Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Happy Birthday to "The Man"
Today is the 60th birthday of a true American legend. The one and only Ric Flair. I know he's just a wrestler (or "rassler" as we used to say), and I know that wrestling is staged (that's why they call it sports entertainment now). Even though those things are true, Flair will always be one of my heroes.
When I was a kid growing up in Columbia I would faithfully watch Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling every Saturday at noon. I can remember my 6th grade Sunday School teacher Mrs. Dillon having a hard time getting me and Andy Crow to stop talking about what had happened during the matches the day before so she could teach us the Bible story. There were lots of great characters that worked in the ring in that little TV studio. Men like Wahoo McDaniel, Ricky Steamboat, Ivan & Nikita Koloff, and Dusty Rhodes, but the one who outshone all of them was Flair. Even when he was a "bad guy" (what my friends called the wrestlers that cheated) and I wanted him to lose, he was still the star.
If you didn't grow up watching wrestling I know it is hard for you to grasp why I would even bother writing on my blog about this man's birthday. I guess there's really no good way to explain it other than to say to an 11 year old kid he was larger than life. When you are that age it's so hard to be confident in yourself about almost anything, and on screen there was this bleach blond man that exuded the confidence that I wished I had. Sure it was all an act but it was a lot of fun to watch.
I'll close with a famous Flair quote that he would direct all the fans who booed him:
"Whether you like me or not you better learn to love me because I'm the best thing going today. Whooooooo!"
Yes you were Ric.