I think that’s going to be the name of the new blog. I’m open to suggestions, though.
As for the content, the name says it all: Whatever interests me enough to make me want to write about it. I imagine it will be the same basic content as the Alablawg – local and national politics, sports, religion, music, books, beer and pictures – but with the addition of comments on Louisiana and Shreveport stuff as well as on my new career as a teacher.
We’ve finally got the internet, so I’ll be regularly posting again. Soon enough I’ll get a new site up and going, but until then I’ll be on this one.
Anyway, consider this the first post of the Whatever blog: A few thoughts about Chris Benoit.
First, as background for the next point, and on wrestling in general, discovering it was fake was, for me, a far more traumatizing growing up experience than the same revelation about Santa Clause. I watched all the matches; had all the toys; and practiced all the moves – Boston crab, figure four, full nelson, camel clutch, pile driver – with my buddies. Hulk Hogan was just as much my hero as Doc Gooden and Daryl Strawberry. (We can discuss my choice of heroes in another post). Hence, when I found out the Hulkster and all the rest were frauds, I really think I went through all five stages of grief, only “acceptance” was replaced with “rejection.” Oh, and I was at most ten years old when this happened.
Which brings me to point two. Bill Simmons had this to say yesterday:
Adam (NY): So what does WWE do from here? With the macmahon death awkwardness floating over their heads I think they’re going to lose a huge portion of their audience. They have to, right?
SportsNation Bill Simmons: Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. I think this could be it – it’s going to be the dominant story of the next 2 weeks and everyone is going to bring up the death stats and all the crazy incidents that have happened, I don’t think the average person realizes what a damaging sport this has been (physically and psychologically) to the people who do it. Again, I think we’ve reached the tipping point. Sorry to be so somber, but the Benoit thing… i mean, it’s hard to explain how big he was in wrestling circles.
I’m saying no-way this hurts the WWE. I was ten when I found out it was fake, and I never watched the sport again. Why not? Because even as a ten year old I realized it was pointless. Why watch a sporting event when the outcome is predetermined? Who cares? So, if the “sport” is too ridiculous for even a ten year old, then that means the average adult WWE fan is either 1) really, really stupid; or 2) willfully ignoring reality. Neither type of person will, I think, care about Chris Benoit. I’m not saying all the WWE fans are morons; but enough of them are that the WWE will continue.
What I’m saying is that the average WWE fan is like the average George W. Bush supporter. If by this point they have not come to their senses, they never will.
Third point. Like Simmons said, this issue is bigger than Chris Benoit. Later in the chat, someone posted a link to this site, which lists every famous pro wrestler since 1986 who has died before the age of 65. It’s a long list. 38 of them were 40 or under, including Benoit.
If that does not shock you, imagine if the list featured baseball players who had died under the age of 65, or football players, or basketball players. Or else consider the reactions to Lyle Alzado’s death, or Len Bias’s death. Even casual sports fans remember those, yet until I saw that list I had no idea that any pro-wrestler had died young. As someone said on Simmons’s chat, if any other sport had seen this many of its athletes die untimely deaths, we’d have seen Congressional hearings long ago.
Does the list mean wrestling caused the deaths? If so, should someone other than the WWE or the individual wrestlers do something about the problem? I do not know about causation. As for the remedy, I certainly do not want to call for government oversight of the WWE. And hey, these guys all chose their profession. But even if wrestling was real, or if I was one of goobs who watches it even though it’s fake, that list would definitely make me reconsider my support of the WWE.