type of thophy and his parents took lots of pictures.

    1. TT
      July 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Maybe in HS and in youth wrestling do non-athletic individuals wrestler. But as you get higher and higher up in competiveness the most athletic athletes thrive. The type of athleticism that takes to excel in basketball vs football doesnt make the athletes less or more athletic. Wrestling takes a much different type of athleticisim – fast twitch muscles, hips, core strength, speed. Rather than assume “athletes” gravitate towards football…realize that the athletes that happen to accel at wrestling tend to choose wrestling over football (or more likely, the athlete chooses football over wrestling bc of it being mainstream).

      Who is more athletic? Dake or Manziel? What are we talking…straight speed or the ability to clean and jerk 225 lbs…?

  68. Kyle Dake
    July 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Yall pussay niggas ain’t even know. I’m da goat. Best ders ever been best der ever will be. I dnt need some gay ass award to know i could have johnny football on his knees giving a mean ass rimjob in under a minute#cornell #fuxwitit

  69. July 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    To sum up all the comments in this thread—

    What the hell does anyone here know about who would be better at whatever given different circumstances? We got some psychics in here? And wrestling is a third tier sport? Stop making up terms. Just too much dumb here for words.

  70. Johnny Football
    July 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

  71. Eat shit
    July 22, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    You all sound like dumbasses

  72. Dan Gable
    July 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Amazing article. Now for those of you who don’t know, a few weeks ago Dake took 2nd in the USA 2013 World Team Trials. He lost two straight matches to 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs, one went into overtime. He did this only a few months after he won his 4th NCAA title, which means he had to change styles from collegiate to freestyle. Now I am biased in this argument, and I think it is truly amazing for Manziels to win the Heisman as a freshman, but he isn’t at the same level as Tom Brady or anyone who is equivalent to an olympic gold medalist.

  73. Dave
    July 23, 2013 at 1:36 am

    I’m laughing at all of you trying to compare a football players skills to a wrestlers. Maybe we should all take a step back and establish what attributes a great athlete has, then it would be a more centered debate. The bottom line is, both guys are talented and such an award doesn’t mean anything when it’s based off a matter of opinion.

  74. Frodo Baggins
    July 23, 2013 at 2:22 am

    Shut the fuck up, Johnny. You’re not a Navy SEAL. You can’t correctly spell “guerilla” warfare. You can’t spell Al-Qaeda. If you knew anything about those of us who are actually in the military and have done intelligence work or special warfare, you’d know better than to make ridiculous, half-baked threats like that…

    “As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot.”


    Out of respect for all the real men and women in uniform overseas keeping you safe… please keep your ignorant fucking mouth shut.

    1. dake is an animal
      July 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      I know Johnny is a good football player but wrestling would make him look like he isn’t an athlete… in wrestling u have to give 110% no showing up late to practice or getting wasted the night before… Dake doesn’t need an award to know he is thee best athlete in college right now… he could be the best in the world but John ‘bones” Jones is showing otherwise… im a Vestal kid saying I do football and wrestling and ive put more time in wrestling I was an 8th grade varsity starter… its at least 10x tougher

  75. Billy T.
    July 24, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Heres where you are VERY WRONG…Being the best athlete isn’t based off of winning in different weight classes. I’ve been a lifelong wrestler and football player. However, if you pick ten random athletic events outside of wrestling and football, Johnny Manziel wins all 10 of them and thats the truth. So stop being biased and give credit to the better “athlete” not wrestler.

    1. Realist
      August 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Jeff T. is correct. This has nothing to do with who is better at their respective sport. If you honestly believe just because someone is a wrestler, this makes them a better athlete on that alone, you are delusional.

      I have never seen a wrestler in my entire life even come close to having mediocre, all around talent for other sports. QB’s more often than not seem to be better all around athletes. Some of you are so close minded and appear to be just looking for a fight.

      Have you honestly ever seen a wrestler shoot free throws, swing a bat, throw a ball, play tennis, heck – do anything in basketball for that matter, run a decathlon, or even play soccer more efficiently and at a high level that the majority of the equally talented QBs in this world can do? The honest answer is No. Your answer will be yes.

      I have seen all through my life exceptional football QBs do everyone of those things and more…even diving.

    2. Realist
      August 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      re-posted to correct name:

      Billy T. is correct. This has nothing to do with who is better at their respective sport. If you honestly believe just because someone is a wrestler, this makes them a better athlete on that alone, you are delusional.

