I Don’t Understand This

We all know the fun American past time of down syndrome wrestling. Where a mentally challenged person fights someone else and is allowed to win. It happens all the time in baseball and football, but I want to focus on how they do it for wrestling. I always thought that it was a nice thing to do, but only if the mentally challenged person is mentally challenged enough to not know that it’s all fake. I want to know the percentage of those matches where the mentally challenged person knew that it was bullshit. I would feel pretty shitty if I found out that not only is this guy letting me win, but everybody else was in on it. Also, I’m going to be using the terms “down syndrome” and “mentally challenged” when describing the people I’m talking about so as to not offend anyone, so if those terms offend you… good. I am nourished by your hatred. 

So these fucking kids are wrestling and it makes no sense. I understand how the conversation goes when telling a mentally challenged person that they are going to fight, but I don’t understand the flip side. How do you tell your child that they are going to fight a mentally challenged person, in front of the whole school… and lose? I feel bad for the parents of that kid. “Hey, John so you remember Austin, right? You know, the kid that can’t stop licking his palms? Well, today at school you are going to wrestle him and we want you to let him win. The whole school is going to be watching and some people probably won’t know that he is mentally challenged, but when he starts flailing his arms and spit-screaming in your face, we want you to just sit there and take it okay?” Or do they not tell him that it’s going to happen? How do the parents even know that this is happening? Does the school call all the parents and ask around to see which of them want their kid to get scarred for life? What determines the kid that has to fight the down syndrome superhero? Do they just pick a name out of a bucket and read it over the PA system at school? “Good morning everybody! so today, as we all know, we have the big wrestling match against Sycamore High, and John it looks like your name was picked out of the ‘Bucket of Dumb’! Congratulations Eric please report to the nurse’s office because you are going to need… all the shots.” Do they plan the “down syndrome wrestling match”? How far in advance do they plan this?

So if there’s a middle school wrestling team with 1 mentally challenged kid and they have a match where another school comes to theirs, how do they tell the other team that there’s a down syndrome kid that needs a win today? Especially if there are other parents and kids from the other school watching how do they notify them? “No, it’s SUPPOSED to look like he’s having a seizure on top of John, he’s mentally challenged.” Do they all get it like an amber alert on their phones before the match? “White Honda civic driving down the i-95 with a child in the trunk, also we have a wrestling match today, Austin vs John. John, make sure you know to lose and that when Austin screams, they are happy screams so try to not have nightmares about this experience when you are 35 and still single” Maybe in high school this works more smoothly because the kids are more mature and there could be a kid that is comfortable with the situation. But in middle school, it’s hard to find a kid that knows what’s up. Also, the mentally challenged kid has to know sometimes. That would suck if he found out that it’s all fake… I bet you there are like 5 SNL sketches with that exact premise.

I had an experience similar to that when I played baseball as a kid. I sucked at every sport I played but was forced to play one every season. So, whenever I went up to bat during baseball, I could hear my teammates groan and see the other team move in at least 3 steps. The worst experience though was when I “got” to pitch. We were winning a game something like 10-3 in the last inning so my coach, who at the time was my best friend’s dad, told me that I could pitch. I immediately knew what was happening, he was only letting me pitch because “we are winning by so much there’s no way this kid fucks it up.” Guess what happened? I didn’t get a single person out. I either walked them, or they hit it because my pitches sucked. I was so terrible that they scored 4 points until my coach was like “alright get this fucking thing off the field how did he fuck this up?” I guess my point is, let’s just treat everybody equally and not like they are specimens in a science experiment just cause you “think he really needs a win.”

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