Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wrestling with My Fear

This may come across as wimpy. I dunno. But I'm afraid for wrestlers.

Although I did it in high school and greatly enjoyed watching what little I saw of the aptly-titled Real Pro Wrestling, I'm seriously considering not allowing my kids to participate in this sport.


Two or three months, ago, I was browsing videos when I stumbled across a "theme" of sorts. People were getting their limbs broken or their bodies disfigured in some way (sports, tom-foolery, etc.)... and it was caught "on tape."

My curiosity was too great. I had to watch some of that freaky shit. In most cases that I recall, the person was too shocked or the video was too quickly edited for any screams of pain. So, it remained entertaining, though still somewhat unnerving.

One example, though, involved wrestling. See, one of the things I dig about wrestling is the ingenuity and skill that are so easily taken for granted (or up-staged by the more popular fake wrestlers). Unfortunately, though, not everyone's as talented as they think they are or as they would like to be.

What I'm getting at is that sometimes, a wrestler attempts a hold or move - especially a power move, which requires a quick burst of speed or strength - that twists his opponent into a dangerous position, then applies the WRONG kind of pressure.

Bottom-line: I saw a guy break another guy's back.

Now, I'm fuckin' scarred.

The one wrestler twisted the other into a position to make it easier to quickly flip the opponent onto his back and pin him. The opponent's head, however, never made it all the way over, so when the guy jumped and came back down, his opponent's back SNAPPED... and the opponent SCREAMED in horror and pain.

Now, I'm having sympathy pains and frickin' vicarious post-traumatic stress disorder.

I don't want my kids or ANYONE being put into a position on the mat or the football field or the gym where they may pay for their sports interest with their lives or mobility.

I've considered saying that all participants in sports should be forced to watch training videos or something which shows people getting their backs broken and shit like that. The point being to show these kids (and adults) that there's a great amount of responsibility involved in performing violent acts on other human beings. They should act accordingly.

My concern, though, is that these young people will react by ENJOYING these horrifying displays and missing the point, altogether. I've seen that happen to adults enough times in my life (i.e. when audiences cheered at the wrong moments of BOYZ IN THE HOOD).

So, I don't know what the answer is, but I'm afraid for our young people - and athletes, in general. I keep seeing and hearing that young man's screams and I don't want anyone else to ever have to suffer through OR WITNESS that kind of trauma, if it can be avoided.

That's all.

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