Thursday, February 22, 2007

Contrary to the sign of contradiction

Catholic Wrestlers Forced to Remove Ash Crosses |
via Bettnet
Catholic high school wrestlers will have to remove ashes from their forehead when the state wrestling tournament begins Wednesday.

The start of this year's competition falls on Ash Wednesday. Catholics typically apply ash crosses on their foreheads in observance of the first day of Lent.

But Iowa High School Athletic Association officials banned the practice for wrestlers when they hit the mat, saying the ash could get into an opponent's eyes or mouths.

"There's no disrespect to Catholicism,'' said Bud Legg, an athletic association spokesman who also is Catholic.

He said all wrestlers undergo a skin and nail check prior to competition.

Rev. Kenneth Kuntz of St. Mary's Church in Iowa City, says he doesn't agree with the decision but won't challenge it because applying ash is optional.

"There are some hills worth dying on, and some that aren't,'' he said. "For me, this isn't that big of a deal.''
Love that last line. And it is fairly consistent with wrestling regulations. It is more likely that the ashes would get into the eyes and mouth of the Catholic wrestler. Ashes and sweat combined with getting a forearm across the face could cause some discomfort.

Another note on Wrestling and Ash Wednesday. I feel for the Catholic boys. Imagine fasting and cutting weight before Lent. (missing Fat Tuesday) And then on the day you get to weigh in and finally eat, you have to fast and abstain from meat. Yikes. Washing off ashes is the least of their worries.

I wonder if that was the reason this guy got so upset.

Note on the video. The reporters have no clue about wrestling. The boy is on his hands and knees and they say he was pinned. And the dad exaggerates immensely by saying his son was "thrown 5-10 in the air." But needless to say, the guy in the video needs to step back and evaluate why he has his son in wrestling.

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