February 24, 2004

Grapple with this.

Last week I went to 2 Toronto Raptors basketball games. I’ve been going to games for several years, ever since the Raptors’ first year, but it’s pretty rare for me to take in two games within a single week. Now, I’m not a sports fan by any means. I don’t watch hockey and, quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of having my national identity associated by the game. But I like to watch basketball. It’s very exciting and easy to get into.

But here’s the thing. Both of these games were losses for the home team. One of them, against the Spurs, was a heartbreaker after a close game that saw several injuries, and the other game I saw, against the Nets, was a complete blow out. Not really my idea of a good time. And now the team is on a losing streak. Great.

That got me thinking. NBA basketball is pretty much the only sport I’ll watch besides professional wrestling. Yeah, wrestling. Counters and reversals and high risk maneuvers, pier 6 brawls and technical grappling contests. I’ve been a fan for years and years. There’s nothing I like better than to watch a finely crafted wrestling match with a lot of buildup. I have a deep respect for those who follow their dreams and step between those ropes to put their bodies on the line for the enjoyment of the audience.

Some may scoff at this and say that wrestling, since it’s predetermined (or as some kill-joys like to say, “fake”), it is a less valid form of entertainment. Of course, these people are missing the point. I say that a good wrestling match, regardless of the outcome, is much more exciting than watching your home team loose in any “real” sport. Because it’s predetermined, in simple terms, the people involved can create a much more interesting final product to watch from an entertainment value perspective.

And yes, wrestling is a sport. To borrow a phrase from the great Mick Foley, if golf is a sport, then so is wrestling.

Now can you dig that, sucka?



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