      I have never seen a wrestler in my entire life even come close to having mediocre, all around talent for other sports. QB’s more often than not seem to be better all around athletes. Some of you are so close minded and appear to be just looking for a fight.

      Have you honestly ever seen a wrestler shoot free throws, swing a bat, throw a ball, play tennis, heck – do anything in basketball for that matter, run a decathlon, or even play soccer more efficiently and at a high level that the majority of the equally talented QBs in this world can do? The honest answer is No. Your answer will be yes.

      I have seen all through my life exceptional football QBs do everyone of those things and more…even diving.

      1. Shai
        December 9, 2013 at 3:14 am

        My brother was a 3 time college All American in wrestling, honors in college football, and now plays professional rugby. Don’t tell me that wrestlers aren’t good at other sports.

  76. July 24, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Manziel isn’t Elway and Elway couldn’t beat Dake if he wrestled for 1000yrs. Elway was a great athlete in his time but Manziel is self destructing already and may not even be a pro. Div1 wrestling is tough but to do what Dake did is very hard. Maybe Bo Jackson who I believe also wrestled may have had a chance being a superior athlete with natural strenght. Football players struggle to get in wrestling condition when they get in the room every year after their season is over and the sport starts.

  77. July 27, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    How could anyone even compare Manziel to Dake? Kyle Dake has been undefeated for the last two seasons (72 competitions). Johnny Manziel has won 0 national titles and lost 2 games (13 competitions). Manziel would not last more than a single period in a D1 wrestling match. Dake could at least hold his own in football.

  78. JonR
    July 30, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Perhaps if wrestling updated their attire it would be less rejected by the world of spectator sports. Even in this fairly zoomed out picture of Drake. All the intimate details of his genitalia are on display in central focus.

    1. Kyle dake Is a beast
      August 15, 2013 at 12:08 am

      Yo well maybe you should stop looking at his fucking dick piece and take that one out of your mouth so you can see that just because your insecure about your body doesn’t mean we all are.

  79. Momma
    August 1, 2013 at 11:05 am

    As the mom of 5, 3 of whom are boys and are all athletic, I prefer the dedication, integrity, positive role models WRESTLING exudes. Having had all 3 of my sons participate endlessly in most sports, my take is this…. the “popular sports” aka Football and Basketball generate the most criminals as role models for our youth. It is fascinating and pathetic society as a whole continues to encourage this poor behavior. At the college level, it is noooo secret these sports also have the best party capabilities instead of focusing on their sport! And are generally not held accountable. Why are Americans afraid of wrestling, they don’t understand it, Americans are lazy by nature and it is easier to shy away from a sport that takes fortitude, if they can’t see themselves trying it because it is so challenging they will by nature go the easy path and walk away and find an excuse not to like it, as mentioned above. Even a middle aged mom of 5 can throw a football and knock someone down, and dribbling a shooting… please!! Wrestling unbeknownst to most has hundreds of thousands of participants in the USA, millions world wide, the sport of choice in many countries in our world… you are one on one once you get get to the center of the mat…. my son has had the honor and privileged to participate with Dake and Taylor as well as many other National and International Wreslters and Olympians. Every training session is a plethora of dedication to improving not only the sport but the individual. Uniforms… seriously…. when did athletics become a fashion show, and why are people looking at private spots? That’s right fashion makes money, and if you look good you must be good….. I’d grapple with any of you mouthy anti’s…. and ya know what, this little mamma of 5, would probably win! Even in the MMA wrestlers RULE! POWER of MIND, BODY and SOUL!!!

