Master Sergeant Tim Deady has been on active duty with the Ohio Air National guard, which is a component of the Air Force, for 26 years.
Deady knows a little something about first class. So, when he describes the latest innovation introduced by the Ashland University with that term, it's not idle chatter.
This year, for the first time in school history, AU head wrestling coach Tim Dernlan is doing live video streaming of all AU dual meets, home and away. That allowed Deady, who is stationed in Iraq, to watch his son, 141-pound sophomore Jordan Deady (Cable, Ohio/Triad), compete in AU's Purple and God Wrestle-off on Nov. 12.
That match began on a Friday night at 7 p.m., in Ashland. Tim Deady was watching his son wrestle, in Baghdad, at 3 a.m.
"His dad is in the line of fire serving his country and Jordan is over here plugging away," said Dernlan. "I think it's something they'll remember for a long time."
"I found out about this about two weeks before we wrestled," said Jordan Deady. "At first, I didn't know if he'd be able to watch with the time difference and work. It ended up fitting into his schedule and he was on the phone with my mom the whole time I wrestled.
"There's no way for him to be here at all," continued the AU wrestler. "He was excited when I told him about this. He said it wasn't skipping or anything. It was fluid, it was like he was watching TV. The sound was real good, too."
Like many wrestling parents, Tim Deady did not miss many of his son's matches when Jordan was growing up. While video streaming is not the same as being mat-side, it's an effective substitute.
"I have either coached or helped coach my son since he was seven so I have missed very few matches," said Tim Deady. "Two of Jordan's goals in wrestling were to wrestle at the state level and then go to college and wrestle. He achieved both of those goals, state twice and at Ashland with help from Coach Dernlan.
"He gave me some pointers," said Jordan Deady, when asked about his father's input after the match. "He knows me. He's been coaching me since I was six or seven years old."
The commentators on the Purple and Gold Wrestle-off might not be as familiar with Jordan Deady as Tim Deady, but they were knowledgeable enough to paint an accurate picture.
"The folks doing the commentating were great to listen to," continued Tim Deady. "Videos are great, but knowing it is going on right then was awesome. Of course it is kind of difficult to give him advice when he can't hear me yelling and I tried."
For the Purple and Gold Wrestle-off, Dernlan had assistant coach Justin Ferguson and injured wrestler Aaron Hunter (Clinton, Ohio/Manchester) describe the action.
"It's pretty unique, I think we're ahead of the curve," said Dernlan. "It's neat we can offer technology like this to the kids we recruit."
Dernlan first heard of this idea through friends and contacts with the National Wrestling Coaches of America. The organization has pushed for schools around the country to add this feature to their matches. No one, however, figured that the initial match at AU would have this special feature between father and son.
"We featured Jordan in his matches and he got on line and talked to his dad," said Dernlan. "He got on and thanked him for watching."
Over the past few years, Tim Deady has gone many different routes to see his son wrestle. This one seemed to give him peace of mind.
"I did deploy while he was in high school, but they managed to be over the summer so I got to see most of his high school matches," said Tim Deady. "Last year, for most of his freshman season, I was deployed to Manas Air Force Base, Kyrgyzstan. In short, I only got to see him wrestle but one match when I got back so it was great to see him out there at the first official college wrestling match of his sophomore season."
It's not news that college students like Jordan Deady are on the cutting edge of social networking. Such technology might boggle the minds of some parents, but Tim Deady isn't part of that group.
"Facebook is great and we use email and Skype, usually at least weekly," said the elder Deady. "As a family, we try to stay close. I tell Jordan that serving overseas has always been a privilege for me. The class of men and women who do this job is astounding. We are all here doing this for a purpose."