Detroit Wrestling Pre-Tournament Photo Gallery

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This is my first time wandering a major American city since taking my kid to visit Chicago in September 2019, and I’m here to tell you: it’s really great.

Detroit is gritty. And great. Very cool.

I can’t wait to feel its vibes as the weight of a crowd of hungry, hungry grappling hooks crashes down on it today, tonight, and this weekend.

In the meantime, here are some pictures I took to get us started on those vibes…

Is it just me, or does this Detroit Tiger look a lot like a Nittany Lion?

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

I have always loved the presence of ancient churches in the city centers of our best cities:

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

Similar to the NCAA Wrestling Finals, Detroit has Lions everywhere:

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

Once inside, I headed straight for the arena floor, and as is the case with me every time, standing next to those ferocious gladiators always makes me stumble.

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

The body types are out of this world. I watch guys who struggle in weight classes 30 pounds lighter than me and I just wonder “how?” How can these Greek gods weigh so little? The higher weight brothers are intimidating for normal reasons, but the 125, 133, and 141 pounds scare me in other weird ways. My spider senses always tingle at the sight of a puffy cauliflower ear, and it’s a fun little battle between them and my intellect telling me I’ve got 50 pounds on these guys. It doesn’t take long to come to the same conclusion I always do: any of these guys could bully me.

I was happy to see that the best view of all the action belonged to the suave voices of Jason Bryant & Bryan Hazard:

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

Former Penn Stater and new Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry knows the benefits of staying close to wrestlers:

Apparently I’m still learning YouTube’s embed permissions, so here’s a test tweet with the video embedded. Workarounds is apparently the name of my first game here in Detroit.

I took a climb to inspect the view from the cheapest seats:

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

It’s the highest seat sold to consumers, not a bad seat in the house (he says before seeing the view from the press row, above). The video card is stellar.

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

Back in the tunnels, I channeled one of my first principles for joining my part-time self with full-time media: learn and follow the rules!

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

I can’t wait to come back here when it’s full of amazing athletes:

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

I found this very close to the media operations room; looks dangerous.

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

WINMag has a booth announcing the top contenders for the Hodge Trophy. Nice to see Carter Starocci alongside Trent Hidlay, Keegan O’Toole and Nick Suriano, all waiting for Gable Steveson to claim his trophy.

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

Finally, a bit of Detroit sports lore without wrestling… Remember that version of Dennis Rodman?

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

Because I’ve always loved the friendliness of Penn State fans when we part ways in our triangle corners during hockey season, here’s a message from the Great Ovi8, to that guy: “You’re next!”

JP Pearson | black shoe diary

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