  80. August 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Take Johnny and Dake out of football and let them compete in 10 other sports, Dake wins hands down. Dake’s athleticism is incredible – strong (even for moving up weight classes and not cutting much weight), agile & mobile (quite a bit of gymnastics in his life). He’s a hard working CHAMPION who’s competitive spirit is second to none. Not to mention his work ethic, and ethics all the the way around. =
    Ask some of these wrestlers what they have to say about this topic…I doubt very few would say Johnny deserves this kid ESPY award:
    Shane Olivea
    Alex Stepanovich
    Nick Leckey – TX State Champ
    Gregory Walker – State Finalist
    Jonathan Condo
    Zachary Wilson
    Chris Laskowski
    Luis Castillo, DT, San Diego Chargers (First Round Pick)
    Lincoln “Drew” Hodgdon, C, Houston Texans – CA State Champ
    Nick Hardwick
    Fred Weary, C, Houston Texans – AL State Champ
    Coy Wire, SS, Buffalo Bills – PA State Champ
    Kevin Breedlove – SC State Finalist
    Kevin Sampson – NJ State Champ
    Benjamin Claxton – GA State Finalist
    Trevor Johnson
    Clinton “C.J.” Brooks, Jr.
    Tai Tupai
    Leon Robinson – GA State Runner-Up
    Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons – 2x SC State Champ (First Round Pick)
    Eric Ghiaciuc, C, Cincinatti Bengals – MI State Champ
    Joey Hildbold
    Adam Seward, ILB, Carolina Panthers – NV State Champ
    Cody Johnson
    Rodney Michael
    Marques Harris – CO State Champ
    Larry Turner
    Andrew “Tyler” Lenda – District Champ
    Tim Anderson – OH State Champ
    Tony Pape
    Matt Roth – IA State Champ
    Mike Patterson, DT, Philadelphia Eagles (First Round Pick)
    David Pollack
    Tim Burrough – OK State Champ
    Antoineo Harris – IL State Champ
    Claude Harriott
    Scott Wells – TN State Champ
    Alex Lewis – District Champ
    Ronnie Brown, RB, Miami Dolphins (#2 Pick)
    Rodney Leisle
    Nick Newton
    Sean Tufts
    Brian Save
    Kevin Atkins
    Josh Minkins – District Runner-up
    Tim Euhus
    Andrew Tidwell-Neal – MN State Champ
    Renaldo Works
    Patrick “Bucky” Babcock – IL State Champ
    Morgan Pears
    Art Baker, RB, Buffalo Bills
    Rhonde Barber, SS, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Tiki Barber, RB, New York Giants
    Walter Barnes, DL, Washington Redskins – SEC Champ
    Eric Bateman, OL, New York Jets
    Harris Benton
    Brad Benson, New York Giants – PA State Champ
    Greg Boone, RB, Oakland Raiders
    Jeff Bostic*, C, Washington Redskins – SC State Champ
    Tedy Bruschi*, ILB, New England Patriots
    Bob Bruenig*, LB, Dallas Cowboys
    Phil Bryant, Philadelphia Eagles – 2x National Prep Champ
    Ralph Cindrich, Houston Oilers – PA State Runner-Up
    Jonathan Condo, LS, Dallas Cowboys – PA State Champ, Dapper Dan Champ
    Tom Cousineau*, LB, Cleveland Browns – 3rd State
    Tom Covert*, OT, Chicago Bears
    Chris Cooley, WR, Washington Redskins
    Roger Craig*, RB, San Francisco 49’ers
    Damien Covington, LB, Buffalo Bills
    Curley Culp*, DL, Kansas City Chiefs – NCAA Champ
    Larry Czonka**, RB, Miami Dolphins
    Rob Davis, ST, Green Bay Packers
    Dan Dierdorff**, OT, St. Louis Cardinals
    Donnie Edwards, OLB, San Diego Chargers
    Carl Edwards, San Diego Chargers – 3x MD State Champ
    Rob Essink, Seattle Seahawks – NCAA DII Champ
    Jim Everett, QB, New Orleans Saints
    DeMarco Farr, St. Louis Rams
    Patrick Flannery, OL, Houston Oilers
    Ed Flanagan, C, Detroit Lions
    Terrell Fletcher, RB, San Diego Chargers
    Bill Fralic*, G, Atlanta Falcons
    Doug France*, LT, Los Angeles Rams – OH State Runner-Up
    Frank Garcia, C, St. Louis Rams – 2x AZ State Champ
    William George, Chicago Bears – 2x PA State Champ
    Charlie Getty, RG, Kansas City Chiefs – 2x NCAA All-American
    John Gilmore, TE, Chicago Bears
    Kevin Glover*, C, Detroit Lions
    La’Roi Glover*, DE, Dallas Cowboys
    Mike Goff, G, Cincinnati Bengals
    Bob Golic*, DT, Cleveland Browns – OH State Champ
    Mike Golic, DE, Philadelphia Eagles
    Darien Gordon, PR/CB, Denver Broncos
