Professional wrestling is one of America's great pastimes. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. Whether it's a guilty pleasure or not, those who are wrestling fans know how fun it is to go to shows, whether as big as WrestleMania or as dinky as the local indie at the VFW charging $5 at the door to see Ricky Morton take on the town drunk. What folks may not realize is that it bears a lot of similarities to college football, at least more than some might know are true. They're both huge in the south, have histories dating back about 150 years or so in their current forms and they inspire some pretty rabid fan followings. It's no surprise then that there are some pretty keen analogues between college football coaches and pro wrestlers. Here are just a few of the best ones that I've noticed over the years:
Coach: Nick Saban
Wrestler: Davey Richards
Both are diminutive in stature, but don't let the appearances fool you. Richards' kicks and Saban's defenses pack a punch that might leave the opponent with a few unnecessary bruises and bumps after contests. Also, both are reputed to be pricks behind the scenes.
Coach: Chris Peterson
Wrestler: Daniel Bryan
Like Bryan, Peterson made a name for himself and his program in divisions that are less than where the big boys might be playing. People think that if he was just given a shot to play for the big one that he'd have a good shot at winning. Side note, maybe if Peterson just kept saying "YES! YES! YES!" during press conferences after his wins, he might have a better shot at winning the pollsters over if you catch my drift.
Coach: Les Miles
Wrestler: Sycho Sid/Sid Vicious/Sid Justice
No one knows how either guy attained the success they've gotten, but hey, here they are with their multiple World Championships/BCS Titles. Like Sid, the content of Miles' speeches is often incoherent, and I for one wouldn't be surprised if Miles had conversations with squirrels.
Coach: Randy Edsall
Wrestler: Jeff Jarrett
While Edsall didn't have a failed country music career, he, like Jarrett, has a far bigger opinion of his actual talent than he really does have, and he's spending a lot of time as a top dog at second tier programs or teams in decline.
Coach: Steve Spurrier
Wrestler: Hulk Hogan
Once upon a time, Spurrier was probably the best and most quotable coach in college football, winning titles and earning some fans' love while others who didn't quite root for his team never trusted him. Now trying to recreate the magic at a lesser program. Also his skin is an unnatural color, and of any coach in college football, he's gotta be the most likely one to have a reality program following him around soon, right?
Coach: Howard Schnellenberger
Wrestler: Terry Funk
Some will argue that both are the greatest of all-time in their respective field, and titles won on the big stage provide a lot of evidence in support of that. They gradually declined in exposure (Miami - Louisville, NWA - ECW) to the point where both ended their careers basically like your uncle who got laid off from the laborers' union but keeps doing odd jobs for $10 a pop. Still, they did their jobs just as excellently as if they were at the Orange Bowl/Korauken Hall. Despite all that, both still have small if rabid fan followings and you would think it AWESOME if either one was your grandfather.
Coach: Brian Kelly
Wrestler: The Ultimate Warrior
No one really knows what the big deal about them is despite their inexplicable success. Also, both are seemingly incapable of having an "inside voice".
Coach: Steve Addazio
Wrestler: Jesse "the Body" Ventura
This isn't some analogous comparison of personalities. Addazio REALLY IS Ventura. Look at their pictures and tell me otherwise:
Coach: Bobby Bowden
Wrestler: Verne Gagne
Legendary, legendary performers both of whom brought their region/program to national acclaim from nothing and then stayed too long past their expiration date. Also, I wouldn't be at all shocked if Bowden ended up being accused of killing someone while senile in his old folks' home.
Coach: Dana Holgorsen
Wrestler: El Generico
Both bring innovative offense to the table to the delights of their fans, and I'm pretty sure neither one knows how to speak English all that well.
Coach: Urban Meyer
Wrestler: Chris Jericho
When they're around, both Meyer and Jericho are considered among the best in the world at what they do. "When" is the operative word, since both guys like to take hiatuses from their jobs because of other concerns. Also, both love to be on camera talking about stuff.
Coach: Kevin Sumlin
No one really knows what either guy is about except for a few people in Texas, but those few people RAVE about each guy's offensive prowess.
Coach: Lane Kiffin
Wrestler: Randy Orton
Pretty much only got into the business because of their fathers, who didn't achieve the levels of success they did, but whose talents were better acclaimed. They also used their fathers' prowess to help them become more successful. Both petulant children who have their own unintelligible spitting lackey to do their dirty work for them (Ed Orgeron/Dave Batista).
Coach: Mike Leach
Wrestler: Paul London
Both men are known for their explosive offensive displays, and you'd probably be likely to have a deep discussion with both about the viability of farming dolphins on the astral plane for use in conquering the space Eskimos. Yeah, I don't know either. Also, both have their own nemesis who probably cost them their most high-profile job, although to be fair, I'm sure Matt Hardy has only consumed enough drugs to kill five hookers.
Coach: Dave Wannstedt
Wrestler: Magnum TA
Both have great loves for moustaches and fast cars, and that's all I'll say, because I don't want to have any part of jinxing The Wannstache into getting into an accident. I don't want that on my conscience, but I fear it's already too late.
Coach: Bear Bryant
Wrestler: Lou Thesz
Bryant, like Thesz, is the greatest in his field that no one on this site probably ever saw do his thing. Bryant, also like Thesz, inspires great rage in those who may say anything remotely critical about him in some corners of this fine world, PAWWWWWWLLL.
And he's not a coach, but Craig James is analogous slightly to Jimmy Snuka, but only slightly, as Craig James killed five hookers, while Snuka only killed one ring rat.
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