Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Are You a Slob if You Watch Pro Wrestling on TV?

If only unsophisticated slobs watch professional wrestling on TV then feel free to refer to me as a slob. That, if you don't already know, is about the mildest name you could hope to be called on Monday Night Raw or Friday Night Smackdown. You may call those shows any name you care to, but never call them politically correct. These are the places where you make nasty comments about the recently deceased to his best friend and where you perform before an audience consisting of Mexicans and say terrible things about Hispanics.
It's all part of the show, of course, and therefore part of the fun. The crowd cheers and jeers and holds up signs questioning a wrestler's ancestry, but no one gets mad and only an idiot takes any of it seriously. That's why they call it WWE - World Wrestling Entertainment. And excellent entertainment it is. Better comedy than you'll find on the sitcoms of today, better actors and acting than you'll see in much of what passes for drama on the tube.
But it's all a fake, you say? Of course. There's a script to follow and kicks and punches are pulled with amazing adroitness, but when a guy seven feet tall holds you high above his head and then hurls you out of the ring it can't feel too good.
College and professional athletes - football, baseball and basketball players - head for the arenas throughout the country in groups to cheer the heroes and jeer the villians and enjoy a fun-filled evening, all the time thanking God that they don't have to endure the kind of physical punishment they're watching. And these wrestlers don't do it once every seven days, they do it three, four, five times a week, occasionally more often than that. They aren't all muscle-building hulks and freaks of nature, either. Kurt Angle won an Olympic gold medal for the USA. Others competed in the Olympics or college where the rules were strict and the outrageous never happened.
One of the most enjoyable parts of any show comes when the big boss, Mr. McMahon, takes center stage. Just watching him swagger out onto the floor is a show in itself. It takes a fiendish imagination to dream up the punishments forced upon those who displease him. Sometimes a wrestler is forced to join the "Mr. McMahon Kiss My Ass Club" and has to do it in the ring with everybody watching. It's all an act, just part of the show. Still there's no doubt that WWE is not for the uptight sophisticate, the strict adherent of political correctness or the unreconstructed prude.
So I like it. I get a kick out of it because it's all in fun, nobody cares who wins or loses so you can just sit back and have a rollicking good time. There's worse ways to spend a couple of hours.

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