    Scottie Graham, RB, Minnesota Vikings
    Tim Green, DE, Atlanta Falcons
    Kelly Gregg, NT, Baltimore Ravens, 3x KS State Champ
    Morlon Greenwood, OLB, Miami Dolphins
    Archie Griffin, HB, Cincinnati Bengals
    Nick Griesen, LB, New York Giants
    Randy Grossman, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
    John Hannah**, G, New England Patriots
    John Hartunian
    Carlton Haselrig*, Pittsburgh Steelers, 3x NCAA Champ
    Ron Heller, TE, Seattle Seahawks
    Chad Hennings, DT, Dallas Cowboys – IA State Champ
    Jay Hilgenberg*, C, Chicago Bears – IA State Runner-Up
    Orlando Huff, MLB, Seattle Seahawks
    Corey Hulsy, G, Oakland Raiders
    Bo Jackson*, RB, Oakland Raiders
    Mario Johnson, DT, New England Patriots
    Dahanie Jones, LB, New York Giants
    Henry Jordan**, DT, Green Bay Packers
    Dave Joyner, OL, Green Bay Packers
    John Jurkovich*, DT, Cleveland Browns
    Alex Karras, Detroit Lions
    Tim Krumrie*, DL, Cincinnati Bengals – WI State Champ
    Ernie Ladd, DL, Kansas City Chiefs
    Nick Lecky, C, – KS State Champ (in 2004 NFL Draft)
    Jess Lewis, LB, Houston Oilers
    Ray Lewis*, Baltimore Ravens – 2x FL State Champ
    Ronnie Lott**, DB, San Francisco 49’ers
    Kirk Lowdermilk*, OL, Minnesota Vikings
    Sean Mahan, G, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Mike Malczyk, LS, New York Giants
    Joel Mackavicka, RB, Seattle Seahawks
    Steve Martin, DT, Houston Texans
    Mickey Marvin, RG, Oakland Raiders
    Napolean McCallum, RB, Oakland Raiders
    Randle McDaniel*, G, Minnesota Vikings
    Mark McDonald, SS, Arizona Cardinals
    Chris McIntosh, T, Seattle Seahawks
    Bryant McKinnie, T. Minnesota Vikings
    Greg Meisner, DL, Los Angeles Rams
    Matt Millen*, LB, Oakland Raiders
    Ronald Moore, RB, Cleveland Browns
    James Mungro, HB, Indianapolis Colts
    Jim Nance, FB, New England Patriots – NCAA Champ
    Lorenzo Neal, FB, Tennessee Titans – NCAA Champ
    Stephen Neal, OL, New England Patriots – NCAA Champ
    Jeremy Newberry, C, San Francisco 49’ers
    Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh Steelers – PA State Champ
    Leo Nomellini*, T, San Francisco 49’ers – Big 10 Champ
    Jonathan Ogden*, OT, Baltimore Ravens
    Irv Pankey, Los Angeles Rams – 2x MD State Champ
    David Patten, WR, New England Patriots
    Scott Peters, G, New York Giants
    Bob Pickens, OL, Chicago Bears
    Jim Plunkett*, QB, Oakland Raiders
    Dave Porter, T, Green Bay Packers
    Mike Pyle, C, Chicago Bears – IA State Champ
    Rocky Rasley, G, Detroit Lions
    Mike Reid, Cincinnati Bengals
    Eric Rhett, RB, Cleveland Browns – FL State Champ
    Willie Roaf*, OT, New Orleans Saints
    Warren Sapp*, DT Tampa Bay Buccaneers – FL State Champ
    Mark Schlereth*, OL, Washington Redskins – Alaska State Champ
    Cory Schlesinger, LB, Detroit Lions – NE State Champ
    Steve Sefter, DT, Philadelphia Eagles, 2x PA State Champ & NCAA All-American
    Tony Siragusa*, DT, Baltimore Ravens – NJ State Champ
    Fred Smerlas*, Buffalo Bills – MA State Champ
    Bruce Smith**, DE, Washington Redskins
    Brad St. Louis, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
    Matt Suhey, RB, Chicago Bears
    Bill Szott, OL, Washington Redskins – NJ State Champ
    Dave Szott, Kansas City Chiefs – NJ State Champ
    Woody Thompson, RB, Atlanta Falcons – PA State Champ
    Jim Thorpe**, HB, New York Giants
    Mike Trgovac, DC, Carolina Panthers – OH State Champ
    Kyle Turley*, T, St. Louis Rams
    Ryan Turnbull, RB, Cleveland Browns
    Tommy Vardell, RB, San Francisco 49’ers
    Adam Vinatieri*, K, New England Patriots
    John Ward, OL, New York Jets – NCAA All-American
    Fred Weary, DB, St. Louis Rams
    Charles White*, HB, Los Angeles Rams
    Randy White*, DT, Dallas Cowboys
    Cory Widmer, LB, New York Giants
    Leo Wisniewski, NT, Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts – PA State Champ
    Steve Wisniewski, G, Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders – CA State Champ
    Ricky Williams*, RB, Miami Dolphins
    Coy Wire, LB, Buffalo Bills – PA State Runner-Up
    Greg Wojochowski, St. Louis Rams

