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They Couldn’t Beat Gable

Listen To The Podcast!     Coach L. Albaugh      DBLITY

In 1972 Dan Gable became the first American wrestler to win a World and Olympic title in consecutive years. After winning the World Championships in 1971, Gable won the gold medal at the Munich Olympics without surrendering a single point in his six matches. What was really cool about that was the Soviet Union who we just called the Russians, had vowed that after the ’71 World Championships they would find someone to beat Dan Gable in the ’72 Olympics. I remember watching tv and the head of the Soviet wrestling federation said something to the effect, “We will beat Dan Gable. We will find the man and beat him.” That may not be the exact quote – heck that was 49 years ago, but it’s close. Russia’s goal was to beat DG in the ’72 Olympics. You have to realize that back in those days there was a bitter rivalry between the U.S. and the Soviets in EVERYTHING. Not just all sports but society as well. We wanted to beat em to the moon – we did – we wanted to beat em at everything and they wanted to beat us at everything. It was a superiority contest. Who had the best society, best political system, best athletes, best scientists, huge rivalry. They didn’t like us and we didn’t like them. So when they said WE WILL BEAT DAN GABLE, who was our country’s wrestling icon, kinda like basketballs Michael Jordan, it was like, BRING IT ON MAN. The Soviet Union was more than just Russia, 15 countries made up the USSR. Some of those countries had tremendous wrestling traditions. Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, just to name a few. So the Soviets were confident they would find that man. They would look under every rock in that vast union. Gable knew it and he made it HIS goal to beat the Russians. I remember he had mottos in his bedroom, pictures of the hated Russian wrestlers, tons of motivational stuff. So – talk bout GOAL SETTING – man, that was intense on both sides. So, the tv coverage of wrestling in the 72 Olympics was the most, and best I’ve ever seen. The U.S. and the Soviets were the top 2 wrestling nations in the world.  When Gable wrestled the Russian in the finals, it was prime time TV. The Russians had been waiting for this. They had PROMISED to beat Gable. Gable was beat up, he had a bad knee and was wearin a white blood stained bandage around his head. He was so focused. He beat the Russian 3-0 in a grueling match. We were shouting and fist pumping in the living room. Out of the 10 weight classes We got 3 Golds, they got 5. We got 2 Silvers also. But – they couldn’t beat Gable, and that was their goal.

Setting goals is a big part of player development. I used to tell my guys when you plan a long trip, you get out a roadmap and figure out how you’re gonna get there. When we set our goals we’re doin the same thing. Figuring out where we want to get to as an athlete and how we’re gonna get there. Next week we’ll have a little fun as I share some goal setting stories…AND,THAT’S My TAKE!

ESPN Bracket…that decided the greatest college basketball player of all time is finally over and surprise, surprise, Michael Jordan won it, beating Larry Bird in the finals. I can’t argue that. Jordan was the best BB player ever IMO and just about everyone elses. So he had to be the best in college too, right? Maybe. I still think Lew Alcindor, AKA Kareem Abdul Jabbar was the best COLLEGE player and I think Bill Walton was the 2nd best. Jordan and Bird were great players overall but Alcindor and Walton had the best college careers of anyone. You might be thinkin – Coach, you must be a UCLA fan. No, I’m an Illinois Fighting Illini fan. But I watched Alcindor totally dominate college BB for 3 years and Walton was right behind him.

I may not be doin my Top 10 sport movies anymore but I did see a couple of good ones last weekend. The first one was The Rookie with Dennis Quaid. I’d seen it before but it had been awhile. Good movie, based on a remarkable true story. They really captured the adrenaline rush that MUST occur the 1st time a player takes the field in his 1st MLB game. Heck, I got a little goose bumpy watchin it again. The other was Rocky. I was reminded that there were a lot of very good one liners and sory lines to that movie. But it is a make believe story and the fight scenes were just not realistic in my opinion. They were kinda dumb, and that’s why Rocky didn’t make my top ten. But I enjoyed watching it.

There is a new release on the Online Clinic. Inside the Wing-T Belly Series by HC JIm McKee at Scott County HS in KY. Scott County is a perennial power in KY. Coach Scott and his team have had it going for several years. They went 10-2 this past season running their famed Wing-T. If you’ve never heard Coach McKee you’re missing out. He is one of the most fun, interesting guys we have on Chiefpigskin. This presentation of Scott Co. run game, belly, belly sweep, and QB keep is outstanding. He also adds his play action pass series. Find out why Coach McKee is one of our top guys.

One more thing…We’ve lost the Summer Olympics, The Masters, Wimbledon, and probably the British Open. These are major sports events and I’m really bummed. Even though I’m not a golfer, tennis player…

Wanna make a comment on anything I’ve discussed? Drop me a line at

Hey, join us next week for another CP coaches podcast and we’ll see you then!

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.  Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.    Nelson Mandela

Sweet 16 Countdown: 51. Alaska -9.2   50. Vermont -1.7   49. North Dakota 3.3   48. Wyoming 5.2  47. Rhode Island 8.4   46. District of Columbia 8.4   45. Delaware 14.7   44. South Dakota 15.3   43. New Hampshire 16.7   42. Montana 19.2  41. Maine 19.5   40. New Mexico 20.5  39. Oregon 24.2  38. West Virginia 26.3  37. Nevada 31.2  36. Idaho 32.2  35. Nebraska 32.6  34. New York 33.0  33. Iowa 34.4  32. Minnesota 35.9   31. Kentucky 36.3   30. Hawaii 36.5  29. Connecticut 37.3  28. Massachusetts 38.3 27. Wisconsin 39.9  26. Virginia 40.8  25. Oklahoma 41.5  24. Michigan 41.53 23. Kansas 41.8 22. Tennessee 41.9  21. Washington 42.6 20. Indiana 43.9 19. Colorado 44.4  18. South Carolina 44.61  17. New Jersey 44.63  16. Arkansa 45.0 15. Arizona 45.2 14. Mississippi 45.6 13. Alabama 45.8  12. Utah 46.0  11. North Carolina 46.7  10. Missouri 49.0  9. Pennsylvania 49.9  8. Illinois 50.3  7. Louisiana 51.9  6. Maryland 52.8  5. Georgia 57.2  4. Texas 60.8 3. Ohio 61.0  2. Florida 62.5  1. California 69.4

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Coach Albaugh coached high school football in Illinois for 28 years. During that time he coached at every level and on both sides of the ball. He was the offensive and defensive line coach for four undefeated teams and was a defensive coordinator in his last 11 years, twice reaching the semi finals of the Illinois state playoffs.