Floyd Winter and Daniel DiMarzio’s Stay Low and Circle Left: The Story of Floyd “Bad News” Winter (232 pp. $12.99, paper) is an account of Floyd Winter’s life growing up that includes a chapter about his tour of duty in Vietnam as an Army infantryman. Mainly, though, it focuses on one of the most formidable Greco-Roman wrestlers and coaches in the world.
We are not talking here about Wrestle Mania, WWE, or UFC, but the places where many participants in these sports got their start: freestyle, catch, and Greco-Roman wrestling. Randy Couture (the famed former UFC fighter), a Floyd Winter protégé, starts the book off with an admiring and inspirational Foreword and then tells his own story in the book’s Afterword. Co-author Daniel DiMarzio has written books on catch wrestling, machete fights, and jiu-jitsu.
The first half of Stay Low and Circle Left is filled with stories DiMarzio elicited from Winter. It paints a picture of Floyd Winter from his perspective as a long-time military wrestler and wrestling coach. It is very interesting and sometimes riveting. The chapter on his tour in Vietnam is very good. We learn that he is a combat-tested grunt with a Purple Heart.
The second half of the book is a compilation of interviews DiMarzio had with 23 people whose lives were touched and altered by Floyd Winter. The stories relate what Winter has done for them, in wrestling and in life in general. Together, they paint a picture of Floyd Winter as a very humble and caring man. This short list of 23 comes from a very long one that includes military men, Olympic medalists, and movie stars. Wherever he went, people knew, liked, and respected Bad News Winter.
Being a military spouse takes a special person. That would make Floyd Winter’s wife Paula a Superwoman of sorts. Because of Floyd’s involvement in Army Wrestling (and much more), their military-spouse issues were multiplied several times over.
I recommend this book to wrestlers and non-wrestlers alike.