Goodbye, Farewell and Amen
January 16th, 2022| Written by: Martin Muller



          When a hobby is just not fun anymore, when one looks at it as a task rather than a pastime, it is time to give it up.

          I planned on giving the Louisiana Wrestling News (LWN) 10 years.  No other “wrestling-specific media” has lasted longer than two.  Covering the sport in those days was harder, though.  I had to do more, I felt, with the LWN to be compared to previous publications.

          Technically I should cover the state championships to complete the 10 years, but recent events, as well as many other reasons that have nothing to do whatsoever with wrestling, have convinced me to “hang up my cameras.”

          Some of the reasons are wrestling related.  Please, though, do not think it was the petulance of a high school kid at the Louisiana Classic that was the last straw.  What sealed the deal for me was that, after I apologized to the young man for what most certainly was a reactionary error on my part, no adults associated with the young man thought his outburst was something for which he should apologize.  In essence, they condoned his behavior, which apparently was based on my not listing him as someone I thought should have been the top seed at the event.  (Honestly, nobody else cares, nor should they.)

          I also found it particularly disturbing that nothing seemed to be learned from the events that transpired after last season’s Louisiana Classic.  That event was described by many, even though some thought incorrectly, as a COVID super spreader event, and led to the cancellation of the remainder of the season until the state championships.  Currently, as the nation is gripped by a significantly more contagious COVID variant, I did not see anywhere that wearing masks was even suggested.  People may have been vaccinated and received booster shots.  I certainly have, yet I have a cut on my nose from an actual N95 mask, anyway.  But guess what.  COVID does not care.  The selfishness of some people baffles me.  I am thankful, though, that just as last year, no wrestling mats will end-up on respirators due to catching COVID.

          It is also a lot more difficult for me to cover the events the way I did in the past.  I did not notice it as much last season, as there were so few events to attend, but my vision problems have been much more prevalent this season.  The significant destruction of rods and cones on my retinas was caused by some medication I took for over five years, until mid-2020, for unexplained muscle cramps.  Hence the cramps have returned.  They are unlike the first ones in 2014, which were so regular one could set one’s watch by them, but they make themselves known after wrestling events more so than after other work I do.  The vision problems also have significantly increased the amount of time it takes for me to research events, parse their results and edit photographs.  Too much time on the computer, or even in outdoor or bright indoor light, causes migraines, and then I am useless for two to three days.

          No doubt I will miss 90% of the kids, coaches and parents I have met over the last decade.  Their comments and enthusiasm have kept me at it, often zealously.  I would love to list whom I would like to thank the most, but I will certainly forget to list some, so that will be something better taken care of on a personal basis.

          I look forward to completing a lot of projects I have neglected over the years.  Other hobbies come to mind, as does work on the house and the apartments I have put off.  I can spend more time with my mother, my daughter, my sister and my cat without boring them to tears via wrestling news.  I will pretend, for now at least, that they will consider that a good thing.

          I very much look forward to never having to contact the LHSAA ever again.  I really have to stop knocking on doors clearly marked “Idiots.”

          Wrestling deserves better coverage than I can offer.   My method is not the only way to do it.  Hosting schools can get kids to write about their tournaments and should be able to get some photographs to publish somewhere.  I am not a fan of posting 400+ photos at a time on Facebook, but it does promote the sport, nonetheless.  Buy a camera.  Buy a lens.  Heck, buy them from me – I have about $35K worth of them!  More importantly, concentrate on what is written.  The Queen’s English should not die with the Queen.  If anything, please learn how to use “including” correctly.

          My last decade re wrestling has not been a financial, physical or mental sacrifice.  Wrestling has been good to me since 1977.  It has been a privilege to serve the sport the best I could and to meet so many wonderful coaches, family members and fans.

          I am at a loss to explain how wonderful it has been to watch so many young kids mature into young adults over the last decade.  Watching some from middle school, through college and beyond, and seeing the steps between, is something I shall never forget.

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
-- A.A. Milne

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