One of the major sports news items from the past month or so involved the death of pro wrestler Owen Hart at a World Wrestling Federation pay per view event. The mainstream media jumped all over this story as they should have. The problem with media coverage of the wrestling business is that because of its carnival roots, the wrestling business (get that part right, more "business" than "sport") has largely been held in disfavor as compared to more "civilized" sporting events. You probably have heard most of the stories: greedy, self serving promoters (for the record, I used to promote wrestling shows and still work from time to time in the business), drug abuse issues, sexual abuse issues...the list goes on and on. But let me ask you this:
IS THIS SO DIFFERENT THAN OWNERSHIP INTERESTS IN "MAJOR" SPORTS?
I think not. The nature of the business whether it's pro wrestling or pro hockey or pro tennis is this:
ENTERTAIN YOUR FANS WITH YOUR ATHLETIC ABILITY!
Pro Wrestling is not everyone's cup of tea. There are also those who wouldn't watch an NBA game, an NHL game, a NASCAR race for the reason that all of us choose to be entertained differently. What happened to Owen Hart on that night in Kansas City was a tragedy. Tragedy happens in the entertainment world all too frequently. It is unfortunately magnified for the whole world to see simply because these people are in the spotlight, doing what they do. There was a baseball player back in the 20's (whose name escapes me right now) who took a fast ball in the head and was killed during play. Actor Vic Morrow was killed several years ago while filming the movie "The Twilight Zone".
And there are several other examples of stars who left us before their time, while not "on the field". Davey Allison, Alan Kulwicki, Len Bias, Lyle Alzado, Reggie Lewis...the list goes on and on. This is not to endorse the WWF continuing their show that night in Kansas City. Not by a long shot. It was in fact in extremely poor taste that about 30 minutes after Owen Hart was taken from Kemper Arena in an ambulance, Vince McMahon (as part of an angle) was loaded into an ambulance, presumably taking him to the same hospital as the mortally wounded Hart. Factually speaking, it's inevitable that one of these horrible accidents will again creep into our lives. And at what point will the performers finally wake up and say "Enough is enough, it's time for a change." Ironically, those were Owen Hart's own words when he was introduced...
And now, let me give some prop's out to some newly crowned champions:
AHL: Providence Bruins-a record breaking regular season, and a richly deserved victory in the Calder Cup Finals.
NHL: Dallas Stars-supposedly a year of destiny for the Stars. They dug down deep, and despite being called by Lindy Ruff "the dirtiest team in hockey", and showed the rest of the league that they really were "all that" this year.
NBA: San Antonio Spurs-after an abbreviated regular season, the Spurs were untouchable through the playoffs. For a brief moment it looked as if the Knicks were going to make a run at them, but they stood tall in claiming their first NBA title.
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WE PRINT COOL STUFF!
Thanks for reading...Until next time, be well.
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