Sunday, July 1, 2007

Wrestling with real life

OK, gang:
It's time to step off the beaten path a bit and speak about something most, including myself, wouldn't even consider a sport -- professional wrestling.
Now, I must admit (hold your laughter) that I've enjoyed watching pro wrestling for nearly a quarter century. (You can thank my maternal grandfather for that). It has action, drama, comedy, and attractive women -- everything you'd want in a TV show.
Most semi-intelligent wrestling fans realize the stunts are carefully choreographed, the monologues rehearsed and the drama scripted. Most of us know enough not to take this form of "sports-entertainment" as the WWE calls its brand of entertainment too seriously.
Recently, however, real life nailed the scripted world of professional wrestling right in the eye. Popular wrestler Chris Benoit, in what many have speculated could have been a case of Roid Rage, killed his wife and 7-year-old son before killing himself.
The facts remain unclear on many levels, but it hasn't stopped the anti-wrestling establishment from giving the world of professional wrestling another black eye. Now I'm not here to pass judgment on wrestling or those who oppose its mere existence.
What concerns me is what affect this could have on children.
Pro wrestlers by nature are huge, chiseled specimens and you could wonder what role -- if any -- steroids played. Benoit, who by WWE standards would be considered one of their smaller superstars, would be larger than life compared to you and me.
He had the kind of physique that many would kill for. (PLEASE PARDON THE PUN!)
But we must now realize -- more than ever -- what affect steroids could have. Parents, please educate yourselves and talk to your kids about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs. It shouldn't have to take a grizzly murder-suicide (if that's what the facts support in the end) to put this all in perspective.
Until next time, take care and God bless.

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