Thursday, August 25, 2011

And your point is...

At ESPN's site Grantland, Shane Ryan has posted an expose on entertainer Ric Flair... Click HERE to read it.

It's a tabloid piece that documents cases of rude and crude behavior and the domestic and financial problems of Ric Flair and his family.

Here's what I wondered as I read it... ESPN profit's from all of these sport's related industries developed to entertain the masses. We know that 80% of professional football players file bankruptcy within 5 years of retirement, 70% of NBA players. We know the life expectancy for NFL players, depending on position, is somewhere between 53 and 59. Mr. Ryan, I would ask you if a more important piece would be to look at the bankruptcy rate and life expectancy of professional wrestlers? Perhaps, even a contemplation of the fact that Flair broke his back in '74 and the amount of painkillers and alcohol it took to numb the pain to work 300 nights a year to entertain us?

Realizing that asking how the system of wrestling destroys those who participate, much like that of the professional athlete's you get paid to cover, wouldn't be a good career move, but maybe, just maybe, you would be compelled to ask what the human price is for our entertainment... but no, Mr. Ryan, and those like him, choose to demonize the individual, point out their personal flaws, rather that ask questions about the system that makes it possible for people like the 'Nature Boy', and countless like him, to make millions for the 'owners', and spend their last years financially, physically and/or mentally crippled.

Frankly, Mr. Ryan, how could you possibly write this column and not mention, at least in passing, Chris Benoit, Curt Henning, Rick Rude, Eddie Guerrero, Davey Boy Smith, Kerry Von Erich, Terry Gordy, Big Boss Man, Brusier Brody, or the many, many others who have died prematurely... (list HERE),actually, given this list, shouldn't your piece have been a tribute to how it's possible someone could put up with that much abuse to their body and mind and still make it to 62?

Finally, it's Friday evening as I write this... I've gone to ESPN and here are stories on the headlines... how can you possibly argue it's not a broken system? HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE

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