  81. Kirk
    August 20, 2013 at 11:05 am

    As a rugby player in the US, I absolutely empathize. Some sports just have a history in the US that is unparalleled. I am however certain, that not earning the ESPY award doesn’t take anything away from what that young man did; it is truly a tremendous accomplishment. In the same vein though, I think it is silly to overlook what Manziel did as a 18-19 year old kid in a massively competitive sport in the US, time and time again in front of thousands and thousands of people. Both are inexplicable feats, but one was more popular. I don’t think anyone really puts their heart and soul into a sport, for popularity.

  82. Chris
    August 20, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Here’s why Johnny Manziel’s accomplishment is greater. More top athletes try and play football, and most fail, both guys did something that no one has ever done before and we can argue about which is more difficult, but many many more have tried to do what Manziel was the first to do than what Kyle Dake did.

  83. Drew
    August 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Aside from wrestling, I’m sure there are still other collegiate athletes who could contend for “Best Collegiate Athlete.” Look at DI swimming. A kid from Arizona shattered existing time barriers in both breaststroke events, winning by a few seconds over a field of some of the top swimmers in the world, let alone the US. That’s like Usain Bolt-style dominance in those races (its as if a track runner won the 400m by 2 seconds). Another swimmer from USC went below 18 seconds for a 50m free in a relay. A barrier thought unbreakable just a few years ago.

    I’m sure other athletes in other sports have had similar seasons this year. Manziel won the Heisman and thus he was declared the best in college football (perhaps deserved perhaps not, but that’s unrelated). That doesn’t nearly mean he the best over all sports.

  84. Derek
    August 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Manziel is a sleez look how he has reacted to the fame.

  85. October 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I agree as a former wrestler, wrestlers pound for pound are more athletic than football players. Actually, among all sport, wrestling is probably the hardest sport in terms of physicality, besides swimming. but, the Heisman isn’t necessarily an award for all sports. it’s for football., And i don’t watch the ESPY’s, in fact I didn’t know they gave awards to college athletes. Thought that was only for pro athletes.

    This is somewhat unrelated, but Manziel should not have won the Heisman to begin with. He only won because ESPN was giving him the hype the whole season. Touting his stats and dynamic plays. Which admittedly he is a fantastic player. But everyone forgets of course that the Heisman is also mostly an award for the player with the best character and displays extraordinary leadership on his team. Turns out Manziel has a bad character. The second place guy apparently used a fake internet girlfriend as a sob story. The real winner, and yes this is coming from a butt-hurt K-State fan, should have been Colin Klein. No one player meant more to his team, was a stronger leader, or had a better character than Klein.

    But i digress.

    The Heisman is an award for football, not meant to be representative for all NCAA sports. The ESPY’s shouldn’t exist. And Wrestling is a much harder sport than people realize.

  86. Brandon
    November 7, 2013 at 2:37 am

    1. you start your argument about an annual award based on season performance citing career accomplishments.

    2. you admit your own bias

    3. I quit reading.

  87. Shai
    December 9, 2013 at 3:02 am

    How sad to see such ignorance of a sport. Football is great and all and I am not denying that he is a great athlete, but he has a whole team to carry him brought his off days.

    Wrestling is one man putting everything he has into each match. If he wins it is all him, if he loses, nobody to blame but himself.

    Wrestling is not a third tier sport you ignorant jack ass! Wrestling is an amazing sport and it is slowly being lost.

    2 years ago the University of Nebraska Omaha lost its wrestling program, they were currently the 5 time national champions in their division. Wrestling needs to be saved, awareness of the sport needs to be made.

    The Olympics cannot cut this sport!

    -I’m a girl and I know that Dake deserved he award.

  88. Chris
    March 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    The problem is, nobody cares about wrestling bro. Go take your lame sport somewhere else. Football is Americas sport wrestling will never come close

    1. April 11, 2014 at 2:04 am

      except for everywhere else in the world