1999-05-29 / Columnists

From the G-Man

He Was All Hart
by Gary Toms


Television can be used in a very powerful way from time to time. It has provided us with some of the most memorable moments; from the final episode of M.A.S.H. to the dramatic Denver Bronco win in Superbowl XXXII. These moments have touched our hearts, and they have managed to have some type of impact on how we view ourselves and others. This fact was proven once again on May 24 of this year.

On Sunday, May 23, a superstar in the world of professional wrestling was the victim of a tragic accident. His name was Owen Hart. The following night, during the broadcast of WWF Monday Night Raw, all of the wrestlers paid tribute to their dear friend. I found this particularly moving because for the first time, we were able to see these athletes as never before. They shed their ring personalities, and they allowed themselves to be nothing but human beings. They allowed themselves to be people in pain, and this was evident as each one fought back tears while sharing some very poignant memories of the fallen "King of Harts". Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, Triple H and Chyna, Mankind and Owen’s closest friend, Jeff Jarrett, struggled to speak. In a business where these people are paid to act, their emotions were very real.

I have followed professional wrestling, known as "wrasslin’" in North Carolina, for a long time now, and I have never seen anything close to what I witnessed on Monday night. I was really affected by this man’s death and those who mourned him. I felt as though I lost a member of my family. I then realized that the reason why I was feeling this way was due to the fact that I had been "inviting" these people into my home, each week, for years. I was especially fond of the Hart family, and I am a huge fan of Owen Hart’s brother; Bret "The Hitman" Hart. Even now, it all seems like some sick and twisted nightmare to me, and I’m sure it seems that way to many of the fans of the WWF.

You can say what you want about professional wrestling. You can say it’s fake, without morals or tasteless. The fact is that it is so easy for something to go wrong in that ring. One wrong move executed can mean paralysis or, as in the case of Owen Hart, certain death. These people suffer broken ribs, legs, arms and necks, and it’s all done for the sake of entertainment. Owen Hart gave his life in the name of showmanship, and that is what makes his death all the more tragic. He loved his profession and his fans, and he should be remembered for that.

I just want to say one more thing, and this is for the younger readers. If you watched the tribute to Owen Hart, I want you to remember something. All too often, young people, especially guys, are told you have to "be a man". You’re not supposed to cry or show your emotions. Well, during the tribute, some of the biggest and most powerful men in the world were reduced to tears, and they had no problem showing it. If men in the weight category of 245 to 500 pounds can openly weep, on national television, it is certainly okay for you to cry if you need to, and that’s the bottom line.......cause G-man said so!

Say a prayer for Owen and his family, and I’ll see you next week.

 

 

 

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